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Will DOT Approve Hair Testing?

19 Jun 2015

For sure a few years away, but it is possible DOT can approve hair testing for the DOT required drug and alcohol testing program.  Several large trucking companies like JB Hunt and Schneider are currently conducting the proper DOT 5 panel urine test and also the non-DOT hair test.  These companies believe the urine-based drug test is simply not catching chronic drug users and they are probably right.

What do you think about hair testing in the Federal programs –SAMHSA wants to know – send in your comments.

Hair Testing Request for Information by SAMHSA- Updated

In today’s, June 18, 2015 Federal Register, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) republished a Request for Information (RFI) as they work to incorporate hair testing into the type of specimens that can be used for drug tests.  The primary change is to extend the comment period from June 29, 2015 to July 29, 2015.  There is now an additional period of 30 days to submit comments as requested.

As previously stated, comments are welcomed and are being sought so the testing industry and employers are invited to submit their thoughts on the use of hair for testing to SAMHSA.  Please see the notice for instructions on how to submit comments.  Remember that comment period for the RFI is open for an additional 30 days for a total of 60 days.  Comments received after the 60 days may not be considered.  If you are a member of a trade association make sure that your trade association is soliciting comments as those trade association should be making comments to SAMHSA. This is important as DOT has to adopt the guidelines as finalized into their regulated programs as required by law.

As a reminder the addresses to submit comments are as follows:

Electronically: Comments may be submitted electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow ‘‘Submit a comment’’ instructions. 

Regular mail: Comments can be mailed only to the following address: 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,

Attention: Division of Workplace Programs,

1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 7–1029,

Rockville, MD 20857.

Please mail comments in sufficient time for comments to be received before the close of the comment period. 

Express or overnight mail: Comments can be submitted using express or priority mail to the following address only:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,

Attention: Division of Workplace Programs,

1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 7–1029,

Rockville, MD  20850. 

By hand or courier: Comments may also be delivered by hand or using a courier service to the following address, again prior to the close of the comment period: 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,

Attention: Division of Workplace Programs,

1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 7–1029,

Rockville, MD  20850. 

If comments are being delivered by hand to the Rockville address, please call telephone number (240) 276–2600 in advance to schedule your delivery with a staff member.

All interested parties again are encouraged and recommended to make comments in the suggested topics as stated in the notice.  

It is to be noted that comments beyond the scope of the notice can also be submitted. 

Read the full original notice from DHHS – SAMHSA:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/05/29/2015-12743/mandatory-guidelines-for-federal-workplace-drug-testing-programs-request-for-information-regarding

If there are any question please contact this author, Robert C. Schoening.