New Rules for USDOT!

Beginning January 6, 2020 all companies that employ Commercial Drivers with Commercial Drivers License will be required to query the database and report all violations of the USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) drug and alcohol policy. By January 6, 2023, all employer will just use the electronic query of the database as opposed to the manual offline investigations to prior employers and resources. In the interim, both processes will need to be implemented.

Employers will need to register and designate your consortia/third party administrator under your USDOT number (https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/register). There is a charge for queries and the employer should select a plan that best fits their business requirements. All drug and alcohol violations (.04 and higher) must be reported by the close of the third business day after the employer’s knowledge of the violation. Also note that refusal to take an alcohol or drug test must be reported. In addition, the return to work tests will also need to be reported.

All current employees will be required to be queried against the data base on an annual basis. However, any query of the data base will require a consent from the driver. The sample format for the consent is listed at https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/Resource/Index/Sample-Limited-Consent-Form

To learn more about the program please refer to https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/Learn or contact:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1200 NEW JERSEY AVENUE, SE
WASHINGTON, DC 20590
855-368-4200

The Southern Agency is pleased to assist you in any way!

When To Get A Copy Of A Driver’s License 

Be aware that it is not legal to obtain a copy of the applicant’s driver’s license or any other identification at the pre-hire phase because it includes information that cannot be used in the hiring process, such as the applicant’s date of birth. This information is to be obtained only after the employee has accepted the job offer and no later than their first day of employment. 

NOT ALL INSURANCE POLICIES ARE EQUAL!

This year we picked up a contractor that performs 90% of his work on residential properties. Look was lurking inside his old policies! An exclusion that made his general liability worthless! (And of course we fixed it!)

If you are a business owner and looking for a second opinion on your insurance, please call me at (423) 504-4647. 

Derek Wirz

Changes Must Occur

Many in the human resources profession say “hire for attitude and train for skill.” However, the employer must also include the applicant’s aptitude and integrity. Some employers ignore the proper hiring process because they “like” someone or need to place a warm body in a position. The employer with an undesirable and costly workers’ compensation program cannot expect a better outcome if they continue to hire and train the way they have always done in the past. Changes must occur!

Insured Home Builder Warranties made easy!

We highly recommend to our Home Builder clients to transfer the risk of structural warranties to an insurance company. We represent Professional Warranty Service Corporation, pwsc.com, and would like to share information on how you may apply for this excellent program!

Professional Warranty Service Corporation – introduction from Insurance TechKNOWLEDGEy, LLC on Vimeo.

Contact Derek Wirz at 423-504-4647 to set an appointment and discuss your risk.

Eliminate Confusion

Eliminate confusion by educating employees and management on your company’s Workers Compensation procedures.  Are safety programs available and attendance well documented? Have pre-injury preparations been discussed by upper management? Is your panel of physicians filled out correctly and posted properly? Does each employee know who to contact in case of an injury? These processes need to be a priority in your business. 

If you need advice, contact Derek Wirz at 423–504–4647.

Are you prepared?


Obviously in traumatic situations the first phone call should be to 911.  However, when an employee has signs of physical distress always err on the side of caution and call 911 to have proper medical responses. The last thing you want an employee to suffer a heart attack or stroke from signs that you may have missed. 

Please call me if I may assist you and your company. 

Derek Wirz

423-504-4647