Last updated: January 17, 2022
Looking to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace around Ripley? A drug-free workplace program can help you do 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 may range from four up to ten percent.
We offer a wide range of drug screening services for your business in the Ripley, CA area that help you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage existing 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 parts of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned laboratories, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we come to your business to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you enjoy all of the advantages without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing gets done on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the employee’s sleep cycle to go to a drug testing laboratory during normal business hours. Never again will you have to send a worker off-site for drug testing at a laboratory leaving your crew short staffed. We arrive 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 Department of Transportation, you are required to follow strict 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 Ripley employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your unique needs. We’ll even 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, 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 on the road. Many employers of the general workforce 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 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 instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce 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 required.
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 suspect someone 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 on-site, drug testing all staff 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 had a positive drug test result. 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 administer drug tests throughout Ripley utilizing several different methods, depending on your situation. 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 needs.
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 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 specimen.
The industry standard is still a 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 have to disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also present a challenge 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 dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method identifies drugs 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 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 every bit accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as fast, simple, and inexpensive. It provides the shortest window of detection 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 most powerful advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be administered 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 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 couple of days.
Because it detects 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 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 simplicity 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 urine drug test. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word soon.
This test requires the administrator to cut 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 easy and convenient, some staff may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be collected 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 provides a longer detection window compared to 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 up to a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.