FMCSA has opened the proposed rulemaking to public comments through February 21
According to a trucks.com report, six large trucking companies have asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to approve the use of hair analysis for drug screen tests among truck drivers. If allowed, the hair screening tests would replace urinalysis testing as a pre-employment requirement for tractor-trailer drivers.
The truck companies behind the request include J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., Schneider National Carriers, Inc., Werner Enterprises, Inc., Knight Transportation, Inc., Dupre Logistics, Inc., and Maverick Transportation.
Truck Companies Say Hair Drug Testing Is Just as Good as Urinalysis
Per FMCSA rules, trucking companies are required to screen potential truck driver employees for drug use before hiring them. The companies making the request claim that data shows hair analysis for drug screenings is just as reliable as traditional drug screening methods, which include analyzing an individual’s urine.
One carrier, Schneider, even claims that a side-by-side comparison of hair analysis versus urinalysis reveals that testing the hair results in a positive rate that is four times higher than the positive rate for urinalysis.
Opponents Say Hair Testing Is Unreliable
However, not everyone agrees. According to the president of the National WorkRights Institute, hair analysis is “unreliable,” making it a bad option to replace urinalysis. He added that hair does, in fact, show the presence of drugs, however, “the problem is that hair testing can’t distinguish between the drug metabolizing inside the hair versus outside contamination in the air that gets into a driver’s hair.”
He also claimed it is difficult to clean the hair thoroughly enough to prevent outside contamination that can lead to false positives. Interestingly, some research has shown that individuals with darker hair colors also have a higher rate of false positives for drug testing.
In other words, opponents of the proposed rule change claim that a truck driver might test positive for drug use even in cases where his or her hair absorbed a drug simply by being around someone who was smoking a banned substance.
Amy Witherite explains, “The FMCSA has opened the proposed rulemaking to public comments through February 21, which gives interested parties the ability to comment on whether they believe hair testing for drug screenings should be permitted in the trucking industry.”
If you have been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, don’t wait to speak to an experienced truck accident lawyer about your truck accident injury case.
Contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible for more information about your rights and options. Learn more about 1-800-Truck-Wreck® Lawyers if you case is in Texas or Georgia.