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DOT Supervisor Training--A Few Place Where Many Fall Short

Posted by Daniel Feerst on

During a DOT supervisor training course, supervisors learn about the signs and symptoms of alcohol misuse and the signs and symptoms of drug abuse so they can spot these behaviors on the job when employees experience them.

Although supervisors are not able determine with finality whether an employee is under the influence, the education provided to supervisors allows them to document contemporaneously all the information needed to suspect that drugs and alcohol are being consumed, or consumed before starting work.

Most DOT supervisor training courses unfortunately fall short in several key areas. These include education and awareness about the nature of addiction and its cause; dispelling myths and misconceptions about substance abuse in general; and, discussing the broad swath of behaviors and attitudes associated with enabling that cause supervisors to minimize, ignore, and flat out deny what they are seeing in front of them in the way of signs and symptoms.

Even less often discussed in DOT supervisor training are dual relationships between supervisors and employees. These are conflicts of interest in relationships in work settings can undermine the goals of reasonable suspicion training. Examples of dual relationships include the supervisor being personal friends with the employee and drinking with the worker. This makes it extremely difficult to confront the worker later, or at the very least, postpone doing so.

Most DOT supervisor training courses are informative about the signs and symptoms of drug abuse concerning the types of drugs that must be offered in education. But what is the acid test that supervisors have actually grasped what you are trying to tell them. Have plenty of test questions. That's logical, but also make every test question educational so they learn important lessons and dispel myths. Good material will also cause students to indirectly self-diagnosis.

There are courses that teach about the dangers associated with using drugs and alcohol abuse by drivers, but this is not what the U.S. Department of Transportation really needs. The purpose of education is not to focus on the specific industry and the drug and alcohol issues, if any associated with it, but the symptoms of substance use and abuse.

The most effective way for a DOT supervisor training course to be to help employers and employees understand their roles and responsibilities is through handouts, videos, testing, quizzes, and scenarios.Not only do courses teach these responsibilities, they also test to make sure that the employer and employees are capable enough of handling their individual roles.Obviously, a supervisor who cannot effectively practice authority among a team of drivers would not be fit for the role of supervisor.The instructor of a training course can determine problem areas that need to be worked on during training as well.

During a DOT supervisor training, supervisors learn how to deal with potential existence of an employee under the influence.They are taught why abusing is so dangerous to themselves and to others.In the event of drug and alcohol abuse, they are told about programs that they can use to stop abusing.Rehab facilities, counseling, and reducing life stressors are all important for drivers to know about.

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