Last updated: June 20, 2022
Trying to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace around César Chávez? A drug-free workplace program can help you achieve exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Many states currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
We provide a wide range of drug testing services for your business in the César Chávez, Texas area that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse problem, discourage existing staff from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while ensuring compliance with DOT regulations if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other areas of your company if you’re not. And we can perform drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional labs, USAMDT is available 24/7—and we travel to your business to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get all of the benefits without dealing 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 team are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your employee’s sleep cycle to visit a testing facility during daytime business hours. Never again will you have to send a worker off-site for a drug test at a laboratory leaving your crew a man short. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct a drug test
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must follow specific laws in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce use those same laws when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers César Chávez employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll also develop 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 allowed to drive. Many employers for the general workforce require pre-employment drug testing before a new employee 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 members of a safety-sensitive workforce to have their names added to a random pool. This pool is used to randomly create a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive staff are drug tested before they use 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 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 impairment. If they suspect someone is under the influence, 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 an accident at work, drug testing all staff involved can help identify where responsibility lies and protect 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 have tested positive for drugs. The SAP signs them off as able to return to work once that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout César Chávez with several different methods, depending on your situation. 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 specimens undergo 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 registering a positive result are sent 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 still a urinalysis. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, easy, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, and you must disable the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also be 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 can identify drugs from about a half-hour after use up to several 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 just as accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as fast, easy, and inexpensive. It provides the smallest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The biggest 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 becomes 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 choice 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 approve this method into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test 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 anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to cut a small (less than 1” wide) amount of hair, ideally 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 staff 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 than 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 about a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.