Contractor Monitoring Under 49 CFR Section 199.21


Federal 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 Employees

Pipeline 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".

Operator Responsibilities

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.

Some operators lack internal monitoring procedures or systems to ensure complete contractor compliance with all parts of the regulations. There is little follow-up for contractors who provide incomplete or inaccurate information. Also, many operators do not have the time, personnel or resources to devote to a contractor monitoring program that will pass regulatory scrutiny upon audit.

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. DISA 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 Unsatisfactory. Written reports are provided to each operator twice a year and additionally by request.

Our Service

Contact DISA to discuss your options for a comprehensive contractor monitoring program. Pricing for this service is negotiated directly with each operator or large contractor.

Contact Us by email or Call us at 800-608-8890