Last updated: May 16, 2022
Trying to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in the Amherst, Texas area? A drug-free workplace program can help you achieve just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Thirteen states offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides a wide range of drug screening services for your business around Amherst that help you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse problem, discourage existing employees 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 parts of your business if you’re not. And we can perform drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned labs, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we travel to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you enjoy all of the benefits without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing gets performed on time, every time, no matter where your employees are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your staff’s sleep cycle to visit a testing facility during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to pull employees off-site for a drug test at a facility leaving your crew short staffed. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform a drug test
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must follow strict laws in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce follow these guidelines when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Amherst businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll also develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons for workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires that a negative drug test result is 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 hire begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation 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 create a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
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 regularly 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 identify drug abuse. If they believe 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 drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all staff involved can help identify who is at fault 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 after that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Amherst using a variety of different methods, depending on your circumstances. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk with one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for you.
All test samples 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 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.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you have to disable the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also be a challenge because a test must be conducted 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 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 several weeks after discontinuing 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 offers the shortest detection window 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 powerful advantage of the mouth swab drug test is that it can be conducted 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 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 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 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 provides a 90-day period of detection overrides the added 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 working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word anytime now.
This test requires the administrator 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 bag. 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 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 can 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.