Integrity Testing — Federal Railroad Administration
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Federal Railroad Administration - FRA

The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 requires drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees who provide rail services.


Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations in 49 CFR Part 219 (as amended) establish minimum federal safety requirements for the control of alcohol and drug use in railroad operations. The regulations are designed to assist carriers in preventing accidents and casualties by implementing comprehensive drug and alcohol detection and deterrence programs.


A covered employee is defined as a person who either performs service during a duty tour or is assigned to perform service subject to the hours of service laws. That person may be an employee, contractor, or volunteer. Applicants for a position which has covered service responsibilities is considered a covered employee for all applicable purposes in Part 219. In general, train and engine service employees (including some hostlers), dispatching service employees, signal employees, and select other personnel (such as utility employees) are likely subject to Part 219 regulations.


A railroad affected by Part 219 must be operating on a standard gage track which is part of the general railroad system of transportation. This affects both freight and passenger operations, and certain commuter and other short-haul passenger service. Part 219 does not affect a railroad which only operates on tracks inside an installation and/or is not part of the general transportation system (i.e. plant railroads and rapid transit operations within an urban area).


Ultimately, Part 219 is intended to be a human factors regulation which reduces both the economic cost to railroad operations and the loss of personnel because of the use of drugs and the misuse of alcohol. To properly comply with its intricacies, carriers must be prepared to devote quality personnel and apply sufficient operational resources to make this essential safety program successful. FRA holds carriers fully accountable and responsible for the proper performance of its program, its program personnel, and its program's service providers.


Testing under FRA regulations includes pre-employment (pre-employment alcohol testing is optional), random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return-to-duty and follow-up testing. The Act requires that recipients follow the testing procedures set out by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The current random testing rates for the FRA are 25% for drug and 10% for alcohol.


Integrity Testing, will help you stay in compliance with FRA program requirements by establishing a complete substance abuse testing program that complies with both the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations as specified in 49 CFR Part 40 as well as FRA regulations as identified in 49 CFR Part 219. Our goal at Integrity is to keep each client in compliance and audit ready.


Expanded DOT program information is available at What Employers Need To Know About DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing [Guidance and Best Practices]


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