Gordon Trucking announced that it has begun drug screening all applicants via hair samples with the goal of reducing new driver accidents within the first crucial months of employment. Gordon joins a growing list of carriers that perform hair testing under company authority to supplement the minimum U.S. Department of Transportation-mandated urine testing requirements.
“Research has shown most accidents occur within the first 90 to 120 days of employment,” says 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. We have concluded that this aids in selecting some of the safest and most professional drivers on the road.”
The program started in July with Omega Laboratories Inc. and already has shown beneficial results, according to Gordon; of the 170 drivers already screened, hair testing has detected 10 positive candidates that otherwise would have been hired. “Beyond the candidates who have tested positive, we also routinely have candidates dismiss themselves from orientation classes once they confirm a hair test will be conducted,” Manthey says.
Other examples of optional policies under company authority currently include drug testing for extended opiates, use of electronic onboard data recorders and sleep apnea screening. “After considerable research, Gordon Trucking concluded that it was our responsibility to raise the bar for driver screening,” Manthey says. “Professional, responsible drivers are a carrier’s best asset. Removing controlled substance abusers from the commercial motor vehicle is a critical part of improving the safety of America’s highways.”