Last updated: June 27, 2022
Want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace throughout the Caruthers, CA area? A drug-free workplace program can help you accomplish just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Many states currently offer the incentive, and the savings can range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers a wide range of drug screening services in the Caruthers, California area that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, 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 aspects of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional laboratories, we are here 24/7—and we come to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you get all of the advantages without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets performed on time, every time, no matter where your team are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your employee’s sleep cycle to report to a testing lab during normal business hours. Never again will you have to pull staff off-site for a drug test at a facility leaving your crew short staffed. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you conduct drug testing
If your business is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to follow strict guidelines in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce follow those same regulations when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Caruthers businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll even write and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons to perform workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted to get behind the wheel. Many employers for the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT regulations, 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 produce a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce are drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are placed 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 required.
The DOT requires a urine test and tests for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management personnel must be trained to identify substance use. If they believe someone is under the influence, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching that 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 staff involved can help identify who is responsible 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 once that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Caruthers using a variety of different methods, depending on your needs. 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 go through 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 returning a positive result go 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 a urine drug test. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, 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 place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also present an issue because a test must be performed by an administrator of the same sex.
In addition, 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 a few weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Habitual 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 somewhat newer than other methods, but is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as quick, easy, and inexpensive. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing 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 biggest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain view of staff. 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 couple of days.
Because it identifies 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 testing method 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 provides a 90-day period of detection overrides the added cost in the eyes of more and more employers. 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 word soon.
This test requires the collector to cut a small (less than 1” wide) section of hair, ideally from near the base of the scalp, and secure it in a zipper-lock plastic baggie. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some employees may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be collected instead and is tested by volume rather than length. Administrators collect 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 can detect drug use for up to 90-days, while hair collected from the body will detect drug use for up to a year.
The hair test can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.