Fleets Push FMCSA for Drug and Alcohol Hair-Testing

shutterstock_121178299smThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has protocols in place for drug screening. However, this only requires a urine sample. Many fleet managers are pushing for an exemption that allows them to use hair samples over urine samples.

The current language allows for urine and hair testing, but the hair testing is often secondary to the urine test. Not all fleet managers can afford to run tests on both urine and hair samples. The managers contend that habitual drug users know how to work the system to pass the urine test, but their hair holds the truth of their drug history.

These same managers also want FMCSA regulations to allow them to share these results with other trucking and transportation companies. As it stands, companies cannot disclose that a job candidate or former employee failed their drug test on their hair. These fleet managers may soon get their way. Earlier this year, FMCSA proposed a drug and alcohol testing clearinghouse. This new regulation would require FMSCA-regulated transportation companies to record employee drug and alcohol violations in a national database.

Transportation companies are pushing for hair testing for the same reason FMCSA is considering a national database for truckers’ drug and alcohol violations: to reduce the number of drivers on the road operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence. More to the point, they want to improve road safety for all drivers. To stay up to date with the latest federal regulations, contact us.