On October 8, 2014, the most recent version of The Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace (the Canadian Model) comes into effect. Under the direction of the Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA), CannAmm Occupational Testing Services is honoured to be among the key stakeholders and the only third-party administrator (TPA) to be on the model review committee. CannAmm’s processes have long adopted the leading practices within the new 2014 version of the model and our clients can rest assured that CannAmm can assist them to be compliant.
What is The Canadian Model?
The Canadian Model is a best practice alcohol and drug policy designed to reduce the risks associated with inappropriate substance use in the workplace. This policy can be adopted by stakeholders in the construction industry across the country. The Canadian Model aims to establish a minimum industry standard for a safe workplace, while recognizing that some companies may require slightly different standards based on the specific nature of their operations.
What Has Changed In This Version?
The COAA recognizes that the Canadian Model must account for new information, technologies, and trends. For this reason the Canadian Model is periodically reviewed. Here is a brief summary of changes coming into effect in October 8, 2014:
Definition of Medical Review Officer (MRO)
In this version, MROs now have the added requirement of being certified with the American Association of Medical Review Officers or Medical Review Officer Certification Council. CannAmm already uses Canadian MROs that are certified with one of these groups. If you use another TPA, it is important to confirm that they meet this criterion.
To be compliant with the 2014 Canadian Model, supervisors and leaders must now complete supervisor awareness training in accordance with the minimum criteria set by the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) Employer guidelines. Owners and contractors must provide supervisor training that meets these same US DOT minimum criteria. CannAmm’s training has always met US DOT criteria and will continue to do so. We are able to provide compliant supervisor awareness training via the on-line CannAmm Learning Centre, or through our highly experienced team of training experts.
Point of Collection Testing (POCT)
In previous versions of The Canadian Model, POCT testing was not addressed. This most recent version allows the companies to perform an express POCT urine drug test in combination with either a lab-based oral fluid drug test or urine drug test. The express urine device must be Health Canada approved and Chain of Custody paperwork must be included in the collection process for the express portion of the test.
When utilizing POCT testing for clients, CannAmm’s processes meet the 2014 Canadian Model standards. Throughout the occupational testing industry, chain of custody processes vary. A review of your company’s policy and the chain of custody process utilized by various TPAs is in order.
In the new version of the model, a safety advisory notification can accompany a negative test result. This would indicate a lab-based positive test overturned by the MRO due to legitimate medical reasons for the substance(s) being in the donor’s system. A safety advisory may also accompany an MRO-overturned result if the donor was taking a legitimate prescription in its intended manner, but the side effects hindered the donor’s ability to safely perform his/her duties. At this point, the employer may request the employee receive signed documentation from the prescribing physician indicating that they can safely perform their duties.
These are the most significant changes to the Canadian Model that will take effect on October 8, 2014. For a table of the changes from the 2010 version to the 2014 version, please view our Data Sheet. If you feel that a review of your current program is in order, please contact us. A CannAmm account representative will be happy to assist you.
CannAmm will be hosting a free webinar Tuesday October 14, at 1:30 pm MST. Please join us to review the changes to the Canadian Model and learn how it will impact you and your employees. The webinar can be accessed here.