Last updated: January 17, 2022
Want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace throughout Empire? Workplace drug testing can help you achieve exactly that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
We offer numerous drug screening services throughout the Empire, GA area that help you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse problem, discourage existing staff 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 areas of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned laboratories, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we travel to your workplace to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the advantages without dealing 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 employees are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the employee’s sleep cycle to go to a testing laboratory during daytime business hours. Never again will you have to send workers off-site for drug testing at a facility leaving your crew short staffed. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform a drug test
If you are regulated by the DOT, you are required to follow specific laws on workplace drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies mimic those laws when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Empire employers 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 several reasons to conduct 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 on the road. Many employers of the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new employee can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s also used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive staff to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly generate a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are placed 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
Train your management personnel to identify the signs of substance use. If they suspect 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 staff involved can help identify who is responsible 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 once that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout Empire using several different methods, depending on your needs. 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 screen. 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 returning a positive result are sent 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 urinalysis. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private restroom, 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 present an issue because a test must be performed by an administrator of the same gender.
In addition, the privacy factor also provides an opportunity to attempt to cheat the test by adulterating the specimen, 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 over 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, but is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. 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 biggest advantage of the mouth swab drug test is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain view of staff. The test only requires putting a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it becomes saturated. The whole 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 couple of 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 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 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 offers 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 urine drug test. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word anytime now.
This test requires the collector 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 baggie. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some staff may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken instead and is tested by volume instead of length. Administrators gather enough hair to equal the size of a cotton ball about an inch in diameter.
Body hair provides a longer detection window compared to head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head will 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 can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.