Last updated: June 27, 2022
Trying to create a safe and drug-free workplace throughout Bethune? A drug-free workplace program can help you do exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Several states currently offer the incentive, and the savings may range from four up to ten percent.
We provide numerous drug screening services for your business in the Bethune, CO area that enable you to screen out new employees who have 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 parts of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned laboratories, we’re here 24/7—and we come to your workplace to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you enjoy all of the advantages without having to deal 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 employees are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your employee’s sleep cycle to report to a testing laboratory during regular business hours. Now you won’t need to send an employee off-site for a drug test at a facility leaving your crew a man short. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct a drug test
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must follow specific laws on employee drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce use these laws when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Bethune 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 a number of reasons to perform 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 to drive. Many employers of the general workforce require pre-employment drug testing before a new hire can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation compliance, however, it’s also common in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive employees to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly create 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 are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, 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
Train your management personnel to spot the signs of drug impairment. If they believe an employee is impaired, 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 on-site, drug testing all employees involved can help determine where responsibility lies 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 that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout Bethune utilizing several different methods, depending on your situation. 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 undergo 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 registering 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 specimen.
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 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 may also be a challenge because a test must be conducted by an administrator of the same sex.
In addition, 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 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 a few weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Regular 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 than other methods, but is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. It offers the smallest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within just a few 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 administered 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 is saturated. The entire 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 detects 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 unclear whether or not the DOT will incorporate the test into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test offers the same convenience as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day period of detection 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 passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to cut 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 bag. While this testing method is simple 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 collect 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 can detect drug use for about 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.