Last updated: January 24, 2022
Looking to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business throughout the Penn Valley, California area? A drug testing program can help you achieve 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 discounts can range from four up to ten percent.
We offer numerous drug screening services throughout the Penn Valley, CA area that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, 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 parts of your company if you’re not. And we can perform testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned drug testing facilities, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we travel to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get all of the benefits without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets conducted on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the night shift’s sleep cycle to visit a drug testing center during normal business hours. Never again will you have to pull staff off-site for drug testing at a lab leaving the crew short staffed. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct drug testing
If you are regulated by the DOT, you must follow particular guidelines on employee drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies use these laws when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Penn Valley employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll also develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons to conduct workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is allowed to get behind the wheel. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies require a pre-employment drug test before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT 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 DOT requires that all safety-sensitive staff are drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are entered 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 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 impairment. If they believe someone is impaired, 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 to blame 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 that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can conduct drug tests throughout Penn Valley using a variety of different methods, depending on your needs. 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 specimens undergo an initial screen. 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 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 still the urinalysis. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private restroom, 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 present a challenge because a test must be conducted by an administrator 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 dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method can identify drugs from about a half-hour of ingestion up to several weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Addicts 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 a urinalysis. It’s also just as quick, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it identifies 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 biggest advantage of a mouth swab drug test is that it can be conducted literally anywhere—even in plain sight 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 is 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 couple of days.
Because it can detect 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 test as an alternate 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 incorporate the test 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 urine drug test. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to clip 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 staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used 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 provides a longer detection window than 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 up to a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.