Last updated: January 24, 2022
Looking to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around Whitehawk? Drug testing can help you do just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the discounts could range from four up to ten percent.
We offer a wide range of drug testing services for your business throughout the Whitehawk, 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 maintaining 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 conduct screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing laboratories, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we come to you to reduce 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 conducted on time, every time, no matter where your team are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the employee’s sleep cycle to visit a testing laboratory during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to pull staff off-site for a drug test 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 to conduct drug testing
If your business is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to particular regulations on workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce mimic these same laws when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Whitehawk employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll also create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are a number of reasons to conduct workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted on the road. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new employee can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s also used 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 create 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 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 required.
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 recognize 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 a drug test immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident at work, drug testing all staff 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 once the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout Whitehawk using a variety of different methods, depending on your needs. 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 your circumstances.
All test samples undergo 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 urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you have to disable both the sink and toilet, and pour 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 drug use from about a half-hour of ingestion up to a few weeks after discontinuing 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 relatively newer, but is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as fast, simple, and inexpensive. It provides the smallest 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 a mouth swab drug test is that it can be administered literally anywhere—even in plain view 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 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 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 unclear whether or not the DOT will incorporate the test 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 provides 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 administrator 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 bag. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some staff may have a problem 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 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 doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.