As the main government agency that regulates and oversees the safety of our nation’s railroads, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has a wide range of responsibilities. The crux of these responsibilities involves maintaining and upholding safety standards, which includes the implementation of a drug testing program.
Specifically, the FRA is responsible for administering drug and alcohol testing for railroad employees in safety-sensitive positions. Because the FRA is actually housed within the Department of Transportation (DOT), the FRA’s testing program takes its cues from the DOT in that it requires testing under certain conditions, establishes minimum drug and alcohol testing rates for each category of employees, and specifies the testing procedures and substances to be tested for. Like the DOT program, the FRA drug testing program aims to promote safety and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in the railroad industry.
Understanding the specifics of the program is only one part of the equation. The other part is actually providing services that maintain and implement these testing requirements to ensure accurate, fast results. When your company is responsible for FRA drug testing, consider working with Fleet Drug Testing Services. Our team provides a full-service solution to your drug testing needs by providing fully compliant methods of testing, reading, and storing results. To get started, contact us today.
Originally established on April 1, 1967, The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is a regulatory agency within the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) that oversees and promotes safety in the nation’s railroad system. The FRA’s mission statement is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient transportation of people and goods by rail. The agency accomplishes this mission by:
The FRA has broad jurisdiction over various aspects of railroad operations, including:
This all amounts to a significant investment of resources to accomplish the agency’s goals. Data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) 2021 report found rail travel comprised the following:
Obviously, what this data shows is that a significant number of people either use our country’s railroads to travel to and from destinations or utilize these systems to transport goods from one place to another. What this means is that a comprehensive drug and alcohol testing program is necessary to ensure the safety of anyone that uses our railroad system.
The FRA’s drug testing program mirrors that of the DOT, and applies to all those in “safety-sensitive” positions. The FRA defines safety-sensitive employees as those who perform functions that are directly related to the safe operation of a railroad, which can include:
Transportation department employees who manage train schedules and crew assignments.
Like the DOT’s program, the FRA program includes the following requirements:
Again, these regulations are codified in federal law, so any non-compliance can be met with swift and serious punishments. More than that, though, this program is in place to ensure the safety of anyone that uses a railroad to travel or transport goods.
You may be wondering if your company has to comply with these regulations. Whether or not your company is required to comply with the FRA’s drug testing program depends on several factors, including:
If your company performs work that is directly related to the safe operation of a railroad, such as construction or maintenance work, then your employees may be considered safety-sensitive under FRA regulations, and your company may be required to comply with the FRA’s drug testing requirements.
Additionally, if your employees are performing safety-sensitive functions for a railroad, such as operating trains or maintaining signal systems, then they are subject to FRA drug testing requirements, even if they are employed by a contractor or subcontractor.
While the railroad industry is used by a number of different businesses and companies to perform a wide variety of different tasks, the fact remains that compliance with a federally-regulated and enforced drug testing program can have a significant impact on your business. Chances are, if your company is involved in rail travel or transport, you will have to comply with the program. Thus, you may also require our services to make sure all your bases are covered.
At Fleet Drug Testing, we can make sure that your company remains compliant with any federal regulations and requirements for drug testing programs, including the Federal Railroad Administration. Not only can our expert team keep your company and employees in compliance, but we can also provide you with a full range of services, from testing to records management to make sure that your business can keep moving forward.
If you have to maintain compliance with an FRA or any other federal drug testing program, contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
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