Last updated: January 17, 2022
Want to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around Earlimart? 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’ comp insurance. Several states currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
We provide a wide range of drug testing services around the Earlimart, 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 DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other areas of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing facilities, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we travel to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you get all of the advantages without dealing 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 located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your night shift’s sleep cycle to visit a drug testing facility during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to send staff off-site for a drug test at a facility leaving your 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 you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to adhere to strict guidelines in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce mimic these same regulations when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Earlimart employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll also 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 an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted to drive. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new hire begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation 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. This pool is used to randomly produce 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 staff are drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are entered 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 looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management staff must be trained to identify substance abuse. If they suspect an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching the employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident at work, drug testing all employees involved can help identify where responsibility lies and defend 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 had a positive drug test result. 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 Earlimart using several different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test samples 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 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 a urinalysis. (This is currently the only testing 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 need to disable the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also be an issue 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 even 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 of ingestion up to a few 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, yet is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as fast, easy, and inexpensive. It provides the smallest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects 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 staff. 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 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 identifies 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 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 test offers the same convenience 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 employers. 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 word soon.
This test requires the collector 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 bag. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some employees may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be collected 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 compared to 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.