Trucking Alliance Pushes for Hair-Testing Exemption - Safety & Compliance

Trucking Alliance Pushes for Hair-Testing Exemption – Security & Compliance



Proponents of hair-testing say it may possibly detect drug-users who might cheat on urine assessments or just abstain lengthy sufficient to move.

Picture: Psychemedics


The Trucking Alliance says the Federal Motor Service Security Administration has miscontrued its petition for an exemption from the Federal Motor Service Security Rules that may permit employers to incorporate optimistic hair assessments below the definition of “precise data,” which might require such outcomes be reported to the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and to inquiring carriers.

The Trucking Alliance is a safety-oriented group of motor carriers, together with Cargo Transporters; Dupré Logistics; Frozen Meals Categorical; J.B. Hunt Transport; KLLM Transport Providers; Knight Transportation; Maverick Transportation; Schneider; Swift Transportation; U.S. Xpress; and Might Trucking Firm.

In its discover for feedback, the company mentioned that it lacks the statutory authority to grant the Trucking Alliance’s request for exemption till the Division of Well being and Human Providers has taken sure motion. Nevertheless, it nonetheless requested public touch upon the exemption software, as required by statute.

FMCSA drug and alcohol use and testing rules have been licensed by the Omnibus Transportation Worker Testing Act of 1991, which requires that DOT observe the Division of Well being and Human Providers’ (HHS) Obligatory Tips for technical and scientific testing points.

“Thus, whereas DOT has discretion regarding many elements of the rules governing testing within the transportation industries’ regulated packages, DOT and FMCSA should observe the HHS Obligatory Tips for the laboratory requirements and procedures used for regulated testing,” FMCSA mentioned in its request for feedback. “Subsequently, permitting the usage of a non-DOT drug check to function the premise for an precise data report below 49 CFR half 382 is opposite to OTETA.”

HHS motion on this difficulty is lengthy overdue. Within the 2015 Fixing America’s Floor Transportation Act (FAST Act) Congress required that HHS, not later than one yr after the act, difficulty these hair-testing pointers. The FAST Act additionally amended OTETA by including a requirement that FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing rules allow the usage of hair testing as an appropriate various to urine testing for pre-employment drug testing, and for random drug testing when the motive force was topic to pre-employment hair testing.

HHS lastly issued proposed Obligatory Tips for Federal Office Drug Testing Utilizing Hair (HMG) in September 2020 (85 FR 56108) which have been roundly denounced by proponents. HHS has nonetheless not issued a remaining model of the HMG.

On Sept. 21, because the remark interval was drawing to a detailed on the petition, the Trucking Alliance wrote to FMCSA Deputy Administrator Robin Hutcheson (who can be at present appearing administrator).

The Alliance argued that FMCSA has established precedent for granting this petition, referring to FMCSA’s printed steerage earlier this yr relating to an employer’s “precise data” of a truck driver’s unlawful drug use. FMCSA defined that if a truck driver receives a quotation to look in court docket for driving below the affect, the motive force’s employer should instantly report the DUI quotation to the Clearinghouse, “no matter conviction.”

“This DUI reporting requirement is appropriately meant to stop drivers from working a industrial automobile for an additional firm whereas the DUI fees are pending,” the letter famous. “That is exactly what members of The Trucking Alliance purpose to realize with this Petition – to stop drivers who fail a hair drug check from working a industrial automobile for an additional firm till he/she completes rehabilitation.”

It additionally identified that FMCSA accepts non-regulated, subjective info as “precise data,” corresponding to if somebody on the firm overhears the motive force speaking about his/her drug use.

As well as, the Trucking Alliance mentioned FMCSA misconstrued the petition. “The petition doesn’t search to bypass forthcoming HHS drug testing pointers. If the petition is granted, Trucking Alliance carriers will proceed to make the most of each hair testing and a urinalysis till HHS points a remaining rule. The petition merely seeks to offer equal standing to an accredited hair drug check as FMCSA does to a DUI quotation and different non-DOT examples of drug use.”

Feedback should be obtained on or earlier than Sept. 23, 2022, and could also be submitted by the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.rules.gov.



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