Last updated: May 16, 2022
Want to create a safe and drug-free workplace in Pasadena? A drug-free workplace program can help you achieve just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states currently offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides a wide range of drug testing services in the Pasadena, Texas area that help you to screen out new employees who use drugs, 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 aspects of your company if you’re not. And we can perform drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing laboratories, we’re here 24/7—and we come to your business to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you enjoy all of the benefits without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets done on time, every time, no matter where your employees are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your staff’s sleep cycle to visit a testing facility during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to send staff off-site for drug testing at a laboratory leaving the crew a man short. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform drug testing
If your business is regulated by the DOT, you are required to adhere to specific regulations on workplace drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce use those same laws when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Pasadena businesses a program that customizes 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 many reasons to perform 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 hire can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation compliance, however, it’s also common in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive staff to have their names added to a random pool. This 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 safety-sensitive staff have been drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, 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 looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management staff must be trained to identify drug abuse. If they suspect an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and document everything 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 employees involved can help determine who is at fault and defend 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 perform drug tests throughout Pasadena with 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 advice on deciding which is best for your circumstances.
All test samples go through an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test determines 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 are sent 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 method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, 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 place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present a challenge 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 dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method identifies drugs from about a half-hour of ingestion up to several 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 relatively newer than other methods, but is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as quick, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies 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 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 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 couple of days.
Because it identifies 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 test offers the same convenience as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day detection window overrides the additional cost in the eyes of more and more business owners. 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 decision soon.
This test requires the administrator 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 bag. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some employees may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used 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 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.