Last updated: June 27, 2022
Want to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace throughout E. Lopez? A drug-free workplace program can help you achieve just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the discounts range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides numerous drug testing services throughout E. Lopez that help you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse problem, discourage current 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 conduct drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned labs, we are here 24/7—and we travel to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you enjoy all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing is conducted on time, every time, no matter where your employees are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the staff’s sleep cycle to visit a drug testing laboratory during daytime business hours. Never again will you have to pull a worker off-site for drug testing at a facility leaving your crew a man short. We show up 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 are required to follow specific regulations on workplace drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies use those same regulations when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers E. Lopez businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your unique needs. We’ll also create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many 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 to drive. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies 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 regulations, however, it’s also 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 produce a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive employees are drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are placed 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 personnel must be trained to spot drug abuse. If they suspect an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching the employee. The suspected employee must then report for a drug test immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all employees involved can help determine who is responsible 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 have tested positive for drugs. 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 E. Lopez utilizing a variety of different methods, depending on your circumstances. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your circumstances.
All test samples undergo 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 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 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 access to a private bathroom, and you must disable both the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also present an issue because a test must be performed by a collector of the same gender.
In addition, the privacy factor also provides an opportunity to attempt to cheat the test by adding adulterants, 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 of ingestion 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 somewhat newer, yet is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as quick, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most powerful advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain view of staff. The test only requires placing a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it is saturated. The entire 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 few days.
Because it can detect 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 testing method 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 incorporate the test 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 provides a 90-day period of detection overrides the additional 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 decision soon.
This test requires the collector to clip a small (less than 1” wide) section of hair, ideally 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 an issue 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 provides a longer detection window than 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 up to a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.