Last updated: March 20, 2023
Want to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in the Strathcona, Minnestota area? Workplace drug testing 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. Several states offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers numerous drug testing services in Strathcona that enable you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse problem, discourage current 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 business if you’re not. And we can perform screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional facilities, we’re available 24/7—and we travel to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you enjoy all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is conducted on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your employee’s sleep cycle to report to a drug testing facility during regular business hours. Never again will you have to send a worker off-site for drug testing at a lab 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 a drug test
If your company is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to adhere to particular guidelines on employee drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies use those same regulations when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Strathcona businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet 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, 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 on the road. Many employers for the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new employee can begin 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. 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 members of a safety-sensitive workforce are 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 tests for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management staff must be trained to spot substance use. If they suspect an employee is under the influence, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching that 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 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 had a positive drug test result. The SAP signs them off as able to return to work once the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Strathcona using a variety of different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your situation.
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 returning 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 sample.
The industry standard is the urinalysis. (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 need to disable both the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also be an issue because a test must be performed by a collector 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 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 drug use 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 relatively newer, yet is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. It offers the smallest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only identifies 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 performed literally anywhere—even in plain sight of staff. The test only requires putting a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it becomes 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 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 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 additional 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 soon.
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 collected 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 offers a longer detection window compared to head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head can 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.