HHS delays approval of hair testing for drug use by truckers

It may not be possible for companies in Pennsylvania and throughout the country to use hair testing to detect drug use because the Department of Health and Human Services has failed to issue guidelines. In December 2015, a bill was passed that set a Dec. 4, 2016 deadline for the HHS to set guidelines, but the department failed to act. As a result, the Department of Transportation has not been able to make it a testing method that is federally approved.

On May 18, five senators wrote to HHS requesting action on the guidelines. The American Trucking Association said the delay was having a serious impact on the trucking industry. Hair testing is considered superior to testing for drugs with a urine sample, and its use has also been recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Members of Congress have made other efforts to push the use of hair testing. In April, seven representatives requested that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allow a number of companies to start using only hair samples for drug tests.

The use of drugs could be one reason that a truck driver might cause an accident although there are a number of other reasons as well. For example, a truck driver might be suffering from fatigue. The driver might be driving carelessly, speeding, distracted or driving under the influence of alcohol. Occupants of other vehicles could receive catastrophic injuries, and they may want to meet with an attorney to see how they can seek compensation from the at-fault driver for the losses that they have sustained.