Companies Performing More Thorough Drug Testing for Truck Drivers
The trucking industry is one occupation that has a backlog of open positions to fill, and not enough applicants to fill all of the available positions. Experienced drivers will generally have their choice of where they want to work.
With new rules being placed on truck drivers and trucking companies by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are more consequences for employers that hire a driver that is a safety risk. Repeated trucking accidents by drivers could force a fleet to be ordered off of the road while changes are made that would ensure motorist safety.
Many companies perform extensive background checks on their applicants because they cannot take the chance of being put out of business due to hiring unsafe drivers. There are procedures that can guide the employers so that they know what to look for when screening applicants.
One company recently received a lot of media attention due to its method of drug testing. The majority of companies simply give their drivers a urine test to check for the presence of drugs or alcohol in the driver’s system.
However, one trucking fleet has started testing applicants’ hair for drug use. Hair can store drug use information for much longer than a urine test. In fact, the company announced that in 4 years of hair testing its applicants, it discovered 1,411 of 38,000 applicants failed the hair drug test. Of those 1,411, 90 percent would have passed a urine test.
The FMCSA is being asked to implement stronger drug testing standards for truck drivers. Currently, the urine test is all that is required of employers. Since so many potential applicants can pass this test despite drug use, the agency may need to make changes in the future to help make roads safer.
Source: UPI.com “Trucking company using hair to drug test” July 30, 2012.