Last updated: June 20, 2022
Trying to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around the Planada, California area? Drug testing 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’ compensation insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the savings can range from four up to ten percent.
We offer a wide range of drug testing services throughout the Planada, CA area that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse issue, 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 conduct drug screening 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 you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you get all of the advantages without having to deal 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 staff are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the staff’s sleep cycle to report to a drug testing lab during normal business hours. Never again will you have to send a worker off-site for drug testing at a laboratory leaving the crew short staffed. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct a drug test
If your company is regulated by the DOT, you must adhere to particular regulations on employee drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies follow those same laws when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Planada businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your unique needs. We’ll even develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are a number of reasons to conduct workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted to get behind the wheel. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing 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 safety-sensitive employees 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 members of a safety-sensitive workforce are 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
Your management personnel must be trained to spot 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 on-site, drug testing all staff involved can help determine where responsibility lies 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 have tested positive for drugs. 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 administer drug tests throughout Planada using a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your needs.
All test specimens undergo an initial screen. 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 specimen.
The industry standard is still the urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, 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 could also be an issue because a test must be performed 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 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 drug use from about a half-hour of ingestion up to several 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, but is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as quick, easy, and inexpensive. It provides the smallest 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 largest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be administered literally anywhere—even in plain sight 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 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 identifies 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 incorporate the test into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test offers the same ease as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day detection window 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 administrator 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 employees may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used instead and is tested by volume rather than 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 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 doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.