Last updated: December 6, 2021
Trying to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around Linn? A drug testing program can help you achieve exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
We offer a wide range of drug testing services around Linn that help you to screen out new employees who use drugs, 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 areas of your business if you’re not. And we can perform screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional laboratories, we’re here 24/7—and we travel to you to minimize 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 is performed on time, every time, no matter where your team are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your staff’s sleep cycle to visit a testing lab during regular business hours. Never again will you have to pull staff off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving your crew short staffed. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct drug testing
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to adhere to strict laws in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies use those guidelines when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Linn businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll also create 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 to drive. Many employers for the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation compliance, however, it’s also used 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 produce a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
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 placed into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing regularly 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
Your management personnel must be trained to spot substance abuse. If they suspect an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching that employee. The suspected employee must then report for a drug test immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident at work, drug testing all staff involved can help identify who is at fault 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 once the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Linn utilizing 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 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 sample.
The industry standard is a urinalysis. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you have to 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 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 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 a few weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Addicts 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 relatively newer, yet is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most powerful advantage of a mouth swab drug test is that it can be performed 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 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 can identify 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 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 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 word soon.
This test requires the collector to clip 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 rather than 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 about 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.