Last updated: January 24, 2022
Looking to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace in the Acton, CA area? Drug testing can help you do just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the discounts can range from four up to ten percent.
We provide a wide range of drug screening services throughout the Acton, CA area that help you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse issue, discourage existing employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while ensuring DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other parts of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional drug testing facilities, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we travel to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get all of the advantages without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing gets performed on time, every time, no matter where your team are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the night shift’s sleep cycle to report to a testing center during regular business hours. Never again will you have to send employees off-site for drug testing at a facility leaving the crew short staffed. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform a drug test
If your business is regulated by the DOT, you are required to adhere to particular regulations on workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce use these regulations when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Acton employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your unique needs. We’ll even develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are a number of reasons to perform workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is allowed on the road. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s common in other industries too. The department requires all members of a safety-sensitive workforce to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly create a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive employees have been drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are entered into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing regularly throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also mandatory.
The DOT requires a urine test and looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management staff must be trained to identify drug abuse. If they believe someone is impaired, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching the employee. The suspected employee must then report for a drug test immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all employees involved can help identify who is to blame and protect you from legal liability.
Return to duty drug testing
A certified SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) works with the driver, or other safety-sensitive employees, who have tested positive for drugs. The SAP signs them off as able to return to work after the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout Acton utilizing a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens undergo an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies a positive or negative result. The majority of drug tests are negative and this cost-efficient test saves employers money because no further testing is needed.
Tests returning a positive result are sent on for confirmation testing. The gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test confirms the positive result by identifying the drug and the level contained in the specimen.
The industry standard is still the urinalysis. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you must disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also be a challenge because a test must be conducted by a collector of the same gender.
Additionally, the privacy factor also provides an opportunity to attempt to cheat the test by adulterating the specimen, which creates a negative dillute or positive dillute drug test result, or even substituting the specimen entirely. However, technological advances in both testing procedures and lab equipment make it increasingly difficult for drug users to succeed.
This testing method identifies drug use from about a half-hour after use up to several weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Regular users can test positive for up to thirty days. You can learn more here: How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?
Employers receive test results in a few days.
Mouth swab / oral fluid
This method of drug testing is relatively newer, but is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, easy, and cost-effective. It offers the shortest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only detects drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most powerful advantage of the mouth swab drug test is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain view of other employees. The test only requires putting a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it becomes saturated. The process usually takes less than. Despite the claims we hear many drug users make, the only way to pass a mouth swab drug test is to not use drugs.
Results are received in just a few days.
Because it identifies recent drug use, it’s becoming a popular choice for random drug testing. In fact, the HHS (The Health and Human Services Administration) approved the use of this test as an alternative drug testing method for all federally mandated employers as of January 1, 2020.
At this time, it’s uncertain whether or not the DOT will approve this method into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test offers the same convenience as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day period of detection overrides the added cost in the eyes of more and more business owners. In fact, the DOT officially requested that the hair test replace the urinalysis. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word anytime now.
This test requires the collector to cut a small (less than 1” wide) amount of hair, ideally from near the base of the scalp, and secure it in a zipper-lock plastic baggie. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some staff may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken instead and is tested by volume instead of length. Administrators gather enough hair to equal the size of a cotton ball about an inch in diameter.
Body hair provides a longer detection window than head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head will detect drug use for about 90-days, while hair collected from the body will detect drug use for about a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.