Last updated: January 17, 2022
Want to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around Benicia? Workplace drug testing can help you do exactly that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states currently offer the incentive, and the savings could range from four up to ten percent.
We offer numerous drug screening services in Benicia that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse issue, discourage existing employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while ensuring 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 perform screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned drug testing labs, we are available 24/7—and we come to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you enjoy all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is done on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the night shift’s sleep cycle to go to a testing facility during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to send workers off-site for drug testing at a laboratory leaving your crew short staffed. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform drug testing
If your company is regulated by the DOT, you are required to adhere to specific laws in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce use those laws when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Benicia employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your specific 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 Department of Transportation requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is allowed to get behind the wheel. 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 regulations, however, it’s used 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 generate a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, 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 personnel to identify the signs of substance use. If they suspect an employee is under the influence, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching the 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 staff involved can help determine who is responsible and protect 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 once that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can conduct drug tests throughout Benicia with several different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk to 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 determines 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 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 still a urine drug test. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, easy, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private restroom, and you must disable the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also be a challenge because a test must be performed by a collector of the same sex.
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 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 identifies drug use from about a half-hour after use up to a few weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Habitual 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 a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as quick, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only detects 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 conducted 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 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 few days.
Because it detects 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 alternate 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 simplicity as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day period of detection 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 urine drug test. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to clip 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 used 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 will detect drug use for about 90-days, while hair collected from the body will detect drug use for up to a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.