Contractor Monitoring Under 49 CFR Section 199.21
SummaryFederal regulations require both liquid and gas pipeline operators and those contractors of pipeline operators to implement drug and alcohol testing programs under 49 CFR Part 199. Pipeline operators remain responsible for ensuring contractor and subcontractor compliance with the drug and alcohol testing requirements under 49 CFR Section 199.21 for those contractors and subcontractors providing covered functions which involve work on the actual pipeline, storage facility, or work performed in close proximity to the pipeline or storage facility. A covered functions is defined as an operations, maintenance, or emergency response function performed on a pipeline or LNG facility.
Covered Functions include: construction work, x-ray services, excavating, painting, engineering services, mechanical maintenance, hydrostatic testing, inspections, general maintenance, contract labor, fabrication, coating, location and marking, vacuum service, valve maintenance drilling, corrosion control, surveying, aerial patrol, electrical work and consultant services.
Administrative or clerical duties are NOT considered covered functions.
Covered EmployeesPipeline operators must monitor the activities of their outside contractors and subcontractors. The term "covered employee" includes all employees performing covered functions. A "covered employee" as defined under 49 CFR Section 199.3 is "any employee, or individual who performs a covered function, including persons employed by operators, contractors employed by operators, and persons employed by such contractors".
Operators are required to evaluate each contractor and subcontractor's anti-drug and alcohol misuse plans for compliance with both Part 199 and Part 40. Operators must also provide a letter of plan acceptance to the contractor or subcontractor. In addition, the operator is mandated to periodically review statistical data reports for each contractor and subcontractor for compliance with the PHMSA drug and alcohol testing requirements. All operators must maintain and periodically review the list of "covered employees" supplied by the contractors. These are the only employees that may be allowed on the job site.
Problems in Contractor Monitoring
Often operators are unaware of the many contractors and subcontractors that are performing covered functions for them. Many operators fail to review contractor and subcontractor PHMSA plans.They rely primarily on self audits by the contractors. This practice will result in issues upon audit but more importantly puts workers and the general public at risk.
Regulatory scrutiny of plans, data reports and covered employee lists is commonplace. Fines and workplace actions can result from ineffective contractor monitoring procedures.
Contractor Monitoring Program
Historically, operators have had difficulty monitoring their contractors and sub contractors in-house. Many operators need help in implementing a comprehensive contractor monitoring program. A system for accountability for contractor compliance with 49 CFR Part 199 can be easily outsourced. The Transportation Advisor has an established contractor monitoring system for both operators and contractors.
We perform an initial audit of contractors and subcontractors anti-drug and alcohol misuse plans, review quarterly drug and alcohol statistical data and ensure background checks and pre-employment drug testing is part of the contractors protocol for all new hires. All contractors are required to submit all required compliance information on standard forms provided by The Transportation Advisor. A letter of plan acceptance is sent to each contractor along with copies to the operator. The monitoring process after the initial audit is on-going on a semi-annual basis. Every contractor is given a compliance rating of Satisfactory, Conditional or Unsatifactory. Written reports are provided to each operator twice a year and additionally by request.
Contact The Transportation Advisor to discuss your options for a comprehensive contractor monitoring program. Pricing for this service is negotiated directly with each operator or large contractor.
The Transportation Advisor, Inc.
P.O. Box 558
Palmer MA 01069
Fax 413-284-0022 - firstname.lastname@example.org