Last updated: November 29, 2021
Looking to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in Ward? Workplace drug testing can help you achieve exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides numerous drug screening services for your business throughout the Ward, Colorado area that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse issue, discourage current employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while ensuring DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other parts of your company if you’re not. And we can perform drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional drug testing facilities, we are here 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 advantages without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing is conducted on time, every time, no matter where your team are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your staff’s sleep cycle to go to a drug testing center during regular business hours. Never again will you have to pull an employee off-site for drug testing at a laboratory leaving the crew short staffed. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform drug testing
If your company is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to follow particular guidelines on employee drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies use those same regulations when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Ward businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique 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 for workplace drug testing, including:
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 for the general workforce require pre-employment drug testing before a new hire begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation regulations, however, it’s common in other industries too. The department requires all members of a safety-sensitive workforce to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly generate a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been 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 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
Your management staff must be trained to recognize substance abuse. 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 a workplace accident, drug testing all employees involved can help identify who is responsible 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 have tested positive for drugs. 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 Ward utilizing a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for your circumstances.
All test specimens undergo an initial screen. The immunoassay (IA) test determines a positive or negative result. Most drug tests are negative and this cost-efficient test saves employers money because no further testing is needed.
Tests returning 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 sample.
You can learn more below about the methods we use for drug testing within Ward, Colorado.
The industry standard is still a urine drug test. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, and you need to disable 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 a collector of the same sex.
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 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 several 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 than other methods, but is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as quick, easy, and inexpensive. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drugs 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 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 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 few days.
Because it detects 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 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 ease as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day period of detection 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 cut a small (less than 1” wide) section of hair, preferably from near the base of the scalp, and secure it in a zipper-lock plastic baggie. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some employees 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 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.