Last updated: January 17, 2022
Trying to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace around the Cokato, Minnestota area? A drug-free workplace program can help you accomplish exactly 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 discounts can range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides a wide range of drug screening services for your business around Cokato that help you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage existing staff from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while ensuring DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other areas 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 centers, USA Mobile Drug Testing is available 24/7—and we come to your workplace to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get 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 staff’s sleep cycle to visit a drug testing center during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to send staff off-site for a drug test at a laboratory leaving your crew a man short. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform a drug test
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to adhere to strict regulations on workplace drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies mimic those same regulations when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Cokato businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll even develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are a number of reasons to conduct 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 permitted to get behind the wheel. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new hire begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT regulations, however, it’s also used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive employees to have their names added to a random pool. This pool is used to randomly create a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive employees 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 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
Your management personnel must be trained to recognize substance use. If they suspect an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching the employee. The suspected employee must then report for a drug test immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident at work, drug testing all employees involved can help identify who is responsible 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 had a positive drug test result. The SAP signs them off as able to return to work after the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Cokato utilizing a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens go through an initial screening. 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 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 the urine drug test. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to 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 a challenge because a test must be conducted by an administrator of the same sex.
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 even 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 identifies drug use from about a half-hour of ingestion up to several weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Addicts 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 just as accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as quick, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest window of detection though. Still, it identifies 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 view of staff. The test only requires placing a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it is saturated. The entire 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 identifies 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 uncertain whether or not the DOT will approve this method into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test offers the same convenience as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides 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 decision soon.
This test requires the administrator to clip 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 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 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 up to a year.
The hair test can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.