Last updated: November 21, 2022
Do you want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace throughout Fairfield? 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’ comp insurance. Thirteen states currently offer the incentive, and the savings could range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers a wide range of drug testing services throughout the Fairfield, Texas area that help you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse issue, 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 business if you’re not. And we can perform screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned labs, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we come to your location to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you get 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 staff are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your night shift’s sleep cycle to report to a drug testing center during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to send workers off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving the crew a man short. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform a drug test
If your business is regulated by the DOT, you must follow strict guidelines in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce use those regulations when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Fairfield employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your unique 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 for workplace drug testing, such as:
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 non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation regulations, 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 generate a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all safety-sensitive staff 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 looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Train your management personnel to spot the signs of substance use. 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 drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident on-site, drug testing all employees involved can help determine who is responsible and protect 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 the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout Fairfield using a variety of different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens undergo an initial screen. 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 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 specimen.
The industry standard is the urinalysis. (This is currently the only testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, 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 place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present an issue because a test must be performed by an administrator of the same sex.
Additionally, 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 a few weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Habitual 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, but is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as quick, easy, and cost-effective. It offers the shortest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The largest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be conducted literally anywhere—even in plain view 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 can identify 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 alternate 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 convenience as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day detection window 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 urinalysis. The request is passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word soon.
This test requires the administrator 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 bag. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some employees may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken instead and is tested by volume instead of 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 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 can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.