Last updated: December 6, 2021
Want to create a safe and drug-free workplace in Alpaugh? A drug-free workplace program 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. Several states currently offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers numerous drug testing services in the Alpaugh, California area that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage current 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 areas of your business if you’re not. And we can perform screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned laboratories, we’re here 24/7—and we come to your business to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you enjoy all of the advantages without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is performed on time, every time, no matter where your employees are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the employee’s sleep cycle to go to a drug testing lab during regular business hours. Never again will you have to send a worker off-site for drug testing at a facility leaving the crew a man short. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform a drug test
If your business is regulated by the DOT, you must adhere to particular guidelines on workplace drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce follow these same regulations when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Alpaugh employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your specific 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 DOT requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is allowed to get behind the wheel. 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 Department of Transportation compliance, however, it’s also used 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 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 use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, drivers are placed into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing periodically throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also mandatory.
The DOT requires a urine test and tests for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Train your management staff to spot the signs of substance abuse. If they suspect someone is impaired, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching that employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident on-site, drug testing all employees involved can help identify who is at fault and defend you from legal liability.
Return to duty drug testing
A registered 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 that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout Alpaugh utilizing several different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak with one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for your circumstances.
All test specimens undergo an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies a positive or negative result. Most drug tests are negative and this cost-efficient test saves employers money because no further testing is needed.
Tests registering 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 the urinalysis. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private restroom, and you need to disable both the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present an issue because a test must be performed by an administrator of the same gender.
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 drug users to succeed.
This testing method can identify drugs from about a half-hour of ingestion up to a few weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Regular users 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, but is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as quick, simple, and cost-effective. It offers the shortest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most significant 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 putting a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it is saturated. The entire 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 detects 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 testing method offers the same ease as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day detection window overrides the additional 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 passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision soon.
This test requires the administrator to cut a small (less than 1” wide) amount of hair, preferably from near the base of the scalp, and secure it in a zipper-lock plastic bag. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used 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 offers 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 can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.