Last updated: November 27, 2023
Drug testing is performed by an ever-growing number of employers in the United States, from Fortune 500 companies and state and federal agencies to small businesses. Every company has its own reasons for drug testing applicants, including liability, safety, and risk management. Research has found that employees who use drugs are ten times more likely to miss work, four times more likely to suffer an injury on the job, and five times more likely to file a workers’ comp claim.
Most people who undergo drug testing are required to drive to an off-site lab to fill out a form and wait for the procedure. A growing number of U.S. employers are now turning to an alternative that removes the hassle and lost productivity of traveling to a facility. Mobile drug testing brings the test to the workplace in a controlled environment.
Think of that brick-and-mortar lab experience. There’s a very good chance you may have visited that place to get the job you have right now. With mobile drug testing, it’s almost as if someone picked that building up with a crane and delivered it to your parking lot. Anything that the off-site lab can do comes to you. Random tests, post-accident, DOT-mandated, or even just pre-employment screening—all at your convenience. Lab technicians can then perform collections on employees and test the samples as quickly or quicker and with the same accuracy as off-site labs.
The employer can make the process more effective by ensuring there is a company drug testing policy in place that meets state and federal guidelines, scheduling around employee shifts, and ensuring there is a secured restroom available. With random drug testing, employee notification may or may not be required by state law. The right provider can help with all the planning, including supervisor and employee education planning and making sure the right resources are available.
When employees must travel to a drug testing lab, the employer pays for travel time. In most cases, it’s more cost effective for a lab representative to come to the job site to perform testing rather than pay employees for traveling, sitting in a waiting room, and getting stuck in traffic. Mobile testing means employers aren’t paying employees for time that isn’t spent working.
If an employee is suspected of using drugs, requesting that they drive to an off-site lab may make the employer liable if there’s an accident. With mobile drug testing, employees are not required to leave the job site.
Most employers find it more convenient to schedule time for drug testing and administer testing on-site to all employees at once while employees appreciate getting the test out of the way rather than wasting time in traffic. Mobile testing can be scheduled during regular work hours to reduce the hassle for employers and employees.
Mobile testing companies can collect and test hair, urine, and oral fluid samples from employees and applicants and coordinate the drug testing program. Samples do not need to travel for testing and many test results can be provided immediately, while lab results usually take a few days. Also, with mobile drug testing, several potential hires can be tested right at the orientation meeting.
Minimize Lost Productivity
Finally, on-site testing means employees aren’t required to leave work and spend hours traveling for testing. Employees may spend as little as 20 minutes away from work with mobile testing. Send employee off-site instead of catching up on work projects your employee might be catching up on errands. You’ll also naturally get greater participation and less rescheduled visits if the test comes to the workplace when you want.