Last updated: January 17, 2022
Looking to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business throughout Emerson? Workplace drug testing can help you accomplish 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 currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides a wide range of drug testing services for your business around Emerson that help you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse problem, discourage existing staff from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while maintaining DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other parts of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing laboratories, USA Mobile Drug Testing is available 24/7—and we travel to your company 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 done on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the staff’s sleep cycle to go to a testing center during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to send an employee off-site for a drug test 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 conduct drug testing
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to follow specific regulations on employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce mimic those guidelines when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Emerson businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your unique needs. We’ll even write and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons to perform workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is allowed to get behind the wheel. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies require a pre-employment drug test before a new hire begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT regulations, however, it’s used 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 produce a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
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). Additionally, drivers are entered into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing regularly throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also mandatory.
The DOT requires a urine test and tests 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 believe an employee is under the influence, 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 staff 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 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 conduct drug tests throughout Emerson using a variety of different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your circumstances.
All test specimens 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 registering a positive result go 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 urinalysis. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, easy, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private restroom, and you need to disable the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also present an issue 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 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. 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 a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, easy, and inexpensive. It offers the shortest window of detection though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only detects drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The largest 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 becomes saturated. The process rarely takes more than 5 minutes. 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 approve this method into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug testing method offers the same simplicity 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 business owners. In fact, the DOT officially requested that the hair test replace the urine drug test. The request is passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word soon.
This test requires the administrator to clip 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 bag. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some employees 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 provides a longer detection window than 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.