According to US Legal, onsite drug testing is a drug test to which an employee is subjected to by an employer. It may be required as part of its drug testing policy, using products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It should be conducted by a test administrator from a state-certified laboratory.
Although a controversial matter in the US, drug testing in the workplace is still being implemented in government and private industries where customer safety is of prime concern, evidence after evidence shows how illegal drugs affect employee productivity, attendance, social behavior, and so on.
This post will discuss the different types of onsite drug testing, the most common drug tests, and how it should be performed in the workplace. This post also includes a chart that features the different laws that govern drug testing in various states.
5 Types of Onsite Drug Testing
1. Pre-employment drug test
Pre-employment is the most common type of drug testing. It is required by most companies prior to hiring a candidate.
2. Random drug screening
Random drug testing, as the name suggests, is unplanned. It can be performed on any employee anytime. Some states are required to provide a notice to employees, but not for most. It is an attempt to prevent employees from using illegal substances.
3. Post-accident drug screening
When an employee is involved in an accident, whether the results are detrimental to him and others, a post-accident drug test is performed to find out if the employee is under the influence. If the employee is found guilty, he may be suspended, sent to a rehabilitation facility, or, in worst-case scenarios, terminated from his job.
4. Reasonable suspicion drug testing
This type of drug test is administered to people who are suspected of using illegal substances due to behaviors related to a drug-induced state –violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, and tendencies – that may harm not only the concerned employee but others as well.
5. Return to duty/ follow up drug screening
If an employee who was caught and suspended or sent to rehab for violating the company’s policies on illegal drug use, he will be subjected to a return to duty drug examination. If the test proves that the employee is still using drugs, he or she can be terminated.
Types of Drug Tests
Below are the three basic types of drug tests.
1. Urine Testing
This is the most basic and non-invasive type of drug test. A drug testing cup is used to collect about 30 ml of urine. Then, a strip is inserted, depending on what drugs are to be checked. A 6 panel urine drug test, for example, is used to detect frequently abused substances like opiates and cocaine. 10 panel cups, on the other hand, is for detecting amphetamine, ecstasy, marijuana, among others. A 12 panel drug test is used to detect barbiturates, oxycodone, and tricyclic antidepressants in the metabolite.
Be aware, however, that this test is easy to manipulate. Clients can dilute their urine with water or substitute it with drug-free urine. They might also try to take detoxifiers or drink plenty of water to pass the test.
2. Hair Testing
Of all drug tests, this is the most difficult, if not impossible, to cheat. It’s because it can detect drugs three months after use. Drug residues cannot be washed off with shampoo, conditioner, or vinegar because they are not in the hair itself but embedded in the follicles. And even if a client cuts his hair or shaves his head, testers can collect hair from other areas of the body – the eyebrows, armpit, and so on.
3. Blood Testing
This is the least used type of drug testing because it’s the most expensive and the most invasive. It is performed by collecting a blood sample from an individual suspected of using illegal substances.
How to Perform an Onsite Urine Drug Testing
- Prior to testing, a standardized form is given to the employee. He or she must fill this up.
- An area in the workplace will be set up specifically for the procedure.
- A site collection person will be assigned to ensure the integrity of samples.
- The collection of urine samples should be done in private. The employee will be given a CLIA-approved urine drug testing cup. In case of supervised testing or if a non-medical person is assigned, only the same gender as the client is allowed to assist. Then, 30 ml to 45 ml of urine will be collected.
- The urine sample will be analyzed.
State-by-state Workplace Drug Testing Laws
Drug testing laws may vary from state to state. For more details, check out the chart below.