Last updated: December 5, 2022
Trying to create a safe and drug-free workplace throughout El Centro? A drug-free workplace program can help you accomplish just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides numerous drug screening services for your business around El Centro that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse problem, discourage current staff 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 aspects of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned labs, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we travel to your workplace to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing gets conducted on time, every time, no matter where your employees are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the night shift’s sleep cycle to report to a testing lab during regular business hours. Never again will you have to pull staff off-site for drug testing at a lab leaving your crew a man short. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct a drug test
If you are regulated by the DOT, you must adhere to particular regulations in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies follow those guidelines when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers El Centro 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 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 allowed to get behind the wheel. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies 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 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. This pool is used to randomly generate a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all safety-sensitive staff have been 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 at various intervals 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 staff must be trained to recognize drug abuse. If they suspect someone is under the influence, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching that 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 who is to blame 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 El Centro using a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk with one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens go through an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies a positive or negative result. The majority of drug tests are negative and this cost-efficient test saves employers money because no further testing is needed.
Tests registering 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 sample.
The industry standard is still a urinalysis. (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 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 may also be an issue because a test must be conducted by an administrator of the same gender.
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 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. 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 somewhat newer, but is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as fast, easy, and inexpensive. It offers the smallest window of detection though. Still, it identifies 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 biggest advantage of a mouth swab drug test is that it can be conducted 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 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 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 convenience as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day detection window overrides the additional 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 working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word anytime now.
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 bag. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some employees may have a problem 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 offers a longer detection window compared to head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head can 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.