The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has certified the Salt Lake-based Northwest Toxicology under the mandatory guidelines for federal workplace drug testing programs.

Department certification is a prerequisite for laboratories performing testing on many employees impacted by the legislation, said Mark S. Arnim, company president.Public and private sector employees are affected by the rulings including those working for Department of Defense contractors and several divisions in the Department of Transportation. The divisions are the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Coast Guard and Urban Mass Transit.

Arnim said the strict certification program has become the gold standard of excellence for laboratories performing occupational drug testing. Northwest is the only laboratory in the Western United States certified by DHHS and the DOD for such testing.

Northwest tests about 160,000 samples annually from commercial, military and federal clients from Puerto Rico to Alaska.