Last updated: January 17, 2022
Want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace in the Pajaro, California area? A drug-free workplace program 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’ comp insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the discounts can range from four up to ten percent.
We offer numerous drug screening services around the Pajaro, CA area that enable you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse problem, discourage current staff from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while maintaining DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your company if you’re not. And we can perform drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing labs, we’re available 24/7—and we come to you to reduce 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 done on time, every time, no matter where your staff are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the night shift’s sleep cycle to visit a drug testing lab during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to send staff off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving the crew short staffed. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform drug testing
If you are regulated by the DOT, you are required to follow specific laws on workplace drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies mimic those same regulations when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Pajaro businesses a program that customizes 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 several reasons to conduct 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 on the road. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies require a pre-employment drug test before a new hire can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s 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 produce a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, drivers are placed 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 personnel to recognize the signs of drug abuse. 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 drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident at work, drug testing all employees involved can help identify who is at fault 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 perform drug tests throughout Pajaro using several different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens undergo an initial screen. The immunoassay (IA) test determines 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 are sent 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 still the urine drug test. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you must disable both the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also be 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 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 relatively newer than other methods, but is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects 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 administered literally anywhere—even in plain view of staff. The test only requires putting a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it is saturated. The entire 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 unclear whether or not the DOT will approve this method into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test offers the same simplicity as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day detection window overrides the additional 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 administrator 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 baggie. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some staff may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken 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 can detect drug use for up to 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.