Last updated: January 17, 2022
Do you want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in Elba? Drug testing can help you do exactly that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the discounts range from four up to ten percent.
USA Mobile Drug Testing offers numerous drug testing services for your business throughout Elba that help you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse issue, discourage existing employees 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 areas of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing facilities, we’re available 24/7—and we come to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace 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 gets done on time, every time, no matter where your employees are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your employee’s sleep cycle to report to a testing facility during daytime business hours. Never again will you have to pull employees off-site for drug testing at a laboratory leaving the crew a man short. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you conduct a drug test
If your company is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to particular laws on workplace drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce follow those regulations when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Elba employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll even create 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, 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 of non-DOT-regulated companies require a pre-employment drug test before a new hire can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive employees 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 Department of Transportation 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 regularly 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 staff must be trained to identify substance impairment. If they suspect someone 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 a workplace accident, drug testing all employees involved can help determine who is at fault and protect 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 had a positive drug test result. 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 Elba utilizing several different methods, depending on your circumstances. 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 your circumstances.
All test samples go through an initial screen. The immunoassay (IA) test determines 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 returning 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 sample.
The industry standard is still a 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 to secure a private restroom, and you must 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 performed by a collector of the same gender.
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 drug users to succeed.
This testing method identifies drug use from about a half-hour after use up to several 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 somewhat newer than other methods, but is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as quick, easy, and inexpensive. It offers the smallest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only identifies drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most powerful advantage of a mouth swab drug test 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 is 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 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 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 testing method offers the same ease as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day period of detection 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 passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision soon.
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 employees may have a problem 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 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.