Maintenance of Way (MOW) Drug Testing Rules
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is going to require subcontractors who perform Maintenance of Way (MOW) functions to comply with the U S Department of Transportation (DOT) Drug and Alcohol Rules. The date the compliance will begin is June 12, 2017.
The DOT rules will require MOW employees to be tested at a random rate of 50% for drugs 25% for alcohol. Pre-employment testing will be required for any new employees after June 12, 2017 and current employees will not be required to take a pre-employment test.
MOW sub-contractors will need to become aware of the U. S. DOT rules governing alcohol and drug testing. The following are situations that require testing: (1) pre-employment, (2) random testing necessary to comply with prescribed rates, (3) reasonable suspicion testing, (4) post-accident testing, (5) random follow-up testing.
Each employer will need to have a designated employee representative (DER). This individual will maintain the records of employee testing, violations and substance abuse evaluations. This function can be carried out by a third-party administrator (TPA). Employees who fail the drug and alcohol testing must be referred to a substance abuse professional (SAP). The SAP will conduct an evaluation and determine when the employee can return to safety sensitive duty and what follow-up testing will be required.
There is considerable confusion about these new alcohol and drug testing rules. The best way to get clarification is to contact a substance abuse professional who can advise you on the proper procedures.
The U.S. Department of Transportation does conduct field audits and will levy fines in instances where they find non-compliance.