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Drug and Alcohol

Important resource:  FRA developed an Rx-OTC pamphlet to apprise regulated railroad employees of their responsibilities regarding prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and state marijuana laws. The pamphlet also highlights some alarming trends regarding prescription use in the U.S. To learn more, see the Prescription and Over-the-Counter Training Module text below under Resources.

Who Is Regulated Under FRA’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements?

For purposes of 49 CFR Part 219, FRA has designated regulated employees to be those who perform service under the hours-of-service laws (covered service) and maintenance-of-way employees as defined as a "roadway worker” in 49 CFR 214.7. In addition, any employee who, on behalf of a railroad, performs mechanical tests or inspections required by 49 CFR Parts 215, 221, 229, 230, 232, or 238 on railroad rolling equipment, or its components, is also subject to Part 219 requirements. 

As of March 4, 2022, the term "regulated service" includes 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 the following crafts or functions:

  • 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
  • Maintenance-of-way employees performing duties of roadway workers as defined in Section 214.7
  • Any employee who, on behalf of a railroad, performs mechanical tests or inspections required by Parts 215, 221, 229, 230, 232, or 238 on railroad rolling equipment, or its components, as defined in "Mechanical or MECH employee" in Section 219.5, which became effective March 4, 2022. 

Resources