By Jo McGuire, TSS Senior Projects Manager

When and why are direct observations necessary for a urine drug screen?

There are many donors that assume their drug tests must be observed and some think its crazy to have a direct observation!

Here is the when and why...

1. Any time the specimen temperature is out of range. If the temperature strip on the specimen cup is too hot, too cold or does not register any temperature, the collections professional will perform a second test under direct observation. Temperature failure assumes that the specimen did not come from the donor's body. A urine test completed under direct observation ensures the specimen has come from the donor's body without any tampering via adulteration or substitution.


2. During every Follow Up and Return to Duty situation we observe the collection and follow the process as outlined in 49 CFR Part 40. Follow Up and Return to Duty tests are conducted when a donor has previously failed a drug test and is now working toward successfully completing a drug test (or series of tests) that will allow them to remain at work.


3. The DER (Designated Employer Representative) may request that a donor be tested under direct observation if they have reason to believe the donor may try to adulterate or substitute the specimen.


DOT drug testing is about safety. In order to ensure the integrity of the test represents the employee's ability to perform their duties in a safe manner, direct observation situations can serve as a deterrent when temptation to submit false samples arises. At TSS specimen integrity is our priority and safety is our middle name!

webinar training stock
The Fatigued Workforce
Presenter: David Martin
July 10, 2018
$39 per person
What is fatigue? Understanding body rhythms, the importance of sleep & how to face the problem in the workforce. (60 min)

Fall Protection
Presenter: Eric Bartholomew
July 17, 2018
$39 per person
Covering regulations, systems, inspections and training opportunity. (60 min)

Distracted Driving
Presenter: David Martin
August 7, 2018
$29 per person
What are the common distractions and hazards? Back to school means kids walking! What does your company policy say about corporate vehicles and phone use? (45 min)

You, the D.E.R.
Presenter: Jo McGuire
August 14, 2018
$75 per person
If you receive the drug & alcohol testing results for your company, you are required to know the responsibilities outlined in 49 CFR Part 40. We'll cover the rules, random selection, document retention and much more! Certificates of completion will be given for attending this course.  (90 min)

Signs & Symptoms for Supervisors
Presenter: Jo McGuire
August 21, 2018
$129 1st person /$89 2nd person
How do you determine whether a Reasonable Cause situation exists in the workplace? This training will not only make the parameters clear to you but will also discuss the latest trends in employee substance use, how to approach the employee, document the situation, drug testing protocols and what the expectations are for record-keeping.  (120 min)
All webinars are
10:00 am AK Time
1:00 pm CS Time
To register, please email:
or call:  877-225-1431
& DNA Testing

TSS, Inc. offers a wide variety of services. Learn more about Paternity and DNA testing as well as our other services by clicking here .
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Kids Don't Float ~ Life Jackets Do!
By Dave Martin, TSS Safety Coordinator

Water surrounds us everywhere in our Alaska locations and our Midwest offices enjoy the great Mississippi River. We all work, play, live and harvest much of our food from the water.   

In the last ten years there have been more than 450 drowning deaths in Alaska; 11% of the drownings were children under the age of 15 and 42% were boating related. The Kids Don't Float (KDF) Program was developed in response to Alaska's high rate of childhood drowning.

The Kids Don't Float program has two components. The first component is a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) Loaner Board Program that allows the public to borrow PFDs free of cost, from loaner sites which are located at harbors, lakes, rivers and any open body of water for recreational use. The second component is the Peer Education Program designed for educators, parents or anyone involved with children to teach them about cold-water exposure, PFD use and drowning preventio n.   

In Alaska drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children and the third for teens.   

In states where no children's life jacket law is in place, a U.S. Coast Guard interim rule requires children under 13 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device when in an open boat, on the deck of a boat or when water-skiing. ALL boats must carry a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD for each person on the boat. Except for canoes and kayaks, one U.S. Coast Guard- approved Type IV (seat cushion or throw ring) device must be carried by all boats 16 feet and longer.   

Remember ..... Kid's don't float...Lifejackets Do! 

For more information visit or   

Keeping it Safe with Personal Water Crafts
Whether you are hitting the beach or headed to the lake this summer in your boat, keep safety in mind so that everyone comes home having enjoyed worry-free fun!  

