Last updated: June 20, 2022
Looking to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace around the Herald, California area? Drug testing can help you do exactly 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 offers a wide range of drug screening services in Herald that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse issue, discourage existing 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 parts of your business if you’re not. And we can perform drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned labs, we are available 24/7—and we travel to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing 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 gets conducted on time, every time, no matter where your employees are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the staff’s sleep cycle to go to a testing lab during normal business hours. Never again will you have to pull staff 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 should you conduct drug testing
If your company is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to follow particular laws on employee drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies follow those laws when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Herald businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll also write and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons to conduct 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 the general workforce require pre-employment drug testing before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT 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. 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 use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, 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 looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management personnel must be trained to identify drug use. If they believe an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and document everything 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 determine 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 the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout Herald using a variety of different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk to one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for your situation.
All test specimens go through 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 returning 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 specimen.
The industry standard is still the urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, easy, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, and you have to disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also be an issue because a test must be conducted by an administrator of the same sex.
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 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 drugs from about a half-hour of ingestion up to several weeks after discontinuing 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 relatively newer than other methods, yet is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as quick, simple, and inexpensive. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only identifies drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The largest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be conducted literally anywhere—even in plain sight 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 whole 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 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 offers 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 urinalysis. The request is passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision anytime now.
This test requires the collector to clip 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 staff may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be collected 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 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.