The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 8, 2009

On-Site In-Home Drug Testing

Company specializes in keeping workplaces safe

By Jessica Farrish

On-Site In-Home Drug Testing is working to keep the region’s workplaces and homes safer.

Located at 351 Prosperity Road in Prosperity, the business specializes in testing employees for local businesses. But it also tests individuals inside the On-Site In-Home office, including teenagers.

Owner DeWitt McKinney, who spent 22 years working in the coal industry, opened the business in June 2006 to meet a growing need.

“Generally with the employer, it’s a safety issue,” McKinney said. “They have employees that are doing safety-sensitive jobs like construction work, building homes, or driving company or customer vehicles ... coal miner or truck driver.

“They want to make sure their employees are not under the influence of something,” he added. “Accidents happen at the best you can do.

“If someone is driving under the influence of something, their risk of having an accident is a little more increased.

“Companies have to be sure for their own protection that they have a ‘clean’ work force.”

Employers may also opt for drug testing of employees in order to protect their company, said McKinney.

According to McKinney, employees with drug addictions are more likely to steal items from the workplace in order to support their habits.

If an employer knows employees are using drugs, the employer may be liable for damages if the employee injures someone or damages property while on the job, he added.

DeWitt has been trained and is certified to administer urine, hair and saliva tests for drugs and breath and saliva tests for alcohol.

The business offers a mobile unit with 24/7 availability. For the basic rate of $50, McKinney offers one 12-panel urine test which covers the spectrum of illegal narcotics, including prescription drugs. On-Site In-Home offers instant results and laboratory results for confirmation.

McKinney is also certified by the United States Department of Transportation to meet federal DOT regulations in drug testing and can help companies that must meet DOT regulations to understand their responsibilities for testing and how to meet those responsibilities.

“I’m pretty well covering all the bases to be a good asset to the business community, to be able to do what’s needed to fill the need for all their drug testing,” he said.

Once an employer has contacted McKinney, he visits the site with the mobile unit.

“I usually make sure they have a drug testing procedure in place for their employees because you can get into a situation where they have their privacy laws,” he explained.

McKinney schedules the testing and goes unannounced to the site.

On some occasions, every employee is tested.

“Last week, we went to a coal mine and tested every employee — office workers, bosses, general managers..,” said McKinney. “Nobody knew we were coming.”

On other occasions, some employees are selected at random via a special computer program at On-Site In-Home, McKinney said.

“In order for it to be a true random test, employees can’t be hand-picked or drawn out of a hat because (those procedures) can always be manipulated,” McKinney said. “When you let the computer do the selections, there’s no interference as far as someone saying, ‘I was singled out for this test.’”

McKinney said around 15 percent of drug tests are usually “positive.”

Many times, the culprit is a prescription pain killer.

If the employee can supply a prescription for the painkiller, the test is counted as “negative,” he added.

Current clients represent industries including coal mining, contracting, auto dealerships, blasting companies, staff of assisted living homes and manufacturing companies, said McKinney.

“In about all aspects of life, drugs affects somebody else,” he said.

On-Site In-Home Drug Testing is currently working with Nationwide Testing Association to host an employers’ seminar on Department of Transportation requirements.

“What I have found with my work is there are so many employers who don’t know what the federal government requires them to do as far as testing their truck drivers,” he said, adding that the seminar will answer the questions on DOT testing.

The seminar is expected to be held in September.

On-Site In-Home Testing may be reached at 304-254-8180 or via e-mail at demac351@verizon.net.

— E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com