Last updated: January 24, 2022
Trying to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around the Agoura Hills, CA area? A drug testing program can help you do just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
We provide numerous drug testing services for your business throughout Agoura Hills 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 maintaining compliance with DOT regulations 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 screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional drug testing laboratories, we’re available 24/7—and we come to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the advantages without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing is done on time, every time, no matter where your employees are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the staff’s sleep cycle to go to a drug testing laboratory during regular business hours. Never again will you have to send an employee 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 to conduct a drug test
If you are regulated by the DOT, you must adhere to specific regulations in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce mimic these same laws when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Agoura Hills employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll even create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are a number of reasons to conduct workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is allowed on the road. Many employers for the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new employee can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s also common in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive staff to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly generate a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all safety-sensitive employees are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, drivers are entered into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing at various intervals 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
Train your management personnel to spot the signs of substance abuse. If they believe someone is under the influence, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching that employee. The suspected employee must then report for a drug test immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident at work, drug testing all employees involved can help determine where responsibility lies 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 perform drug tests throughout Agoura Hills utilizing several different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for you.
All test samples go through 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 further confirmation testing. The gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test confirms the positive result by identifying the drug and the level contained in the sample.
The industry standard is a urinalysis. (This is currently the only testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you have to disable both the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also be an issue because a test must be conducted by a collector of the same sex.
In addition, the privacy factor also provides an opportunity to attempt to cheat the test by adding adulterants, which creates a negative dillute or positive dillute drug test result, or substituting the specimen entirely. However, technological advances in both testing procedures and lab equipment make it increasingly difficult for dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method can identify drug use from about a half-hour after use up to several weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Addicts can test positive for over 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 than other methods, but is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as quick, simple, and inexpensive. It provides the smallest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The largest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain sight of other employees. The test only requires placing a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it becomes saturated. The entire process rarely takes more than 5 minutes. 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 couple of days.
Because it can detect recent drug use, it’s becoming a popular option 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 testing method offers the same simplicity 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 soon.
This test requires the collector to cut a small (less than 1” wide) section of hair, preferably 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 an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken instead and is tested by volume rather than length. Administrators gather enough hair to equal the size of a cotton ball about an inch in diameter.
Body hair offers a longer detection window than head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head can detect drug use for up to 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.