Last updated: June 27, 2022
Looking to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around Willows? A drug testing program can help you accomplish just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation 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 in Willows that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse problem, discourage existing staff 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 business if you’re not. And we can conduct drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing labs, we’re here 24/7—and we travel to your business to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the benefits without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets done on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your employee’s sleep cycle to report to a testing lab during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to send workers off-site for drug testing at a facility leaving the crew short staffed. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform drug testing
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must follow strict guidelines on workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce use these same guidelines when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Willows businesses a program that tailors 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 to conduct workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is allowed to drive. Many employers for the general workforce require pre-employment drug testing 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 used 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 produce a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all safety-sensitive employees are 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 periodically throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also required.
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 use. If they suspect an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching the 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 at fault 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 perform drug tests throughout Willows utilizing several different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your needs.
All test specimens go through an initial screening. 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 returning a positive result are sent on for further 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 method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private restroom, and you have to disable both the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also be an issue because a test must be conducted by a collector of the same gender.
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 dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method can identify 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. 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 somewhat newer than other methods, yet is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as quick, simple, and inexpensive. 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 powerful advantage of a mouth swab drug test is that it can be conducted literally anywhere—even in plain sight 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 is 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 couple of 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 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 approve this method 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 offers a 90-day detection window overrides the added 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 decision soon.
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 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 instead of 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 compared to head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head will detect drug use for about 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.