Gordon Trucking has begun drug screening all job applicants via hair samples with the goal of reducing new driver accidents within the first crucial months of employment. The truckload carrier joins a growing list of carriers that perform hair testing under company authority to supplement the minimum US Department of Transportation (DOT)-mandated urine testing requirements.
“Research has shown most accidents occur within the first 90 to 120 days of employment,” said Scott Manthey, vice-president of safety and compliance for Gordon Trucking. “Once a driver makes it through that initial period, the risk of an accident drops dramatically. We feel that a urine test combined with the longer timeframe of a hair test offers one the best possible screening tools.”
The program started in July 2011 with Omega Laboratories Inc and has already shown beneficial results. Of 170 drivers already screened, hair testing has detected 10 positive candidates who would have otherwise been hired.
“Beyond the candidates who have tested positive,” said Manthey, “we also routinely have candidates dismiss themselves from orientation classes once they confirm a hair test will be conducted.”
“While the spread of dual DOT urine and hair testing programs is encouraging, additional reforms need to be implemented as well,” said Manthey. “The proposals for a ‘Drug Test Clearinghouse’ should be expanded to include any drug or alcohol screen that has been medically reviewed, not just those tests mandated by the DOT. Additional training should also be stipulated for all medical review officers and physicians involved in the screening process.”
With more than 2,500 employees and 1,900 trucks, Gordon Trucking is the 22nd-largest truckload carrier in North America and the 64th largest for-hire carrier overall. It offers local, regional, and trans-continental truckload services within the United States and to and from Canada including temperature-controlled and regional heavy-haul service.
For more information, visit www.gordontrucking.com.