On Thursday, November 7, 2013 Joe Reilly, Senior Compliance Officer for USA Mobile Drug Testing presented at the Florida Trucking Association 2013 FTA Educational Institute in St. Augustine, Florida. Joe discussed current trending regarding substance abuse and safety in the trucking industry. The discussion focused on efforts to allow hair testing in the DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing Program and the recent mandate by Congress to create a drug and alcohol clearinghouse which would track safety sensitive regulated employees who have previously tested positive on DOT drug or alcohol tests. USA Mobile Drug Testing supports these efforts for hair testing and for the clearinghouse.
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., have introduced federal legislation this week designed to enable trucking companies to more effectively prevent lifestyle drug users from gaining employment as commercial truck drivers.
Bills in the senate and house would require the Department of Health and Human Services to recognize hair testing as an optional method to comply with the Department of Transportation drug testing requirements for truck drivers. Under current federal regulations, only urinalysis is recognized by HHS for mandatory pre-employment drug and alcohol exams of truck driver applicants.
The Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, also known as The Trucking Alliance has pointed out that the number of truck driver applicants who pass a pre-employment urine test but fail a subsequent hair test is alarmingly high. As a result, many trucking companies have turned to hair testing, which is more expensive, but more effective in identifying drug users who apply for jobs as truck drivers.
Congress mandated the creation of a drug and alcohol clearinghouse last year and the Department of Transportation is expected to have the clearinghouse operational by next year. This database will identify any person who has previously tested positive on a pre-employment drug exam required by the federal government before being employed as a truck driver. However, unless HHS recognizes hair testing as an approved methodology, no positive hair test results can be submitted to the national clearinghouse database. This legislation would enable those drug test results to be reported to the clearinghouse.