Last updated: May 16, 2022
Want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace around Pleasanton? Workplace drug testing can help you achieve just that so that you can boost 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 could range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides numerous drug screening services throughout Pleasanton 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 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 testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional laboratories, we’re here 24/7—and we come to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you enjoy all of the advantages without dealing 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 the staff’s sleep cycle to report to a testing facility during normal business hours. Never again will you have to pull an employee off-site for a drug test at a laboratory leaving the crew a man short. We roll 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 DOT, you are required to follow strict guidelines on workplace drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies mimic these same regulations when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Pleasanton businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll also write 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, 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 allowed on the road. Many employers of the general workforce 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 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 create a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all safety-sensitive employees are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, drivers are entered 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 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 drug impairment. If they suspect an employee is under the influence, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching that employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all staff involved can help identify who is at fault 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 administer drug tests throughout Pleasanton using a variety of different methods, depending on your circumstances. 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 samples go through 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 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 still the urine drug test. (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 to secure a private restroom, and you have to disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also be an issue because a test must be performed by an administrator of the same sex.
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 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 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. Regular 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, but is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as quick, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest window of detection though. Still, it drug-testing 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 a mouth swab drug test is that it can be administered literally anywhere—even in plain sight of other employees. The test only requires placing a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it becomes 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 few days.
Because it can detect 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 alternative drug testing method for all federally mandated employers as of January 1, 2020.
At this time, it’s unclear 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 detection window overrides the added 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 working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word soon.
This test requires the administrator 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 baggie. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some staff may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used 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 provides a longer detection window than 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.