Last updated: June 20, 2022
Looking to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace throughout the Val Verde, California area? Drug testing can help you do just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the discounts can range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers numerous drug screening services throughout the Val Verde, CA area that help you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage current 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 screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional laboratories, we are available 24/7—and we travel to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the benefits without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing gets performed on time, every time, no matter where your employees are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the employee’s sleep cycle to visit a testing lab during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to pull workers off-site for drug testing at a laboratory leaving your crew short staffed. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you conduct a drug test
If your company is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to specific regulations on employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce use those same laws when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Val Verde businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll even write 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, 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 for non-DOT-regulated companies require a pre-employment drug test before a new hire begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation regulations, 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. The pool is used to randomly generate a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation 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 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 looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management staff must be trained to spot substance use. If they suspect someone is under the influence, they should know the company policy and document everything 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 staff involved can help determine who is responsible and defend 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 Val Verde with a variety of different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk to one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens go through 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 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 sample.
The industry standard is still the urinalysis. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private restroom, and you must disable the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also be a challenge because a test must be conducted by a collector 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 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 several weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Addicts 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 a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The biggest advantage of a mouth swab drug test is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain view of staff. 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 whole 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 few days.
Because it can detect 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 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 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 detection window overrides the additional cost in the eyes of more and more business owners. 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 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 a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used instead and is tested by volume instead of 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 than 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.