Last updated: March 27, 2023
Looking to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace for your business throughout Santa Monica? Workplace drug testing can help you achieve just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Thirteen states currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides a wide range of drug screening services in the Santa Monica, Texas area that enable you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse problem, 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 parts of your company if you’re not. And we can perform drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional drug testing centers, we’re available 24/7—and we come to your business to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you receive all of the benefits without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is conducted on time, every time, no matter where your staff are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the employee’s sleep cycle to go to a testing facility during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to pull a worker off-site for drug testing at a lab leaving your crew short staffed. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you conduct drug testing
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you are required to follow strict laws in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce mimic these guidelines when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Santa Monica employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your unique 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, including:
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 a pre-employment drug test before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT regulations, however, it’s common in other industries too. The department requires all members of a safety-sensitive workforce 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 have been 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 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 personnel to spot the signs of drug use. If they suspect someone 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 staff involved can help determine 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 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 administer drug tests throughout Santa Monica using a variety of different methods, depending on your circumstances. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test samples undergo an initial screen. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies 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 returning 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 approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, easy, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure 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 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 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. 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 somewhat 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 minutes of use. It only identifies drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most significant 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 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 couple of days.
Because it can identify 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 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 provides a 90-day period of detection 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 decision anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to clip 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 bag. While this testing method is easy 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 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 about a year.
The hair test can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.