Archive for June, 2016

Compliance Corner: The Facts about a Serious Marine Incident – Part 2

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Basic Requirements SMI Drug Testing

Drug testing must be completed within 32 hours following a serious marine incident; if the drug test specimens cannot be collected within 32 hours, vessels must have onboard a sufficient number of urine-specimen collection kits and chain-of-custody forms meeting the requirements of 49 CFR Part 40 that are readily accessible for use following a serious marine incident (46 CFR Part 4, Section 4.06-20).

Urine drug test specimen collections can only be conducted by personnel trained in DOT specimen collection procedures and that are currently qualified in accordance with 49 CFR part 40 to collect these specimens. All drug tests have to be collected in accordance with the requirements given in 49 CFR part 40.

All drug tests have to be sent to a laboratory that is accredited by the US Department of Health and Human Services for Federal Agency Workplace drug testing. The use of on-site testing devices or other types or forms of drug testing is not allowed in accordance with US Coast Guard regulations.

Arrangements for drug test collection can be made through a port agent or another agent of the marine employer. This does not negate the 32 hour requirement but does assist in meeting the drug test requirements.

If it is determined that a vessel is not in compliance, that vessel/marine employer is subject to civil penalty action. See more…

Compliance Corner: The Facts about a Serious Marine Incident – Part 1

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Basic Requirements SMI Alcohol Testing

The marine employer is responsible for having the alcohol testing completed within 2 hours following a serious marine incident (SMI); if there are safety concerns to be met, then testing may be delayed until the safety concerns have been addressed. No testing is required after 8 hours for alcohol. Beverages containing alcohol, including mouthwashes, are not permitted to be used until after the alcohol testing has been completed.

Alcohol testing devices must be listed on the current Conforming Product List (CPL). The use of any device that is not listed on the CPL and published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ( will not be acceptable. This includes devices that may be listed on lists from another source, country, region, etc.

There are two approved devices on the CPLs:

  • Evidential Breath Testing Devices (EBTs)
  • Alcohol Screen Devices (ASDs)

(a) If it is determined that a vessel is not in compliance, that vessel/marine employer is subject to civil penalty action.

From the COAST GUARD MID ATLANTIC Official Blog of the 5th Coast Guard District. Definition of a Serious Marine Incident.


78% of Teens say Close Friends use Marijuana

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Legalization of marijuana in several states along with the continuing debates to legalize THC in other states has changed how teenagers perceive the harmful effects of THC. In fact, some teenagers believe marijuana is less harmful and easier to obtain than alcohol.

According to Grand Forks Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, 78 percent of teens now say they have close friends who use marijuana and 41% of these teenage users admit they began using the drug before the age of 15. The primary reasons for using at an early age are to fit in with their peers, to relax, to have fun, and to escape reality. Thus, responsible parents must play a more prominent role in educating their children of the dangers of all mind-altering substances such as marijuana and the harmful effects are the still-developing brains of teens.

Since the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that controls reasoning and impulses, doesn’t fully develop and mature until age of 25, teenage THC usage can noticeably effect the behavior of the teen user.

The Coalition says behavior signs of teenage THC users include:

  • Difficulty controlling emotions
  • Lack of judgment
  • Spontaneous and impulsive actions
  • Risky decision making
  • No planning or scheduling
  • No thought of consequences or accountability