The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) had issued two final rules to better protect railroad employees working on or near railroad tracks. The rules issued a year ago take effect next week.
One of the rules revises FRA’s existing alcohol and drug testing regulations and expands the requirements to now cover Maintenance of Way (MOW) employees.
Currently, a MOW employee is only drug and alcohol tested when he or she has died because of an incident or an accident. MOW employees will now be fully subject to FRA’s drug and alcohol testing rules that includes random testing, post-accident testing, reasonable suspicion testing, pre-employment testing, return-to-duty testing and follow-up testing. The random testing rate is 50% for drugs and 25% for alcohol.
A MOW employee could be a railroad employee or a contractor working on or near railway tracks. The exact verbiage is:
“Roadway worker means any employee of a railroad, or of a contractor to a railroad, whose duties include inspection, construction, maintenance or repair of railroad track, bridges, roadway, signal and communication systems, electronic traction systems, roadway facilities or roadway maintenance machinery on or near track or with the potential of fouling a track, and flagmen and watchmen/lookouts as defined….”.
Whether you are an engineer, conductor or someone working alongside the tracks, safety requires alertness. Any reduction in awareness caused by drugs or alcohol use can often be the difference between life and death – FRA administrator Sarah E. Feinberg
We at ARCpoint Labs of Southboro-Framingham can help your company meet all compliance requirements as it relates to this new regulation. If you think your company falls under the new MOW requirements please contact us at (508)834-3760.