Did you know that the U.S. Coast Guard considers personal watercraft (PWC) to be Class A vessels, which means all safety equipment and operation laws that apply to boat under 16 feet also apply to a PWC. With the horsepower of a large outboard engine and the acceleration of a motorcycle. PWC are not toys.  Before you hit the water, let's take a look at some of the basics:  
USCG Required Equipment for a PWC:  
  • A life jacket for each operating passenger, and person being towed  
  • A Coast Guard-approved B-1 fire extinguisher  
  • An approved sound-signaling device such as a whistle or horn  
  • An emergency engine cutoff lanyard attached to the operator  
  • Proper display of registration numbers, letters and validation decals  
  • Vessel registration, to be displayed when requested  
  • A functioning backfire flame arrestor and passive ventilation system  
  Some items you may wish to consider that are not required but definitely a good idea:  
  • Hand-held VHF radio, and a cell phone as a backup  
  • A basic first-aid kit, sunscreen, and burn cream  
  • An anchor and enough anchor line for your area
Finally, t's recommended you have a suitable, daytime distress signal such as flares, an orange flag, or signal mirror.  

Use Basic Common Sense and Everyone can Enjoy the Experience  
In many states, PWC-operator laws are more stringent than recreational-vessel operator requirements. PWC manufacturers recommend a minimum operator age of 16. However, operator laws vary from state to state. For more state operator requirements, visit  and click on your state.    Also:  
  • Wear a life jacket approved for PWC use.  
  • Learn the meaning of navigation marks and signs.  
  • Never operate any vehicle when impaired.  
  • Carry no more passengers than the vessel's rating allows.  
  • Larger vessels, sailboats under sail, and paddle craft should always be given priority.  
  • When meeting another craft head-on, steer to the right and pass like cars.  
  • If overtaking another boat, you may pass on either side, but you must keep clear.  
  • If you're about to cross paths with another vessel, the craft on the right should be allowed to continue at the same speed and direction, and you must alter your speed and direction to pass safely behind.  
For more information visit    or   

First Aid and CPR is for EVERYONE

We are all guilty of reacting to first-aid situations in ways that our Grandma did it - like putting butter on a burn. You can probably think of several of those "old wives tales" that are now known to be BAD IDEAS. But how do we learn the right way, if we don't have updated instruction?

One of the most valuable services we provide at TSS, is our regularly scheduled CPR and First Aid training.  We often say that we are in the business of saving lives and with our focus on Summer Safety, we cannot put enough emphasis on how vital these trainings are for everyone.

While taking these classes may be a requirement for some supervisors in their roles at work, we find the best results occur when the entire team has training on basic first aid techniques and life-saving CPR methods.


First of all, no one can ever guarantee that the trained person will be present when an incident occurs.  Accidents and injuries strike when we least expect them, they happen quickly and they can become moments that quickly spiral out-of-control IF calm is not restored and maintained as soon as possible.

Secondly, our instructors cannot tell you how many times our participants tell us they learned basic skills they did not previously know or had learned WRONG INFORMATION and are grateful they now know how to provide PROPER responses!

Thirdly, are we thinking outside the box? Are the teens and young people in your life trained in the basic skills if a situation arises at home, work or school when adults are unable to respond quickly? Maybe the young people you meet are among your customers base. Is everyone responsible for the care of the young people you encounter clear on the techniques for infant and child CPR? 

The list of good reasons to have updated and expert training are endless ... but always remember that TSS provides hands-on, engaging classes that are interesting, fun and engaging!  We have pre-scheduled classes on-going in our Ketchikan location and can schedule to suit your needs at our other locations as well.  

For more information on scheduling or signing up for a First Aid/CPR class, please contact Ginny Clay at: 877-225-1431 or

Current class scheduled: July 11th from 8 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the Ketchikan TSS  training room, 120 Carlanna Lake road, upstairs. Make sure to register!

We offer world-class education and screening services for workplace and community safety.
    120 Carlanna Lake Rd, Ketchikan, AK 99901 * 907-247-1431
   8800 Glacier Hwy #105, Juneau, AK 99801 * 907-523-8402
   501 Main St, Craig, AK 99927 * 877-225-1431 [APPT. ONLY]
   906 Main St, Keokuk, IA 52632 * 319-524-5051
   416-R N 24th St, Quincy, IL 62301 * 217-223-2300 

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