Last updated: January 17, 2022
Trying to create a safe and drug-free workplace throughout the Squirrel Mountain Valley, California area? Drug testing 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’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states offer the incentive, and the discounts could range from four up to ten percent.
We provide a wide range of drug screening services throughout the Squirrel Mountain Valley, CA area that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse issue, discourage existing employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while maintaining DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned drug testing facilities, we’re available 24/7—and we travel to your jobsite to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you enjoy all of the benefits without dealing 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.
You don’t need to interrupt the staff’s sleep cycle to visit a testing facility during regular business hours. Never again will you have to pull a worker off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving your crew short staffed. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct drug testing
If your company is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to particular guidelines in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce mimic those same regulations when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Squirrel Mountain Valley employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll also write and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons for workplace drug testing, including:
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 pre-employment drug testing before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s also common 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 create a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all safety-sensitive staff have been drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are entered into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing periodically 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 identify drug use. If they suspect an employee 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 at work, drug testing all employees involved can help identify 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 perform drug tests throughout Squirrel Mountain Valley with a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens undergo an initial screen. 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 still a urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) 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 the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present a challenge because a test must be conducted by an administrator of the same sex.
Additionally, 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 identifies drug use from about a half-hour after use up to a few weeks after discontinuing 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 relatively newer, yet is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as quick, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest detection window 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 significant advantage of the mouth swab drug test is that it can be administered literally anywhere—even in plain sight of staff. The test only requires placing a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it is 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 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 testing method 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 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 working 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) 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 an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken 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 compared to 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 about a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.