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New Construction Project? Customize your Drug Test Procedure to Save Time

Occupational Health

drug test procedure, Drug test, construction, drug testing, drug and alcohol company policy

What is your current drug test procedure?

If you are one of the countless individuals searching unfamiliar locations for clinics, wasting valuable time, and left feeling like you must move mountains to get your workers tested, you are not alone. The following information will change the way you manage and administer drug tests within your workforce. Before you get started choosing what location, drug test, and specimen works best for your company, it is critical to have an up to date and compliant Drug and Alcohol Policy. Your Drug and Alcohol Policy must be compliant with the State and Federal laws associated to your location and company. Without this document, you are not able to test your workforce legally. In a nut shell, your policy should encompass who’s subject to testing, the frequency of testing and what provided specimen will be required for testing.

Location Options:

There are essentially two different routes to take when deciding where your drug testing process will take place. You should reference your Drug and Alcohol Company Policy to see what substances and how frequent your drug testing will take place. These are important elements to consider and will have substantial influence over your decisions.

  1. Clinics– Employees can be sent to a local clinic for drug testing. Before sending your employees to a nearby clinic it is imperative that you call ahead to make sure they provide the products and services your tests require to conduct. Both Lab based and Instant testing are available.
  2. On site– Navigating through an unfamiliar area is both time consuming and frustrating. Luckily there is the on-site option. While on site, the employer can handle the collection and drug testing process or a certified collector (recommended), can be provided. Hiring a collector will alleviate the responsibility and liability from the employer and ensure the process is handled within compliance regulations. A collector at a clinic and a collector who is sent to a job site are essentially the same. Both are certified individuals who are authorized to handle specimens throughout the collection process. The benefits of having an on-site collector is the time that is saved versus having to locate and schedule a drug tests at a clinic. Lab based and Instant testing are both available.

Drug Testing Product Options:

Now that you have your location option selected you need to figure out what type of testing will best suite your company.

Lab Based Testing– Lab Based Testing can test urine, saliva, and hair for traces of a wide range of substances. Lab Based Testing can either be done at a clinic, or on the job site itself. Lab Based Testing at a clinic will require the employee to have an appointment at the clinic itself where specimens are collected and sent to a lab. Lab Based Testing can also take place on the job site itself. To have on site collections take place there are certain specifications that must be met, such as the presence of a bathroom and a same sex collector. Specimens are collected on site and then sent to a lab for testing. For tests that show levels of a banned substance, a Medical Review Officer (MRO) is needed to determine whether the individual is in fact abusing a substance.

Instant Testing– Instant Drug Testing can test urine and saliva and can take place either at a clinic or on the job site itself. The benefits of using an instant test on site are the rapid results that appear within five minutes. For those who test negative, they can return to work immediately. However, results that show any levels of a banned substance, the specimen must be sent in to a lab and to a MRO for confirmation testing. For the employer who is looking to get swift results and keep their employees on the job, the instant drug test option used on the job site proves to be the most efficient.  Confirmation Testing is needed when an individual shows levels of a banned substance. The specimen must be sent into a lab to verify the levels, and have then be analyzed by a MRO. The confirmation testing process can take a few days to a week for the employers to receive an indefinite answer.

Specimen Collection Options:

Lastly, you need to choose which specimen will be collected and tested. There are pros and cons to each but finding the right specimen can contribute to your drug testing process being as compatible with your company as possible.

Urine is the most common specimen used and enables employers to test for a wide range of drugs. Urine drug testing pros consist of it being inexpensive, dependable, and is federal testing approved. Urine drug testing is suitable for multiple testing circumstances such as random, pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, follow up, and return to duty screening. A major con of using urine as the tested specimen would be efforts made by individuals to tamper with the results as well as it being invasive to collect.

Oral Drug tests are collected by a swab being inserted into individuals mouth where saliva is then collected. Oral drug testing pros consist of the test being quick and easy, noninvasive, inexpensive and identifies recent drug use. Oral drug tests are suitable to use with testing situations such as pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, follow up and return to duty. Cons of using oral drug tests would be its inability to detect drug use beyond about 5 days, cannot measure frequency of use, and not currently approved for federal testing.

Hair drug tests are administered through the collection of hair, typically collected from the individuals head hair. Pros of using a hair drug tests are the tests ability to detect drug use for up to 90 days, reveals historical patterns of reoccurring drug usage, not easily tampered with and is suitable for pre-employment and return to duty testing. The cons of hair testing are its high cost, poor specimen for sporadic drug use, longer turnaround times, difficult if employee has no head/body hair, currently not approved for federal testing.

If this process gives you a headache, then hire a Third-Party Administrator. Origin is a Third Party Administer that can construct you an effective and compliant Drug and Alcohol Policy and tailor the drug testing process to your company’s exact needs. Origin has your company covered from the moment you order a drug test to the moment your employee returns to work. Origin is the expert, the company with not only the elite software capable of storing all your results, but the knowledge. Origin ensures that the drug testing process is done efficiently, legally and that employees are spending less time getting tested and more time at work.

To learn more about these processes and your options, visit




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