Site Map Icon
RSS Feed icon
 
 
 
Fitness for Duty Policy

 

 

 

PIERCE COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT 16

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE

TITLE: Fitness for Duty

PROCEDURE NUMBER: 16-400-11P

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 14, 2008

SUPERCEDES: Standard Operating Procedure16-400-01P, Fitness for Duty, Effective January 1, 2005; June 12, 2007

PAGES: 8

APPROVING AUTHORITY: ________________________________

Tom Lique, Fire Chief

1. References

Safety Standards for Firefighters WAC 296-305-01509

Safety Standards for Firefighters WAC 296-305-01513

Health Care Opinions WAC 162-22-090

Fitness for Duty Policy 16-400-11

Agreement Between PCFD #16 and IAFF Local 3152

2. Policy Statement:

The purpose of 16-400-11 is to promote firefighter wellness, firefighter health, firefighter safety, and also to protect the general public. The District hereby agrees to abide by all State and Federal laws relating to:

Firefighter Safety

Fire Service Joint labor management Wellness-Fitness initiative

Firefighter physical fitness

Any employment related medical or psychological examinations of an employee that may take place; and

Any documents or records that are generated in connection with such examinations.

3. Scope:

Policy and Procedure 16-400-11 shall apply to all members within the District to include support personnel and volunteers and those who are expected to actively perform routine and emergency field response duties.

16-400-11P,

Fitness for Duty - 1 -

16-400-11P,

5. Substance Abuse Policy

Fitness for Duty - 2 -

4.6. If a member is required to undergo a medical or psychological examination by the District, and if in accordance with the provisions of this policy the above referenced examination reveals that the member is fit for duty without any restrictions, only pertinent information related to the situation or incident will be released to the District by the Department authorized Physician.

 

4.7. If a member is required by the District to undergo a medical, fitness or psychological examination, and if the above referenced examination reveals that the member in questions is fit for duty with one or more limitations/restrictions on his/her activities, then the Department authorized Physician will only release enough information to the District in order to appropriately inform the District about the nature of the basis for the restrictions; about the length of time that the restrictions are expected to last, and about any treatment that may be needed in connection with the restrictions.

 

4.8. If a member is required by the District to undergo a medical, fitness or psychological examination and that examination reveals that the member in question is unfit for duty, for any reason, then the Department authorized Physician will only release enough information to the District in order to appropriately inform the District as to the basis for the health care provider’s determination that the member is currently unfit for duty in order to inform the District as to how long the member is expected to remain unfit for duty, and in order to inform the District as to whether there is any treatment that the member can participate in that will correct the situation.

 

4.9. Whenever the District determines, in accordance with the provisions of this policy, that a medical, fitness or psychological examination of a member would be warranted in a particular instance, the member who is subject of the examination, may have the right to select the health care provider, which will be agreed upon by the District, who will conduct the initial examination: PROVIDED that the District may designate the field(s) of practice that the health care provider conducting the examinations should specialize in and that all records of the examinations will be forwarded to the Department authorized Physician.

 

4.10. If the member does not agree with the initial examination, the member may request a second examination by a health care provider of the member’s choosing at the member’s expense for the District’s consideration.

 

4.11. The District will not require any member to undergo any medical, fitness or psychological examination unless the District has first provided that member with prior written notice of the specific facts and a circumstance the District believes warrants the examination.

 

4.12. The District will pay for all costs, expenses, and fees connected with the administration of the provisions of this policy, including but not limited to fees for all health care providers, costs of all tests, and travel costs if the member uses their personal vehicle.

 

4.13. All time spent by the members in participating in examinations conducted pursuant to this policy, including travel time, shall be considered "hours worked" and the member shall be compensated appropriately pursuant to the other provisions of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement for the time spent in connection with attendance at such examinations.

 

4.14. The District will also comply with the requirements of WAC 162-22-090, entitled "health Care Opinions", in connection with the application of this policy.

 

4.15. The District will also provide the members who are required to undergo examinations pursuant to this policy with any and all information, written or otherwise, that the District receives about the member from any health care provider who conducts any examination.

