Do Your Employees Need DOT Physicals?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) requires anyone with a commercial learner’s permit or driver’s license to obtain a valid DOT card, also called a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. A driver must also carry a DOT card if driving a commercial vehicle or a vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds, even if the driver does not have a commercial license. The only way to obtain a valid DOT card is to have an examination by a provider. Physicians Now offers DOT physical examinations in a convenient location, making it easier for employers to meet the requirements of the FMCSA. If any of your employees need urgent care, Rockville Maryland providers are also able to provide medical screenings and treatment for many illnesses and injuries.
Health History Review
The provider completing the DOT examination must complete a detailed report documenting the driver’s health history and results of several tests. Your employees should expect to answer questions about recent injuries and illnesses, alcohol use, and drug use. The provider will also ask if applicants have any of the following:
• Brain injuries
• Chronic bronchitis
• Liver disease
• Hearing loss
• Heart disease
• History of heart attack
• High blood pressure
• Psychiatric disorders
• Missing limbs
• Chronic low back pain
• Spinal injuries
The provider will also ask if the employee has a history of dizziness, fainting, or loss of consciousness. If the employee has epilepsy, diabetes, or high blood pressure, the examiner will note any medications used to treat these conditions. Employees should also be prepared to list all prescription and over-the-counter medications they use.
Once the examiner reviews the employee’s health history, it is time for the vision, hearing, and blood pressure tests. To qualify for a DOT card, a driver must have at least 20/40 vision in each eye, with or without corrective lenses. The examiner will also check the employee’s peripheral vision. Instruct your employees to wear their corrective lenses to the urgent care center in Rockville Maryland, especially if they wear contact lenses. Those who wear contacts must be able to demonstrate they have adapted well to their use. The provider will also note whether the employee is able to distinguish among different traffic signals.
The Department of Transportation has very specific requirements for the hearing exam used to determine if someone is eligible for a DOT card. The examiner must check if the employee wears a hearing aid during the test and, if so, determine if the hearing aid is needed to meet the requirements for the test. Applicants must be able to hear a forced whisper from at least five feet away. The average hearing loss in the applicant’s better ear can be no more than 40 decibels.
Blood Pressure and Pulse
The provider conducting the DOT exam must take at least two blood pressure readings to confirm the findings. A driver is qualified for a DOT card if his or her blood pressure is less than 140/90. The provider will also check the applicant’s pulse to determine if it is regular or irregular.
All applicants must have a urinalysis to qualify for a DOT card. If there is protein, glucose, or blood in the urine, applicants may need additional tests to determine if there are any underlying medical problems that would prevent them from driving commercial vehicles safely.
A comprehensive physical examination is also required to meet the requirements of the FMCSA. The presence of a medical condition will not necessarily disqualify someone from receiving a DOT card, but the condition must be controlled adequately. If treatment is available, the driver may be advised to correct the condition. During the examination, the provider will note the applicant’s general appearance and check the following:
• Eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and throat
• Heart, lungs, and chest
• Abdominal muscles and organs
• Genitourinary system
• Musculoskeletal system and spine
• Neurological function
• Function of extremities
Applicants who meet all of the standards qualify for a DOT card that expires in two years. Some applicants need periodic evaluation after the initial exam, so the provider will recommend giving DOT cards that expire within three months, six months, or one year. If the applicant does not meet DOT standards, the provider will indicate this on the report.
Quality Care and Convenience
Physicians Now offers DOT examinations and other employer services for Maryland companies. Save time and money by sending your employees to our urgent care center for their DOT examinations. One of our experienced providers will conduct a thorough examination and complete the report required by the Department of Transportation. This will help you streamline your hiring process and stay in compliance with all the requirements of the FMCSA.
Call (301) 519-0902 now to speak with us about DOT Physicals