Generating Plant Access Requirements
Identification Requirements for Site Access
Contract workers attempting to access Southern Company Generation facilities must show, at a minimum, 2 forms of identification and must be positively identified in order to access the facility.
Contract workers must present an unexpired, "official" state or federal identification credential, which includes the individual's picture AND an *original social security card, current employer provided W-4 or W-2 form. Any document used to verify the individual's social security number must show their full social security number. Plant security/ plant management may deny documentation used to provide proof of SSN if they feel document is not valid (ex. - handwritten W-4's).
*Laminated Social Security cards will not be accepted as an official document if the card states on the back "not valid if laminated." Lamination of such cards renders them invalid. Metal or plastic reproductions of Social Security cards are not acceptable.
Drug Testing, Alcohol and Background Investigation Requirements for Site Access
Contractors working at Southern Company generating plants (non-nuclear) must comply with the Southern Company Generation Program for Drug, Alcohol and Background Testing presented in the contract and on this website.
This program requires that Contractors use designated "Providers". For independent contractors working on non-nuclear plant sites, Drug and Alcohol Testing must be done by Alere Toxicology Services. All Background Investigations must be done by Yale Associates, Inc. Testing requirements will be communicated to the contractor by Supply Chain Management or by each plant requiring services.
Contractors shall know their contract and upon contract award shall also be responsible for inquiring about drug, alcohol, and background investigations required for site access.
The contractor should discuss testing arrangements and testing methods with their plant contact and then proceed to set up an account with the designated Provider. The Risk I Drug Screen and Background Investigation Toolkit for Southern Company Generation Contractors provides the contact information for the Providers and basic program information. The Providers will set up the account and give the contractor access to the database to view results. A list of approved collectors/ clinics will also be provided.
Contractor must have a renewal drug screen every 12 months. Background checks, if required, must be renewed every 12 months. Alcohol testing is only required under suspicion, post-accident or reasonable cause situations.
Authorization forms must be filled out by the contractor and given to the collector/clinic each time drug testing is performed. Please make sure the form includes the correct facility number and plant site location. Proper completion of this form will ensure that all appropriate information is used for testing, billing, and reporting.
All donors are required to show valid photo identification to the collector before a test will be performed. All donors must provide their full Social Security Number in order to take a drug screen.
There is a 3 hour time limit for contract workers to provide a specimen. If a specimen is not provided in 3 hours, it will be considered a refusal to test, which will be treated as a positive. If there is a medical reason as to why the donor is not able to provide a specimen, the donor may contact Alere's Medical Review Officer at 1-800-526-9341.
All collections must be "observed", except in the state of Florida.
Fitness for Duty (Non-Negative as a result of prescription)
Project Security Rules state "I agree to report to my employer any prescribed medication, any over-the-counter medication, or any substances taken which could adversely affect my ability to perform the essential functions of my job safely and efficiently." Contractor management shall provide Southern Company plant representative with the "Contractor Fitness-for-Duty Prescription Letter", at receipt of Non-Negative drug test result.
Contractor employees with non-negative drug tests as result of a prescription medication will not be allowed onsite until contractor management produces "Contractor Fitness-for-Duty Prescription Letter" (Subject to the conditions of the PHMA agreement). The MRO's confirmation of prescription medication does not relieve contract management of their responsibility to provide "Contractor Fitness-for-Duty Prescription Letter".
If the MRO's review of the non-negative test, results in a positive confirmation, the worker will be removed from site and barred from Southern Company property.
Documentation used to evaluate contract employees ability to safely perform his/her duties while taking prescription medication shall be readily available at the site until the completion of work. Southern Company reserves the right to conduct audits at any time during the term of the Contract to determine Contractor's compliance with this process.
Southern Company has developed this process to ensure a safe work environment for construction, maintenance, and other contracts where the safety of our employees, the public or our facilities may be at risk.
MOST Program required for Drug Testing Union Boilermakers
Boilermaker MOST program pays for drug testing for union boilermakers under the Southern Company/ Alere testing program requirements. The MOST program requires that a different Southern Company/ Alere authorization form and chain of custody form will be used. The MOST program will purchase quick test kits and chain of custody forms from Alere and forward those to contractors utilizing union boilermakers. Contractors utilizing union boilermakers must contact MOST to make arrangements to receive supplies. Results reporting will also be available through MOST.
Contractors utilizing union boilermakers should contact MOST in Kansas City at 913-281-5036 to order supplies and to obtain access to get the results on-line. After setting up access, contractors can call 1-800-432-5765 to get the results. MOST has a unique account/facility number that will be used on the chain of custody forms for billing.
Drug test results will be available to the contractor through MOST.
