Last updated: May 23, 2022
Trying to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around North Washington? Workplace drug testing can help you achieve exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states offer the incentive, and the discounts may range from four up to ten percent.
We offer numerous drug screening services for your business throughout North Washington that enable you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse problem, discourage current 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 business if you’re not. And we can perform drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional drug testing facilities, we’re here 24/7—and we come to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you get all of the benefits without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is performed on time, every time, no matter where your team are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your staff’s sleep cycle to go to a drug testing lab during normal business hours. Never again will you have to pull employees off-site for drug testing at a lab leaving the crew a man short. 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 you are regulated by the DOT, you are required to follow specific laws on employee drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies follow those same regulations when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers North Washington employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll even develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons to perform 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 permitted to get behind the wheel. Many employers for 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 common 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 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 identify the signs of substance abuse. If they believe someone is impaired, 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 staff involved can help determine who is responsible and protect 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 that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout North Washington with several different methods, depending on your circumstances. 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 situation.
All test specimens undergo an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies 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 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.
You can learn more below about the methods we use for drug testing througout North Washington, Colorado.
The industry standard is still the urinalysis. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, 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 pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also be an issue because a test must be performed by a collector of the same gender.
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 even 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 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 somewhat newer than other methods, yet is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as quick, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within just a few 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 mouth swab drug testing is that it can be administered 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 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 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 uncertain 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 provides a 90-day period of detection 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 passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision 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 bag. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some employees 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 compared to 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 about a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.