Last updated: June 27, 2022
Looking to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace throughout the Visalia, California area? A drug-free workplace program can help you accomplish exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Several states currently offer the incentive, and the discounts could range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers numerous drug screening services around the Visalia, CA area that help you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse problem, 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 areas of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional drug testing laboratories, we’re available 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 benefits without having to deal 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 team are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the staff’s sleep cycle to go to a drug testing facility during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to send an employee off-site for a drug test at a facility leaving the crew a man short. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform a drug test
If you are regulated by the DOT, you are required to adhere to strict guidelines in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce use these laws when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Visalia businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your unique needs. We’ll even develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons to conduct workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is allowed on the road. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT regulations, however, it’s also 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 instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce are drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, drivers are placed 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
Train your management personnel to recognize the signs of substance impairment. If they believe someone is under the influence, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching the 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 determine where responsibility lies and protect 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 have tested positive for drugs. 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 perform drug tests throughout Visalia using several different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your needs.
All test specimens go through an initial screen. 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 still a urinalysis. (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 bathroom, and you must disable both the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present an issue because a test must be conducted by a collector of the same gender.
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 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. Addicts 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 than other methods, yet is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as quick, simple, and inexpensive. It provides the smallest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The largest advantage of the mouth swab drug test is that it can be administered literally anywhere—even in plain view 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 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 choice 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 testing method offers the same simplicity as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day period of detection overrides the added cost in the eyes of more and more business owners. 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 anytime now.
This test requires the collector to clip a small (less than 1” wide) amount of hair, preferably 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 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 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 can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.