Last updated: June 27, 2022
Do you want to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around the Jackson, California area? Drug testing can help you achieve just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states offer the incentive, and the savings may range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides numerous drug testing services in the Jackson, California area that help 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 maintaining compliance with DOT regulations 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.
As opposed to old-fashioned drug testing facilities, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we come to you 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 employee drug testing gets done on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your employee’s sleep cycle to go to a testing laboratory during regular business hours. Never again will you have to send an employee off-site for drug testing at a laboratory 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 conduct a drug test
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must follow specific laws on employee drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies follow those same laws when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Jackson employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll even develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons for workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is permitted on the road. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new hire can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation regulations, however, it’s also used 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 Department of Transportation requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been 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 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
Your management personnel must be trained to spot substance impairment. If they suspect an employee is impaired, 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 staff involved can help determine 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 Jackson using 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 your needs.
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 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 urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private restroom, and you have to disable the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present a challenge because a test must be conducted by a collector 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 dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method identifies 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. Regular 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 than other methods, but is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest window of detection though. Still, it drug-testing 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 significant advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be administered 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 becomes 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 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 alternative drug testing method for all federally mandated employers as of January 1, 2020.
At this time, it’s unclear whether or not the DOT will approve this method into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug testing method 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 working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word soon.
This test requires the collector to cut 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 baggie. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some employees may have a problem 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 offers a longer detection window compared to head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head will detect drug use for up to 90-days, while hair collected from the body will detect drug use for up to a year.
The hair test can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.