IMPACT Program required for Drug Testing Union Ironworkers
Ironworker IMPACT program pays for drug testing of union Ironworkers under the Southern Company/ Alere testing program requirements. A different Southern Company/ Alere authorization form and chain of custody form will be used for these tests. The IMPACT program will purchase quick test kits and chain of custody forms from Alere and forward those to contractors utilizing union Ironworkers. Contractors utilizing union Ironworkers must contact IMPACT to make arrangements to receive supplies. Results will only be available through IMPACT.
Contractors using union Ironworkers should contact the IMPACT Program Administrator at 1-800-985-0200 to order supplies and to obtain test results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Has Southern Company removed Kroll from provider list?
A. Yes, we use Alere Toxicology for drug testing and Yale Associates for background screening.
Q. Do subcontractors need an account with Alere?
A. Yes. Subcontractors need their own account with Alere to ensure accuracy in billing and reporting. Subcontractors testing under Contractors account should have prior approval by plant contact.
Q. If a contractor works at multiple SoCo plants, how many accounts do they need with Alere?
A. Contractors working for SoCo should have one account with Alere, but will have a "facility" number for each plant where they work. This helps with billing, reporting, and tracking. Only one account setup fee of $50 will be charged.
Q. Can a SoCo employee act as an "observer" during collection?
A. No. Only the collector's employee should serve as an "observer". Observer exceptions shall be granted by Operations Compliance. "Observed" collections are required except in the State of Florida.
Q. How often do drug tests have to be renewed?
A. Drug tests have to be renewed every 6 months.
Q. Who should the contractor contact if they want to dispute the validity of the information found on a background investigation?
A. Yale will handle dispute resolutions. If a contractor employee does not dispute the information found, but wants to work for us in spite of that, their employer (contractor supervision) should contact Operations Compliance.
Q. Do contract workers have to provide their full social security number for drug testing and background investigations?
A. Yes. A worker's full social security number is required for drug testing and background investigations. If a full SSN is not provided, a test will not be performed and site entry should not be allowed.
Q. How do I get access to Alere database to view drug tests?
A. Access to the Alere's database will be granted through Alere Toxicology. Contact Alere at 1-800-433-3823
Q. How do I get access to the Yale database to view Background Investigations?
A. Access to Yale's database will be granted through Yale. Contact Yale at 1-800-536-5772 ext. 4807.
Q. Who should the contractor notify when a worker tests Non-Negative on a quick-test?
A. The Contractor must fax the Chain of Custody form to Operations Compliance at 205-257-7605 and plant management shall be notified.
Q. My company works at multiple Southern Company plants, how many accounts do I need with Alere?
A. Contractors working for SoCo should have one account with Alere, but should have a "facility" number for each plant. This helps with billing, reporting, and tracking.
Q. How do I know which collectors/clinics to use for drug testing?
A. Alere will provide you with a list of collectors that can be used for testing at the plant site, as well as a list of clinics for testing away from the plant site. This list is also on Alere's database, which you will be given access to when you setup your account. NOTE: You should discuss testing arrangements with your contact at the plant. Some plants do testing at the plant site; some plants prefer for you to use the nearby clinic.
Q. How do I know which contract workers need a background investigation?
A. The level of testing required for contract workers will be communicated to you by your plant contact and/or the Supply Chain Management organization. Please discuss testing requirements with the appropriate people at Southern Company before you initiate background investigations.
Safety Orientation Requirements for Generation Contractors
Southern Company has eliminated the requirement for Generation contractors to complete PowerSafe Training. It is still the contractual responsibility of all Generation Contractors to ensure their employees have met all required (1) basic safety and (2) site- specific training. Southern Company expects that all contractors will maintain a high standard of safety. Contractors can refer to their contracts or contract administrator with questions regarding required safety training.
The contractor is responsible for communicating the designated Southern Company Generation Clearance Procedure Awareness Training or Lockout Tagout Procedure Awareness Training to their employees. An additional resource, Lockout Tagout Training Video, has also been developed for use by contractors. The Southern Company Generation Clearance Procedure (Rev 5, Rev 6) and Lockout Tagout Procedure are lock-out/tag-out programs in compliance with OSHA 1910.147 Lock-Out/Tag-Out and OSHA 1910.269 (the OSHA Standard Governing Electric Utility Work). These procedures provide a system of accountability for non-plant personnel and maintains communications between working parties. Strict adherence to the designated clearance/lockout tagout procedure is a condition of employment for everyone working on plant equipment at Southern Company generation facilities. Violation of procedure will lead to being barred from all Southern Company facilities. The applicable Clearance Procedure or Lockout Tagout Procedure will be communicated to contractors during the pre-bid and/or plant safety orientation. The Southern Company contract administrator will provide additional details.
Contractor Orientation Videos
Switchyard Access Awareness Training
For Contractors working in and around Switchyards, they are responsible for communicating the designated Southern Company Generation Switchyard Access Awareness Training to their employees. This training defines the process for safe access into generating plant switchyards and substations located on a Generation site.