 

16-400-11P,

6. Informing Members about Drug and Alcohol Testing

 

7. Member Testing

Fitness for Duty - 3 -

5.1. The District and the members recognize that drug use by members would be a threat to the public welfare and the safety of department personnel. It is the goal of this policy to eliminate or absolve illegal drug usage through education and rehabilitation of the affected personnel. The use of alcoholic beverages or unauthorized drugs shall not be permitted at the District’s work sites and/or while a member is on duty nor shall a member report for duty under the influence of alcohol or unauthorized drugs.

 

5.2.

 

6.1. All members shall be fully informed of this drug and alcohol testing policy, members will be provided with information concerning the impacts of the use of alcohol and drugs on job performance. In addition, the District shall inform the members on how the tests are conducted, what the tests can determine, and the consequences of testing positive for drug use. No member shall be tested before this information is provided to him/her. The District shall not discipline members who voluntarily come forward and ask for assistance to deal with a drug or alcohol problem.

 

6.2. The District encourages members to seek treatment for drug and alcohol abuse voluntarily. Any member who notifies the District of alcohol or chemical abuse problems will be given the assistance offered to members with any other illness. As with other illness, the District may grant sick leave, vacation leave, or leaves of absence without pay for treatment and rehabilitation of drug and alcohol abuse.

 

6.3. Any decision to voluntarily seek help will not interfere with a member’s continued employment or eligibility for promotional opportunities.

 

7.1. Members shall not be subject to random urine testing or blood testing or other similar or related tests for the purpose of discovering possible drug or alcohol abuse. If the District has reasonable suspicion to believe a member’s work performance is impaired due to drug or alcohol use, the District may require the member to undergo a drug and/or alcohol test consistent with the conditions set forth in this policy.

 

7.2. Reasonable suspicion for the purpose of this policy is defined as follows: the District’s determination that reasonable suspicion exists shall be based on specific, articulated observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors of a member and shall include, as a minimum, a written report documenting objective, measurable changes in a member’s work performance due to unauthorized drug or alcohol use by two (2) observers who have had

 

While the District wishes to assist members with alcohol or chemical dependency problems, safety is the District’s first priority. Therefore, members must not report for work or continue working if they are under the influence, or impaired by, the prohibited substances listed in this policy. Members participating in treatment programs are expected to observe all job performance standards and work rules.

16-400-11P,

adequate opportunity to observe these changes. This written report must be prepared during the same work shift when the reasonable suspicion has arisen.

 

8.1. The collection and testing of samples shall be performed only by a laboratory and by a physician or health care professional qualified and authorized to administer and determine the meaning of any test results. The laboratory performing the test shall be one that is certified by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). The District and the Union must agree upon the laboratory chosen. The results of member tests shall be made available to the Medical Review Physician and the Department authorized Physician.

 

8.2. Collection of blood or urine samples shall be conducted in a manner, which provides for the highest, reasonable degree of security for the sample and freedom from adulteration. Blood or urine samples will be submitted as per NIDA standards including the recognized chain of custody procedures. Members have the right for Union and/or legal representation to be present during the submission of the sample. Members shall not be witnessed while submitting a urine specimen. Prior to submitting a urine or blood sample, the member will be required to sign consent and release from as attached to this policy.

 

8.3. A split sample will be reserved in all cases for an independent analysis in the event of a positive result. All samples must be stored in a scientifically acceptable preserved manner as established by NIDA. All positive confirmed samples and related paperwork must be retained by the laboratory for at least six (6) months or for the duration of any grievance, disciplinary action, or legal proceedings, whichever is longer. At the conclusion of this period, the laboratory’s paperwork and specimen shall be destroyed. Tests shall be conducted in a manner to ensure that a member’s legal drug use and diet does not affect the test results.

 

9.1. The laboratory shall test for only the substances and within the limits as follows for the initial and confirmatory test as provided within NIDA standards. The initial test shall use an immunoassay test procedure, which meets the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration for commercial distribution. The following initial cut-off levels shall be used when screening specimens to determine whether they are negative for these five class of drugs:

 

9.2. INITIAL TESTING

 

9.3. If initial test results are negative, testing shall be discontinued. All samples are to be destroyed and records of the testing expunged from the member’s file.

