If your company has an alcohol and drug testing policy, you need to be aware of changes which are being implemented to drug testing standards specified by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) (and followed by Canadian testing laboratories) effective October 1, 2010.

The changes will establish lower cut-off levels for amphetamines and cocaine. Any testing which is performed by a recognized laboratory will be affected by these changes, and the Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace ("the Canadian Model") is being changed to be consistent with these changes.

The Canadian Model sets industry norms for alcohol and drug testing. The Canadian Model Review Committee has reviewed the testing revisions and will be amending the Canadian Model to reflect the changes on the same date (October 1). In addition, the revisions will allow for the use of oral fluid testing in certain circumstances. More specific information about the Canadian Model changes can be found at http://www.coaa.ab.ca/bestpractices/safety/tabid/62/default.aspx.

The current Canadian Model provides for the following concentration cut-off levels for urine testing - to see the table please click here.

Effective October 1, 2010 the concentration cut-offs levels for urine testing will be - to see the table please click here.

You may need to make changes to your policies and collective agreements to ensure compliance with the changes. You will also need to provide your employees with notice of the change.Finally, you should prepare for the possibility that you will have more positive test results because of the lower thresholds.