What is a DOT Physical?

If you work for an employer under a workplace that is deemed “safety-sensitive,” you may be asked to undergo a DOT physical before working or while working. DOT stands for the Department of Transportation, meaning that their job can impact both their own safety, as well as the public's. The federal law requires that a DOT physical be performed before being employed, to ensure that they are physically fit before starting.

Anyone who works in a public setting or overwatches authority such as a commercial truck driver or an airplane attendant would have to undergo a test to ensure they are in good health to work safely.

What to bring

If you are a commercial driver, you need to make sure to bring a complete list of medications and your doctor’s information. If you have trouble seeing or hearing, make sure to bring all aids, such as eyeglasses or hearing aids, to the test to be properly examined. Drivers with diabetes must also bring their most recent lab results and a list of their medical history.

What does it cover?

A DOT physical covers plenty of variables to ensure that the employee is actually adequate to work. During a physical, vision, hearing and blood pressure are checked accordingly. You will be given an eye test to look for proper dilation and appropriate eye movement. If you have macular degeneration, this is the time to tell your employer and doctor. Your hearing will also be evaluated for abnormalities.

A physical exam

A physical exam will also cover a dozen of different categories, such as the lungs, chest, abdomen and other extremities. Your examiner will make sure that everything seems in place and in order. This is a great time to also be examined for other abnormalities, such as cancer or other dangerous infections that could hinder your driving on the road.

How long do certifications last?

Unless there is a problem found, a DOT medical certification is good for two years; people with extreme medical conditions may have their certification shortened to a year in certain cases. It is important to remember to get this certification renewed every two years, as failure to do so could strip your ability to drive in the future.

Urinalysis

A urinalysis may also be required to ensure that no drugs and alcohol are in your system. As a commercial driver, it is important to not have your mental capacity impaired while on the road. You could potentially place yourself and others at a massive risk if you were to be drinking or driving under the influence.

What is next?

If you pass the physical, you will be given a certificate and a copy to pass along to your employer. Although the information will not be sent directly to the employer, the information could be released if they desire. At the end of the day, a DOT test will ensure that a truck driver is competent and physically able to operate a motor vehicle.

It is important to keep up to date with your state’s laws on operating large vehicles too, as they could change without notice.

Are you considering a DOT physical in the New Caney area? Get more DOT physical information at https://tx-urgentcare.com.

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