Last updated: January 17, 2022
Trying to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business throughout the Salinas, CA 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. Several states offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides numerous drug testing services around Salinas that help you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse issue, 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 aspects of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned labs, USA Mobile Drug Testing is here 24/7—and we travel 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 employee drug testing is done on time, every time, no matter where your employees are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the employee’s sleep cycle to visit a testing laboratory during regular business hours. Never again will you have to send staff off-site for drug testing at a lab leaving the crew short staffed. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform a drug test
If your business is regulated by the DOT, you must adhere to particular laws on workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce follow these regulations when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Salinas businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll even create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons to perform 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 on the road. Many employers of the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new hire begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT regulations, however, it’s 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 instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive employees have been drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are placed into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing regularly throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also mandatory.
The DOT requires a urine test and looks 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 use. If they believe someone is impaired, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching the employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all employees involved can help determine who is to blame 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 that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can conduct drug tests throughout Salinas with 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 you.
All test specimens undergo an initial screening. 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 go 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 the urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure 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 could also present an issue because a test must be performed by a collector of the same gender.
Additionally, 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 after use up to several weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Regular users 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 relatively newer, but is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest detection window 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 biggest advantage of the mouth swab drug test 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 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 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 testing method 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 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 passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word soon.
This test requires the collector to cut 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 bag. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some employees may have a problem 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 offers a longer detection window compared to head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head will detect drug use for up to 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.