 

8. Sample Collection

 

9. Drug Testing

Fitness for Duty - 4 -

9.2.1. Marijuana metabolites 100 ng/ml

 

9.2.2. Cocaine metabolites 300 ng/ml

 

9.2.3. Opiate metabolites (1) 300 ng/ml

 

9.2.4. Phencyclidine 25 ng/ml

 

9.2.5. Amphetamines 1000 ng/ml

 

9.2.6. If immunoassay is specified for free morphine, the initial test level is 25 ng/ml

 

16-400-11P,

9.4. Only specimens identified as positive on the initial test shall be confirmed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) techniques at the following listed cut-off values:

 

9.5. CONFIRMATORY TESTING

 

9.6. If confirmatory testing results are negative, all samples shall be destroyed and records of the testing expunged from the member’s file.

 

9.7. Drug testing results gathered under this policy will not be used in a criminal investigation or prosecution.

 

10.1. A Breathalyzer or similar equipment shall be used to screen for alcohol use, and if positive, shall be confirmed by a blood alcohol test performed by a qualified laboratory. An individual properly qualified to perform the tests utilizing appropriate equipment shall perform this screening test. An initial positive alcohol level shall be 0.04 grams per 210 L of breath. If initial testing results are negative, testing shall be discontinued, all samples are to be destroyed and records of the testing expunged from the member’s files. Only specimens identified as positive on the initial test shall be confirmed using a blood alcohol level. A positive blood alcohol level shall be 0.04 grams per 100ml of blood. If confirmatory testing results are negative, all samples shall be destroyed and records of the testing expunged from the member’s file.

 

11.1. The Medical Review Physician shall be chosen and agreed upon between the District and the Union; and must be a licensed physician with a knowledge of substance abuse disorders. The Medical Review Physician shall be familiar with the characteristics of tests (sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value), the laboratories conducting the tests and the medical conditions and work exposures of the members.

 

11.2. The role of the Medical Review Physician will be to review and interpret the positive test results. He/she must examine alternative medical explanations for any positive test results. This action shall include conducting a medical review with the affected member, review of the member’s medical history and review of any other relevant biomedical factors. The Medical Review Physician must review all relevant medical records made available by the tested member when a confirmed positive test result could have resulted from legally prescribed medications.

 

10. Alcohol Testing

 

11. Medical Review Physician

Fitness for Duty - 5 -

9.5.1. Marijuana metabolites 15 ng/ml

 

9.5.2. Cocaine metabolites 150 ng/ml

 

9.5.3. Opiate metabolites Morphine 300 ng/ml

 

9.5.4. Codeine 300 ng/ml

 

9.5.5. Phencyclidine 25 ng/ml

 

9.5.6. Amphetamine 500 ng/ml

 

9.5.7. Met amphetamine 500 ng/ml

 

9.5.8. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid

 

9.5.9. Benzoylecgonine

 

16-400-11P,

12. Laboratory Results

 

13. Testing Program Costs

 

14. Rehabilitation Program

 

15. Duty Assignment after Treatment

 

16. Right to Appeal

Fitness for Duty - 6 -

12.1. The laboratory will advise only the member and the Medical Review Physician of any positive results. The results of any positive drug or alcohol test can only be released to the District authorized Physician by the Medical Review Physician once he/she has finished review and analysis of the laboratory’s test. Unless otherwise required by law, the District authorized Physician will keep the results confidential and shall not release them to the general public.

 

13.1. The District shall pay for all costs involving drug and alcohol testing as well as the expenses associated with the Medical Review Physician. The District shall also reimburse each member for their time as defined in the Labor contract and for expenses including travel incurred involving the testing procedure only.

 

14.1. Any member who tests positive for a substance listed previously in this policy shall be medically evaluated, counseled, and treated for rehabilitation as recommended by qualified drug and alcohol counselor of the member’s choice and/or the Department authorized Physician.

 

14.2. A member may voluntarily enter rehabilitation without requirement or prior testing. Members will be allowed to use their accrued and earned leave for the necessary time off involved in the rehabilitation program.

