Last updated: January 24, 2022
Want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace throughout the Big Lake, Minnestota area? Workplace drug testing can help you do exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states currently offer the incentive, and the discounts can range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides numerous drug screening services for your business around Big Lake that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage existing employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while maintaining 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 drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional drug testing labs, we are available 24/7—and we come to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the benefits without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets conducted on time, every time, no matter where your employees are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the staff’s sleep cycle to report to a drug testing laboratory during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to pull employees off-site for a drug test at a laboratory leaving your crew a man short. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform drug testing
If your business is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must follow particular laws on workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce use these same laws when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Big Lake employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll even develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons to perform 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 permitted to drive. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies require a pre-employment drug test before a new employee 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 safety-sensitive staff 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 employees are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are entered 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 tests for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management personnel must be trained to identify substance impairment. If they believe someone is impaired, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching that employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident at work, drug testing all employees involved can help identify 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 Big Lake utilizing several different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk to one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for you.
All test samples go through an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies 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 registering a positive result are sent 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 urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing 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 have to disable both 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 performed by a collector of the same sex.
Additionally, 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 even 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 identifies drugs from about a half-hour of ingestion up to several weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Regular 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 than other methods, yet is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as fast, simple, and inexpensive. It provides the smallest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The largest advantage of the mouth swab drug test is that it can be conducted 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 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 option 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 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 added cost in the eyes of more and more employers. In fact, the DOT officially requested that the hair test replace the urinalysis. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to cut a small (less than 1” wide) amount of hair, ideally 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 employees may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used instead and is tested by volume rather than 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 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.