Last updated: December 5, 2022
Looking to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace in the Grass Valley, CA area? A drug testing program can help you achieve just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides numerous drug testing services around Grass Valley that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse problem, 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 conduct drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned facilities, we’re available 24/7—and we come to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you enjoy all of the advantages without having to deal 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 located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the employee’s sleep cycle to go to a testing lab during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to pull an employee off-site for a drug test at a facility leaving your crew short staffed. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform a drug test
If your company is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to specific laws on employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce use these same regulations when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Grass Valley businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your unique 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 that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is allowed to drive. Many employers for the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new hire begins 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 members of a safety-sensitive workforce to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly create 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 operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, 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 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 staff to recognize the signs of drug use. If they believe an employee 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 a drug test immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all employees involved can help determine who is at fault 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 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 Grass Valley utilizing 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 advice on deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens undergo 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 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 the urinalysis. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you need to disable both 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 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 drug users to succeed.
This testing method can identify drug use from about a half-hour of ingestion up to a few weeks after discontinuing 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 relatively newer than other methods, yet is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as fast, simple, and inexpensive. It offers the smallest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within 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 conducted literally anywhere—even in plain view of other employees. 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 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 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 testing method 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 incorporate the test into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug testing method offers the same simplicity 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 business owners. 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 decision anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to cut a small (less than 1” wide) amount 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 used instead and is tested by volume instead of length. Administrators collect enough hair to equal the size of a cotton ball about an inch in diameter.
Body hair offers 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.