 

14.3. If a member tests positive during the one (1) year period following completion of rehabilitation, the member will be re-evaluated by a qualified counselor to determine if the member requires additional counseling and/or treatment. The member will be solely responsible for any costs, not covered by medical benefits/insurance, which arise from this additional counseling or treatment.

 

15.1. If the duty assignment for a member is modified or changes as a result of a rehabilitation program, then after a member successfully completes his/her rehabilitation program, the member shall be returned to the regular duty assignment held prior to the rehabilitation program. Once treatment and follow-up care is complete, and three (3) years has passed with no further violations of this article, the member’s personnel and medical files shall be purged of any reference to his/her drug or alcohol problem

 

16.1. The member has the right to challenge the result of the drug or alcohol test and any discipline imposed in the same manner that he/she may grieve any other District Policy.

 

16-400-11P,

17. Legal Responsibility

Fitness for Duty - 7 -

17.1. The District initiated this drug and alcohol-testing program. The District assumes the sole responsibility for the administration of this policy and shall be solely liable for any legal obligations and costs arising out of the provisions and/or application of this policy relating to drug and alcohol testing.

 

__________________________

Chairman James Bosch

__________________________

Commissioner Rick Stout

__________________________

Commissioner Allen Yanity

__________________________

Commissioner Ruth Bramhall

__________________________

Commissioner Sheila Hunt

__________________________

Date Reviewed

Approved as to Form:

______________________________

District Attorney

16-400-11P,

Fitness for Duty - 8 -

4. Fitness for Duty:

 

4.1. The District will require medical and fitness evaluations at facilities designated by the Employer on the following intervals:

 

4.1.1. At the time of initial membership with Pierce County Fire District #16. The member candidate will receive a medical and fitness assessment as follows:

 

4.1.1.1. Laboratory services as defined by the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative performed by the Department authorized Laboratory facility with the results forwarded to the Department authorized Physician.

 

4.1.1.2. A baseline drug and alcohol assessment performed by the Department authorized Laboratory facility with the results forwarded to the Department authorized Physician.

 

4.1.1.3. A Fitness assessment as defined by the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative performed by the Department authorized assessment facility with the results forwarded to the Department authorized Physician.

 

4.1.1.4. A medical assessment as defined by the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative performed by the Department authorized Physician.

 

4.1.1.5. A psychological assessment or personality inventory performed by the Department authorized Psychologist or using the Hogan Personality inventory.

 

4.2.1. Laboratory services as defined by the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative performed by the Department authorized Laboratory facility with the results forwarded to the Department authorized Physician.

 

4.2.2. A Fitness assessment as defined by the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative performed by the Department authorized assessment facility with the results forwarded to the Department authorized Physician.

 

4.2.3. A medical assessment as defined by the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative performed by the Department authorized Physician.

 

4.3.1. At least two District employees have first observed and documented in writing specific, objective, observable behaviors on the part of an employee that have caused those observers to believe that an evaluation may be necessary in order to protect the health and safety of the employee in question, and/or in order to protect the health and safety of other District employees or the general public.

 

4.4.1. Exception: If the return to work is secondary to a specific drug or alcohol issue the member may be required on the recommendation of the Department authorized Physician to participate in an on-going drug or alcohol assessment program.

 

4.2. On an annual basis, during the month of the member’s birth date. The annual medical assessment will include:

 

4.3. The District will not require a member to undergo a psychological or Drug/alcohol evaluation or an off cycle medical evaluation unless:

 

4.4. The member is completing the "Return to work" process, which the employer can require only a fitness assessment and a medical assessment as defined in 4.1 b. above.

 

4.5. In order to protect the privacy of the member in question, the District hereby agrees that facilities that conduct an evaluation on a member pursuant to any of the provisions of this policy will provide complete reports to the Department authorized Physician. The Department authorized Physician will only provide the District with the minimum amount of information about the evaluations and the results thereof that is necessary in order to serve the purposes which relates to the member’s fitness for duty.




Page Last Updated: Aug 24, 2009 (15:53:42)
 
 
Key Peninsula Firefighers Local 3152
Copyright © 2018, All Rights Reserved.
Powered By UnionActive™

76342 hits since Nov 19, 2008
Visit Unions-America.com!

Top of Page image