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Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Employing people that you can rely on, and trust is key to creating a safe and productive workplace. When selecting employees for your company, requiring pre-employment drug testing allows you to make informed decisions. Substance use and abuse can cause issues that many employees must deal with. Drug use can be financially draining for employees and employers, can increase absences, decrease capacity, and pose risks to other customers, clients, and staff members. Our St. Petersburg pre-employment drug testing services at Fastest Labs assist workplaces in making effective decisions when hiring new staff members.

Why Do Companies Implement Pre-Employment Drug Tests?

Pre-employment testing is the most common type of drug testing. Pre-employment drug tests are performed before a person is officially hired for a specific position within a company. They can accurately determine whether a person is using illegal substances or abusing prescription medications. Pre-employment drug testing is a highly beneficial and effective stage in staffing a company. It can also be effective when carried out when employees return to work after having time off. Identifying drug use is especially pertinent in working environments where risk is high, such as in factories and construction sites. Pre-employment drug tests can identify a wide range of substances such as Cocaine, Methamphetamines, Opiates, Phencyclidine, and THC. Benefits of pre-employment drug tests can include better productivity, reduced safety risk, less time off work, higher employee retainment, and decreased number of compensation claims.

Types of Pre-Employment Drug Tests

Four types of drug tests are most used for pre-employment. Choosing the most appropriate type is reliant on the requirements and the goals of the workplace.

1. Urine Test

Urinalysis is the most used method of drug testing and is often conducted after a conditional employment offer has been made. A Urinalysis test can identify traces that remain after use in the last 80 hours. The ability to monitor for honesty and reliability must be considered with this type of testing.

2. Blood Test

Using blood to test for drugs is effective and accurate. Even though blood tests can be more costly and invasive than other drug testing methods, it is the most preferred by courts when using drug test results as evidence. At Fastest Labs St. Petersburg, we keep the samples for initial testing so that a second test can be run if a judge or attorney requests it.

3. Saliva Test

During a saliva test, a specimen is obtained by using a swab on the inside of the mouth. When using this drug testing method, the process can be monitored completely, resulting in a reduced risk of altering specimens or cheating on a test. This type of test is also easy to conduct on-site, which reduces costs and the time taken. Saliva testing identified current or recent drug use, indicating a positive reading for substances used within the last 24-48 hours. The results can be received within minutes. This preliminary result will then be tested in a professional laboratory for further action.

4. Hair Testing

Drug testing using hair follicles is possible with a sample taken from the body or the head. This form of testing can be more comprehensive than other testing methods. It can also be more reliable because employees may be surprised and not be prepared as they may be for urine tests. Hair is tested for the presence of drugs or their by-products. A sample of 1.5 inches can allow for a detection timeframe of up to 90 days after drug use. It doesn’t detect current drug use as it takes drugs 5-10 days to reach the hair follicles. Due to differing hair growth rates around the body, results can vary depending on where the sample was sourced.

Why Employers Should Require Pre-Employment Drug Testing

If workplace safety is of the utmost importance to a company, then conducting pre-employment drug tests can help mitigate risks associated with drug misuse. By indicating on a job application that an offer of employment may be contingent on the results of a drug test, an employer can help to deter substance abusers from applying altogether. For occupations that place employees in safety-sensitive environments, pre-employment drug testing is critical, as it can help reduce the number of costly workers’ compensation claims involving drug or alcohol use. Up to 50 percent of all workers’ compensation claims are related to workplace substance abuse.

In certain industries, the importance of pre-employment and routine drug screening for applicants and employees is obvious. For example, transportation companies that hire truck drivers, taxi drivers, and bus drivers should include drug screening as a regular part of their screening processes. The transportation industry is also subject to strict regulations that mandate pre-employment DOT drug screens and random tests of drivers. Other industries, including construction and healthcare, also should consider pre-employment drug screens because of potential safety issues that could otherwise occur.

The Legality of Drug Testing in St. Peterburg, Florida

Laws on workplace drug testing vary between states, and employers must be clear on what is acceptable in their locality. This is particularly important for Florida employers, who must understand the rights surrounding pre-employment drug testing. While some industries, like aviation and transportation, require drug-free workplaces, any business can conduct drug tests within the boundaries of Florida law. Consequently, employers must follow specific procedures before and during testing.

To begin with, employers must inform job applicants in the job listing that pre-employment drug testing will be necessary for all new hires. Testing may occur after the job offer has been made, and employers can test employees based on reasonable suspicion of drug activity. This includes sudden changes in behavior, a history of drug use, or observing drug activity.

Employers also have the right to test employees who return to work after a long absence, using drug testing in conjunction with a routine physical fitness exam. If an employee previously tested positive and underwent rehabilitation, the employer can test the employee upon their return to work. However, if the employee chose to go to rehab voluntarily, the employer is not required to conduct drug testing.

Ensure Your New Employees are Drug-Free

While urgent care clinicians are generally able to perform drug tests for employment, they may not possess the necessary knowledge to help employers develop drug testing policies that follow various laws and regulations. This is where occupational health providers come in. Unlike urgent care clinicians, they are more qualified to perform pre-employment drug tests and can provide employers with advice on drug testing programs and how to streamline the process.

At Fastest Labs, our trained occupational clinicians conduct drug testing in a way that complies with all relevant state and federal laws and regulations. We understand that making the right employment decisions can have a significant impact on a company, regardless of its size. For example, drug-related issues can lead to decreased output, increased costs and claims, compromised safety, decreased teamwork and motivation, and negatively impact employees' overall health and well-being.

It is crucial for companies to have a comprehensive understanding of employment drug testing to avoid legal consequences and ensure that their workplace is safe and drug-free. Our experts can guide companies through the process and ensure that their drug testing program meets all the necessary legal requirements while maximizing efficiency. Whether you're a local business or a global corporation, Fastest Labs can help you develop and implement a successful drug testing program in St. Petersburg.

Your St. Peterburg Drug Testing Provider

Fastest Labs is qualified to process pre-employment drug tests and can assist in developing a suitable drug testing policy and procedure program. We offer a broad range of drug screening options that allow you to combine and customize your program to meet your unique business needs, all from a single, convenient provider. Contact Fastest Labs in St. Petersburg today to discuss the drug testing method most suitable for your workplace.