Last updated: December 5, 2022
Trying to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace throughout Fredericksburg? 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’ compensation insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
We provide numerous drug testing services for your business in Fredericksburg that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse problem, discourage current employees 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 aspects of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned laboratories, we are available 24/7—and we come to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you enjoy all of the benefits without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing gets conducted on time, every time, no matter where your team are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your employee’s sleep cycle to report to a drug testing lab during daytime business hours. Never again will you have to send a worker off-site for a drug test at a facility leaving your crew short staffed. 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 you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must follow specific laws on workplace drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies mimic those same regulations when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Fredericksburg businesses 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 several reasons to perform workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted to get behind the wheel. Many employers of the general workforce 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 common in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive employees to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly create a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive staff are drug tested before they operate 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 required.
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 recognize the signs of substance impairment. If they believe an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching that 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 employees involved can help identify where responsibility lies 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 have tested positive for drugs. 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 perform drug tests throughout Fredericksburg utilizing several different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your circumstances.
All test specimens go through an initial screen. The immunoassay (IA) test determines a positive or negative result. The majority of 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 specimen.
The industry standard is the urinalysis. (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 need to disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also be an issue because a test must be performed by a collector of the same sex.
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 drug users to succeed.
This testing method identifies drug use from about a half-hour after use up to several weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Regular users 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 than other methods, yet is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as quick, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest window of detection though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only identifies drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The biggest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be administered literally anywhere—even in plain view of other employees. 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 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 uncertain whether or not the DOT will incorporate the test into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug testing method offers the same convenience as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers 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, 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 staff may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be collected 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 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 about a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.