Last updated: March 27, 2023
Do you want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in Nicollet? A drug testing program 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’ 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 for your business in the Nicollet, MN area that enable 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 compliance with DOT regulations if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other parts of your company if you’re not. And we can perform drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing laboratories, we are here 24/7—and we come to your company to reduce 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 performed on time, every time, no matter where your team are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the night shift’s sleep cycle to go to a testing facility during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to send 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 should you conduct drug testing
If your business is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to specific laws on employee drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies use these guidelines when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Nicollet businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll also develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons for workplace drug testing, such as:
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 drive. Many employers of the general workforce 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 members of a safety-sensitive workforce to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly create a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive staff are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, drivers are placed 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 use. If they suspect 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 on-site, drug testing all employees involved can help determine who is to blame and defend 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 Nicollet utilizing 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 help deciding which is best for you.
All test samples undergo an initial screening. 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 registering a positive result go 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 specimen.
The industry standard is still a urine drug test. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, 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 conducted by a collector 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 identifies drugs 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. Regular users 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 than other methods, yet is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only detects drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The largest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be administered literally anywhere—even in plain sight of other employees. The test only requires putting a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it is saturated. The 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 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 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 added cost in the eyes of more and more employers. 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 cut 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 simple 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 than 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.