Last updated: December 5, 2022
Looking to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace throughout Whitney? Workplace drug testing can help you accomplish exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the discounts can range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers numerous drug screening services throughout Whitney that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse problem, 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 parts of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned laboratories, we are available 24/7—and we come to your jobsite to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing is conducted on time, every time, no matter where your team are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your night shift’s sleep cycle to visit a testing lab during normal 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 roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct drug testing
If your business is regulated by the DOT, you must follow particular guidelines on workplace drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies use these same guidelines when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Whitney employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll also develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons to conduct workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted to drive. Many employers of the general workforce require pre-employment drug testing before a new hire begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s also used 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 create a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been 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 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 tests for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management personnel must be trained to identify drug impairment. If they believe someone 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 employees involved can help determine who is responsible 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 administer drug tests throughout Whitney with several different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens undergo 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 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 a urinalysis. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, and you have to disable both the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present 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 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 after use up to several weeks after the last 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, but is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as fast, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies drugs 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 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 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 detects 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 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 incorporate the test into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test offers the same ease 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 working 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) section of hair, ideally 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 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 provides 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 about a year.
The hair test can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.