Last updated: January 17, 2022
Do you want to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace around Ellendale? A drug testing program can help you achieve just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Many states currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
We provide a wide range of drug screening services around Ellendale 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 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 screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional drug testing labs, we are here 24/7—and we travel to your location to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the benefits without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing is performed on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the employee’s sleep cycle to visit a testing laboratory during regular business hours. Now you won’t need to pull workers off-site for a drug test at a laboratory leaving your crew a man short. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct drug testing
If your company is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to follow specific laws on employee drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce use those same guidelines when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Ellendale businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll even write 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 that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is permitted to drive. Many employers of 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 also common 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 create a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, drivers are entered into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing periodically throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also mandatory.
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 staff must be trained to recognize drug impairment. If they believe an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching the employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all employees involved can help identify 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 administer drug tests throughout Ellendale with a variety of different methods, depending on your circumstances. 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 go through 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 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 the urinalysis. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private restroom, and you must disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also be a challenge because a test must be performed by an administrator of the same sex.
In addition, 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 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 discontinuing 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, but is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as fast, simple, and inexpensive. It offers the shortest 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 a mouth swab drug test is that it can be conducted 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 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 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 uncertain whether or not the DOT will incorporate the test 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 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 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) amount of hair, preferably 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 a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used 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 about 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.