Last updated: January 17, 2022
Looking to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace in Cypress? A drug-free workplace program can help you do exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Many states currently offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
We provide a wide range of drug screening services for your business throughout the Cypress, CA area that help you to screen out new employees who use drugs, 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 perform drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned drug testing centers, USAMDT is available 24/7—and we travel to your workplace to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you receive 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 conducted on time, every time, no matter where your employees are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your employee’s sleep cycle to report to a testing laboratory during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to send an employee off-site for drug testing at a laboratory leaving the crew a man short. We arrive 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 adhere to particular regulations on workplace drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies follow those guidelines when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Cypress businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll also write 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, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is permitted to drive. 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 compliance, however, it’s also used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive employees to have their names added to a random pool. This pool is used to randomly create a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce are 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 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 abuse. 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 an accident at work, drug testing all staff 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 that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Cypress 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 your circumstances.
All test specimens go through an initial screen. 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 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 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 have to disable both the sink and toilet, and place 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 gender.
Additionally, 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 identifies drug use 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 every bit accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as quick, simple, and cost-effective. It offers the smallest window of detection 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 biggest advantage of the mouth swab drug test is that it can be administered 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 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 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 incorporate the test into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test 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 additional 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 passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word soon.
This test requires the administrator to clip 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 bag. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be collected 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 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.