Last updated: January 24, 2022
Do you want to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace in West? 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’ comp insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the savings may range from four up to ten percent.
We offer numerous drug screening services for your business throughout West 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 DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other areas of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned drug testing labs, USA Mobile Drug Testing is available 24/7—and we travel to your business to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get 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 performed on time, every time, no matter where your team are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the night shift’s sleep cycle to report to a testing center during regular business hours. Now you won’t need to send workers off-site for a drug test at a laboratory leaving your crew short staffed. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform a drug test
If your business is regulated by the DOT, you are required to follow specific regulations in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce follow those regulations when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers West businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll even create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons for workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that a negative drug test result is 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 compliance, however, it’s common in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive employees 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 members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been 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 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 recognize substance use. If they believe someone is under the influence, 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 on-site, drug testing all employees involved can help identify where responsibility lies and defend 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 once that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout West using a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. 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 screening. 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 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 sample.
The industry standard is still a urine drug test. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, and you have to disable 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 a collector of the same gender.
Additionally, 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 can identify drug use from about a half-hour of ingestion up to a few weeks after the last 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, yet is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, simple, and inexpensive. It offers the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only detects 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 performed 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 is saturated. The 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 few days.
Because it identifies 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 unclear whether or not the DOT will incorporate the test into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug testing method offers the same ease as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day period of detection 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 urinalysis. The request is passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word soon.
This test requires the administrator to cut 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 simple and convenient, some staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used instead and is tested by volume rather than 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 compared to 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 up to a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.