The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require DOT physicals for safety-sensitive transportation employees. These medical exams ensure truck drivers are in good health and can safely operate a commercial vehicle. Motor carriers must keep up-to-date records of their drivers’ DOT physical exams and test results.
It is important to understand what DOT physicals are, why they are necessary, and how trucking companies can maintain proper records.
What Are DOT Physicals?
A DOT physical is a medical exam that determines if a commercial driver is healthy enough to perform their job duties safely. Drivers will need to complete an exam before the start of their employment in the trucking industry. Additional exams must be performed every 24 months. When the driver has a health condition that requires regular monitoring, a DOT medical examiner may require more frequent physicals. For example, this may apply to drivers with high blood pressure, insulin-controlled diabetes, or a variety of other conditions.
The physical includes vision and hearing tests, a blood pressure and pulse rate check, a urinalysis to check for underlying conditions, and a full physical examination. The certified medical examiner will consider the driver’s general appearance and overall health. They will also examine the eyes, ears, lungs and chest, heart, spine, extremities, and other areas of the body to ensure that the driver’s health is up to FMCSA standards.
After the DOT physical examination, the provider will fill out several forms that the driver and their employer will need to keep on record. As an employer, these forms must be stored according to DOT regulations. At HDS, we can streamline your DOT paperwork and securely store your files electronically.
Why Are DOT Physicals Necessary?
The FMCSA and DOT outline clear regulations for motor carriers to help ensure that those traveling on our nation’s roadways are as safe as possible. DOT physicals are an important aspect of trucking safety. They protect not only the drivers themselves, but also others on the road.
How Can Trucking Companies Stay Compliant?
Motor carriers are required to keep driver qualification files. This is necessary when you first hire a new driver. You will also need to add updates, including copies of their most recent DOT physical results. If you do not have records for these medical exams, your company may be subject to fines if you are audited by the DOT.
HDS Safety Services
WE Audit and Manage DOT Physical Records
At HDS Safety Services, we offer driver qualification file management. We organize files and track expiration dates for DOT physicals, driver’s licenses, annual reviews, and more. This makes it easy for you to stay up-to-date with renewing and updating your files. We update you weekly so you know you are compliant and prepared in the case of an audit. In the event that you do get audited, this will streamline the process.