Drug and Alcohol
For purposes of Part 219, FRA has designated its safety-sensitive employees to be those who perform service covered under the hours of service laws (covered service) and Maintenance of Way employees as defined as a "Roadway Worker” in Part 214.7; and/or any employee who, on behalf of a railroad, performs mechanical tests or inspections required by Parts 215, 221, 229, 230, 232, or 238 of this chapter on railroad rolling equipment, or its components will also be subject to Part 219 requirements. On March 4, 2022, the term "regulated service" will include all hours of service employees, roadway workers and mechanical employees, inclusive of "regulated service" contractors and also individuals who may volunteer to perform regulated service duties for a railroad. These generally include train and engine service employees involved in the movement of trains or engines (e.g., conductors, brakemen, switchmen, engineers, locomotive hostlers/helpers), dispatching employees who issue mandatory directives (e.g., train dispatchers, control operators), signal employees who inspect, repair or maintain signal systems and maintenance of way employees performing duties of roadway workers as defined in Part 214.7; and/or any employee who, on behalf of a railroad, performs mechanical tests or inspections required by parts 215, 221, 229, 230, 232, or 238 of this chapter on railroad rolling equipment, or its components, as defined by the definition of "Mechanical or MECH employee" in Part 219.5, which is effective March 4, 2022.
New** DOT Office of Drug and alcohol Policy has posted the “DOT COVID-19 Drug & Alcohol Testing Statement of Enforcement Discretion for Substance Abuse Professionals and Service Agents” document.
It provides that the Department will not pursue enforcement action against Substance Abuse Professionals that engage in remote assessments/evaluations for employees with drug and alcohol violations or service agents that fail to timely re-qualify during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
It is now available on the DOT web site here
FRA has developed model compliance plans to assist railroads and their regulated service contractors in complying with Part 219 requirements, with updates of Part 219 regulatory requirements and the addition to random drug and alcohol testing of Mechanical employees, as defined by the definition of "Mechanical or MECH employee" in Part 219.5, which is effective March 4, 2022. Model Railroad Contractor Compliance Plan, Model Compliance Plan for Small Railroads and Model Railroad Compliance Plan.
Prescription (Rx) and Over-the-Counter (OTC) medication Training and Policy Toolkit and FRA Letter to the railroad industry in relation 49 CFR Part 219.103. The following link: https://labels.fda.gov/ is to FDA’s Online Label Repository that has important information regarding prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) medication warnings, precautions, dosages, and interactions. FRA is concerned primarily with those Rx-OTC medications that may cause impairment through drowsiness and fatigue. FRA’s 49 CFR Part 219.103 requires, at a minimum, that a regulated service employee’s prescribing physician be made aware of the employee’s assigned duties and medical history, and deem that the use of that substance (and dosage level) is consistent with the safe performance of the employee's duties. In addition, Part 219.103 allows for an employer to require that employees notify the railroad of therapeutic drug use and/or obtain prior approval for such use.
Regardless of whether an employer is requiring the minimum employee physician review or a company Rx notification, medical review, and appropriate restriction policy, the FDA Online Label Repository should be used as the source information by which to make that determination.
Post Accident Determination App.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is one of ten agencies under the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The FRA’s mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future. As part of FRA’s drug and alcohol testing program, certain accidents/incident are subject to Part 49 CFR 219, Subpart C Post Accident Testing requirements. In order for railroad managers and their regulated contractors to make more rapid FRA Post-accident testing determinations, FRA has developed an Application available for use on Apple devices. A version for Android devices will be forthcoming. The application is also a tool that is available to all railroad and contractor employees to help them understand FRA’s Post Accident requirements.
Download it from The Apple APP Store.
Download it from The Google Play Store.
(Title 49 CFR)
- Post-Accident Testing Guidance & Definitions
- Control of Alcohol and Drug Use: Coverage of Mechanical Employees and Miscellaneous Amendments - 49 CFR Part 219
- NEW Post Accident Determination App
- Prescription (Rx) and Over-the-Counter (OTC) medication Training and Policy Toolkit
- Testing Forms
- What You Need to Know About Federal Drug and Alcohol Testing
- Post Accident
- Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Accidents - Flyer