Last updated: June 27, 2022
Trying to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace around the Lost Hills, CA area? A drug-free workplace program can help you do just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Many states currently offer the incentive, and the savings may range from four up to ten percent.
We offer numerous drug screening services around Lost Hills that help 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 compliance with DOT regulations if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your business if you’re not. And we can perform testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional labs, we’re here 24/7—and we travel to your business to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you get all of the benefits without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is done on time, every time, no matter where your team are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the employee’s sleep cycle to report to a drug testing laboratory during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to send a worker off-site for drug testing at a facility leaving your crew a man short. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you conduct drug testing
If you are regulated by the DOT, you must adhere to specific laws on workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce mimic these same laws when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Lost Hills employers a program that customizes 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 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 allowed to drive. Many employers for the general workforce 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 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 generate a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all safety-sensitive staff have been drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are placed into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing periodically throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also required.
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 staff must be trained to spot substance impairment. If they believe someone is under the influence, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching that 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 at fault and defend 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 had a positive drug test result. 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 administer drug tests throughout Lost Hills with several different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for your needs.
All test samples 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 specimen.
The industry standard is a urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, and you need to disable 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 conducted by a collector of the same sex.
Additionally, 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 drug users to succeed.
This testing method can identify drugs from about a half-hour after use up to a few weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Habitual 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, 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 drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The biggest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain sight 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 few days.
Because it can detect 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 alternative 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 testing method 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 added 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 working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision soon.
This test requires the collector 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 easy 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 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 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 can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.