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Environmental Health and Safety Blog | EHSWire

September was National Preparedness Month

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Sep 30, 2014 10:14:00 AM

sept_national_preparedness_monthReminder that the DOT is now Requiring Commercial Drivers to Receive Physicals from Certified Medical Examiners

September was National Preparedness Month which was a great time to review your fleet safety. Every year drivers hauling hazardous materials are involved in costly—often deadly—accidents on our highways. As of May 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has required that interstate truck and bus drivers must receive their U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals from a physician listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.  If you are a driver or manage drivers that work for your company, here are four things you should know about these medical certifications. 

  • UPDATE EVERY TWO YEARS: Interstate commercial truck and bus drivers must have a DOT medical examination every two years. This is required in order to receive a medical certificate and renew the driver's CDL. Drivers cannot legally operate a commercial vehicle without an updated medical certificate. 
  • CURRENT CERTIFICATES ARE STILL VALID: If a driver has a current medical certificate, he or she does not have to seek a physician on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners until the expiration date. 
  • THOUSANDS OF DOCTORS AVAILABLE:  The American Trucking Association (ATA) opposed the new requirement due to concerns that there are not enough physicians on the registry, creating an access challenge for truckers. However, FMCSA says 22,000 physicians have already been registered and another 27,000 have started the coursework and should be added to the registry soon. 
  • THOROUGH TESTING:  The physicians on the registry will receive specialized training to look for conditions that affect a person's ability to operate a vehicle, including cardiovascular health, respiratory issues, muscular function, vision and hearing. 

Although this new requirement may present some challenges, the FMCSA believes it will better serve the trucking industry to have trained medical professionals familiar with their specific needs and contribute to a safer environment on the roads for everyone. Additionally, FMCSA will also require physicians to demonstrate competence through periodic training and recertification testing.  Those that fail to maintain federal standards will be removed from the list.

DOT regulations and requirements are often changing and they affect more industries then realized. Emilcott understands it's a challenge companies to keep up with evolving standards. Let our experts ensure your business is in compliance with every aspect of health and safety. Contact us to learn more about how our highly-skilled staff can help your business thrive. 

Topics: Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals, National Preparedness Month, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA

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