Last updated: January 17, 2022
Want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace throughout Goleta? A drug-free workplace program can help you accomplish 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 could range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers numerous drug screening services for your business throughout Goleta that help you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse issue, discourage current 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 areas of your company if you’re not. And we can perform testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional drug testing laboratories, we are available 24/7—and we come to your location to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you receive all of the benefits without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing is performed on time, every time, no matter where your team are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the staff’s sleep cycle to visit a testing facility during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to pull workers off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving your crew a man short. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform a drug test
If you are regulated by the DOT, you are required to adhere to specific regulations on workplace drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies follow those guidelines when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Goleta employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll also create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons to conduct 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 of the general workforce require pre-employment drug testing before a new employee can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation regulations, however, it’s common 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 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 members of a safety-sensitive workforce 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 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 have everything documented 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 identify who is responsible and defend 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 had a positive drug test result. 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 Goleta with several different methods, depending on your situation. 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. The majority of 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 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 a urinalysis. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private restroom, and you must disable both the sink and toilet, and pour 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 gender.
In addition, 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 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 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 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, yet is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as quick, easy, and cost-effective. It offers the smallest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only identifies drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most powerful advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be performed 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 is saturated. The whole 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 can identify 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 offers a 90-day detection window 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 anytime now.
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 baggie. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken 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 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.