Refrigerated carrier C.R. England and Omega Laboratories are launching a new drug screening partnership that adds hair sample testing of driver applicants to C.R. England’s pre-employment drug screening process.

“The industry-wide impact of being able to conduct a pre-employment drug test that reviews a longer screening history is a tremendous improvement over the current federally-mandated requirements," said Dustin England, vp-safety and compliance for C.R. England.

"With hair testing, we are able to detect months of time rather than the handful of days checked with standard urine tests,” he said. “We found our hair testing positive rate was over three times higher than the required DOT urine test alone."

During a pilot test of the new drug-screening program, England said both urine and hair samples were collected from driver applicants and, after a year of research, the company was convinced that hair testing was a superior methodology for pre-employment drug screening compared to urine testing alone.

He said that out of 2,000 candidates in the pilot study, over 150 tested positive who otherwise would have passed the current urine test mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). In total, over 11% of the applicants tested positive with hair testing in C.R. England’s drug-screening pilot study, versus 2.8% testing positive via DOT urine testing alone.

England stressed, however, that the carrier will continue to conduct standard urine drug testing for all applicants as required by the DOT.