Last updated: June 20, 2022
Looking to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace throughout Onyx? A drug testing program can help you accomplish exactly that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states currently offer the incentive, and the savings may range from four up to ten percent.
USA Mobile Drug Testing offers a wide range of drug testing services for your business throughout Onyx that enable you to screen out new employees with 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 business if you’re not. And we can perform testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned drug testing labs, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we come to your company to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing is conducted on time, every time, no matter where your team are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your staff’s sleep cycle to go to a drug testing laboratory during daytime business hours. Never again will you have to send an employee off-site for a drug test at a laboratory leaving the 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 DOT, you are required to follow particular guidelines in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce use those laws when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Onyx employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your specific 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 perform 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 to get behind the wheel. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies 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 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 generate a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive staff have been 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 required.
The DOT requires a urine test and looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Train your management staff to spot the signs of drug abuse. If they believe an employee is under the influence, 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 identify who is responsible 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 the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can conduct drug tests throughout Onyx with several different methods, depending on your circumstances. 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 your situation.
All test samples go through an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies 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 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 a urinalysis. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private restroom, and you need to disable both 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 performed by a collector of the same gender.
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 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 identifies drug use from about a half-hour after use up to a few weeks after the last 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 every bit accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing 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 significant advantage of the mouth swab drug test is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain view of other employees. 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 entire 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 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 test 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 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 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 decision soon.
This test requires the administrator 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 easy and convenient, some employees may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used 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 than head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head can 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 doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.