Last updated: November 29, 2021
Want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business throughout Fate? Workplace drug testing can help you achieve exactly 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 could range from four up to ten percent.
We provide numerous drug testing services around Fate that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse problem, discourage current staff from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while maintaining compliance with DOT regulations if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other areas of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned drug testing facilities, we are here 24/7—and we travel to your jobsite to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you get all of the benefits 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 team are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your night shift’s sleep cycle to go to a testing lab during normal business hours. Never again will you have to send staff off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving the crew short staffed. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you conduct a drug test
If you are regulated by the DOT, you must adhere to specific regulations in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce mimic those regulations when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Fate businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll even 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 DOT requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted 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 regulations, however, it’s also used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive staff to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly generate a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce are 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 periodically throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also required.
The DOT requires a urine test and tests for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Train your management staff to spot the signs of drug use. If they believe an employee is under the influence, 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 an accident on-site, drug testing all employees 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 after that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Fate utilizing a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your circumstances.
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 go 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 the urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and inexpensive, 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 place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also present 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 adding adulterants, 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 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 urine drug testing. It’s also just as quick, easy, and inexpensive. It provides the shortest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drug use 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 performed 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 entire 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 few days.
Because it detects 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 testing method 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 incorporate the test into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug testing method offers the same ease as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day detection window 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 passing 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 baggie. While this testing method is easy 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 compared to head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head will 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.