Rail Federal agencies Legislation Drugs

FRA proposing to extend drug, alcohol regulations to maintenance-of-way workers

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Washington – A proposed rule from the Federal Railroad Administration would expand the scope of alcohol and drug regulations to cover employees who perform maintenance-of-way activities, which include the inspection, installation, repair and maintenance of track or roadbed.

A notice of proposed rulemaking published in the July 28 Federal Register states that expanding the regulations to include MOW employees – who would be subject to selection for random testing – is expected to result in fewer worker injuries.

FRA is proposing to set the initial minimum annual random testing rates for MOW employees at 50 percent for drug testing and 25 percent for alcohol testing.

In addition, MOW employees hired by a railroad or contractor after the effective date of the final rule would be required to take a pre-employment drug test before performing regulated service for the first time.

The NPRM was released in response to a congressional mandate in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.