Is Your Toilet Water The Right Color?

occupational drug testing

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Collecting urine isn’t as easy as it looks.

Seriously… If your collection site is sloppy during the collection process you could end up testing an adulterated / fraudulent sample.

Aside from returning a negative result for a habitual drug user in your company (which puts you at a much higher risk for expensive accidents and fatalities), these mistakes could also be pointed out in court putting you on the wrong side of a losing lawsuit.

And nobody needs that.  So read on and make sure you know what your collection site SHOULD be doing… if they aren’t, maybe it’s time to switch up!

The Proper Way To Collect a Urine Specimen For Drug Testing

Discourage Using Fake / Someone Else’s Urine

There are plenty of ways to get fake urine into the bathroom if you are suitably clever or motivated.  However, the following steps should always be taken to make it as difficult as possible.

Your collection site should ALWAYS have the donor:

  • Remove their outer garments
  • Remove their hat
  • Empty all pockets and turn them inside out to verify they are indeed empty
  • Tape toilet handle to prevent an easy flush of a container that held fake urine

Prevent sample adulteration

Once your donor is in the bathroom, you want to make it as difficult as possible to adulterate the specimen.

  • Donor mush wash hands with soap and water after emptying their pockets in case some adulterant might be on their hands.
  • Remove any fluids from the bathroom (soap, cleaners, air freshener, etc..) that could be quickly and easily added to the specimen cup.
  • Add bluing agent to toilet water to make it extremely obvious if they added a bit of water to the cup.
  • Tape any sources of water (sink faucets, toilet tank lid)

Examine Sample

Yes, a good collection agent will examine the sample.  An experienced agent following proper protocols will look for the following:

  • Temperature within range. Each specimen cup has it’s own temperature strip, so this is a simple observation to make, but sloppy collectors will completely neglect this check.  Off-temperature specimens are easily the most common way we detect cheaters.
  • Unusual smell / color – As unpleasant as it may seem, your collection agent should check for proper color (is it blue from toilet water?) and weird smells. Either should be noted on the donor’s paperwork for follow up and potential retest.

In my 5+ years of drug testing, I’ve used this process with great success.  You won’t catch every cheater, but you at least minimize the fake results.  Plus, this process is the same as that used by the Department of Transportation for federally mandated drug testing so any court should recognize it as the most effective process.

Next time you send a guy for a drug test (or have a collection agent come to your site) check the color of the toilet water.  If you’ve got a good drug testing company, you’ll see blue.

If not, do yourself a favor and ask why.

Click here to see how Lobdock can help you save money and headaches with proper implementation of drug testing policies that are smart, efficient, and effective.  Or call us at 1-855-753-7843!

About the Author Susan Lobsinger

Susan is founder and President of Lobdock Impairment Detection, a full-service, mobile drug testing and contractor compliance management provider. Lobdock provides safety managers with the objective data they need to make safety decisions that make a difference in the lives, safety, and health of their employees who work in safety sensitive positions.

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