Last updated: January 24, 2022
Do you want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business throughout Ponderosa? A drug testing program can help you accomplish just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Several states currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
USA Mobile Drug Testing offers a wide range of drug testing services around the Ponderosa, California area that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage current employees 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 areas of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing laboratories, we are here 24/7—and we travel to your workplace to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing 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 done on time, every time, no matter where your staff are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your employee’s sleep cycle to go to a drug testing facility during regular business hours. Now you won’t need to pull an employee off-site for drug testing at a lab leaving the crew a man short. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform a drug test
If your business is regulated by the DOT, you are required to follow particular guidelines in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies mimic those guidelines when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Ponderosa employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your unique needs. We’ll also develop 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 Department of Transportation requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted to drive. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new employee can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s also used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive staff 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 operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, 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 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 identify the signs of substance abuse. If they suspect an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and have everything documented 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 employees involved can help identify who is responsible and protect 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 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 Ponderosa using several different methods, depending on your circumstances. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to 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 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 method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, 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 place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present a challenge because a test must be conducted 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 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 several weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Habitual 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 than other methods, yet is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as quick, easy, and inexpensive. It offers the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most significant advantage of mouth swab drug testing 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 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 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 uncertain whether or not the DOT will approve this method 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 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 urinalysis. The request is passing 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 simple and convenient, some staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be collected 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 offers a longer detection window compared to 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.