Last updated: June 20, 2022
Looking to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around the South Pasadena, California area? A drug testing program can help you accomplish just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers numerous drug screening services for your business around the South Pasadena, California area that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage existing employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while ensuring compliance with DOT regulations if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your company if you’re not. And we can perform testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional drug testing laboratories, we are available 24/7—and we come to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is performed on time, every time, no matter where your team are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the staff’s sleep cycle to visit a testing facility during regular business hours. Now you won’t need to pull workers off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving your crew short staffed. We show up 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 must follow particular guidelines in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce use those guidelines when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers South Pasadena businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll also develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons to perform workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted to get behind the wheel. Many employers for the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new employee can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation regulations, however, it’s 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 members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, drivers are entered 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 tests for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Train your management staff to spot the signs of drug abuse. If they suspect an employee is under the influence, 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 on-site, drug testing all employees involved can help identify who is responsible 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 had a positive drug test result. The SAP signs them off as able to return to work after the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can conduct drug tests throughout South Pasadena 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 advice on deciding which is best for you.
All test samples go through an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies 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 returning 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 sample.
The industry standard is the urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, easy, and cost-effective, 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 an issue because a test must be performed by an administrator of the same sex.
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 identifies drugs from about a half-hour of ingestion up to a few weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Habitual 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 somewhat newer than other methods, but is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as quick, simple, and cost-effective. It offers the shortest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies 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 administered 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 becomes saturated. The 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 few 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 alternative 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 testing method 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 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 passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word anytime now.
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 bag. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some staff may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used 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 than head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head can 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 can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.