Last updated: March 20, 2023
Trying to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business throughout Carlton? Drug testing can help you accomplish just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Many states currently offer the incentive, and the savings may range from four up to ten percent.
We provide numerous drug testing services for your business around Carlton 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 perform testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing laboratories, we’re here 24/7—and we come to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get 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 staff are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your employee’s sleep cycle to go to a testing lab during regular business hours. Never again will you have to send workers off-site for drug testing at a lab 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 drug testing
If your business is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to follow specific laws in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce use those guidelines when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Carlton businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your unique needs. We’ll also develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons for workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is allowed to drive. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies 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 compliance, however, it’s also common in other industries too. The department requires all members of a safety-sensitive workforce to have their names added to a random pool. This pool is used to randomly generate a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all safety-sensitive staff are drug tested before they operate 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 required.
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 drug impairment. If they believe someone is impaired, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching that 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 determine where responsibility lies 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 have tested positive for drugs. The SAP signs them off as able to return to work after that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout Carlton with a variety of different methods, depending on your circumstances. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test samples undergo an initial screen. 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 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.
The industry standard is still the urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, and you have to disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present an issue because a test must be conducted by an administrator 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 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 drug use from about a half-hour after use up to a few weeks after the last 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 somewhat newer, yet is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as fast, easy, and cost-effective. It offers the shortest window of detection though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only detects drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most significant advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be administered literally anywhere—even in plain sight of staff. 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 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 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 simplicity as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day detection window 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 decision soon.
This test requires the administrator to clip a small (less than 1” wide) amount of hair, preferably 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 staff may have an issue 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.