PACIFIC, Wash., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Gordon Trucking, one of the nation's most reliable truckload carriers, 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 DOT mandated urine testing requirements.
"Research has shown most accidents occur within the first 90-120 days of employment," states 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 2011 with Omega Laboratories, Inc. and has already shown beneficial results. Of the 170 drivers already screened, hair testing has detected 10 positive candidates that would have otherwise been hired. "Beyond the candidates who have tested positive," adds Manthey, "we also routinely have candidates dismiss themselves from orientation classes once they confirm a hair test will be conducted."
Safety-conscious carriers like Gordon Trucking not only follow minimum federal requirements, but often choose to utilize new advances in technology. Once such innovations are proven to be effective, they are often incorporated into future federal policy. Hair testing is just one example of motor carriers raising the bar on safety. Other examples of optional policies under company authority currently include drug testing for extended opiates, use of Electronic On-Board Data Recorders, and sleep apnea screening.
"After considerable research, Gordon Trucking concluded that it was our responsibility to raise the bar for driver screening ," states Manthey.
"While the spread of dual DOT urine and hair testing programs is encouraging, additional reforms need to be implemented as well. 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," asserts Manthey. "Additional training should also be stipulated for all Medical Review Officers and physicians involved in the screening process."
"Professional, responsible drivers are a carrier's best asset," summarizes Manthey. "Removing controlled substance abusers from the commercial motor vehicle is a critical part of improving the safety of America's highways. "
About Gordon Trucking Inc.: With over 2500 employees and 1900 trucks, Gordon Trucking is the 22nd largest truckload carrier in North America and the 64th largest for-hire carrier overall. Gordon Trucking offers local, regional and trans-continental truckload services within the United States and to and from Canada including temperature control and regional heavy haul service. For more information, visit www.gordontrucking.com.