Last updated: May 23, 2022
Looking to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in Columbus? Workplace drug testing can help you do 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 offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
We provide numerous drug testing services for your business around Columbus 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 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 perform screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned labs, we are available 24/7—and we come to your company to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you receive all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets conducted on time, every time, no matter where your employees are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your staff’s sleep cycle to report to a testing lab during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to pull a worker off-site for drug testing at a lab 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 your business is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to specific regulations on workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce mimic those regulations when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Columbus employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll even create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons for workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is permitted to get behind the wheel. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies 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 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. This pool is used to randomly generate 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 employees are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, 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
Train your management staff to identify the signs of drug use. If they suspect someone 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 an accident at work, drug testing all staff involved can help determine 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 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 conduct drug tests throughout Columbus using several different methods, depending on your circumstances. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your situation.
All test specimens go through 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 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 a urinalysis. (This is currently the only testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private restroom, and you need to disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also present a challenge because a test must be conducted by an administrator 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 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 the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Addicts can test positive for over 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 quick, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest window of detection 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 largest advantage of the mouth swab drug test is that it can be performed 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 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 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 testing method offers the same simplicity as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day period of detection 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 urine drug test. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision anytime now.
This test requires the collector to cut 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 baggie. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some employees may have an issue 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 offers a longer detection window than 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 about a year.
The hair test can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.