Title 49

SECTION 219.205

219.205 Specimen collection and handling.

§ 219.205 Specimen collection and handling.

(a) General. Urine and blood specimens must be obtained, marked, preserved, handled, and made available to FRA consistent with the requirements of this subpart, the instructions provided inside the FRA post-accident toxicological shipping kit, and the technical specifications set forth in appendix C to this part.

(b) Information requirements. Basic information concerning the accident/incident and any treatment administered after the accident/incident is necessary to process specimens, analyze the significance of laboratory findings, and notify railroads and employees of test results. Accordingly, the railroad representative must complete the information required by Form FRA 6180.73 (revised) for shipping with the specimens. Each employee subject to testing must cooperate in completion of the required information on Form FRA F 6180.74 (revised) for inclusion in the shipping kit and processing of the specimens. The railroad representative must ask an appropriate representative of the medical facility to complete the remaining portion of the information on each Form 6180.74. A Form 6180.73 must be forwarded in the shipping kit with each group of specimens. A Form 6180.74 must be forwarded in the shipping kit for each employee who provides specimens. A Form 6180.73 and either a Form 6180.74 or a Form 6180.75 (for fatalities) are included in the shipping kit. (See paragraph (c) of this section.)

(c) Shipping kits. (1) FRA and the laboratory designated in appendix B to this part make available for purchase a limited number of standard shipping kits for the purpose of routine handling of post-accident toxicological specimens under this subpart. Specimens must be placed in the shipping kit and prepared for shipment according to the instructions provided in the kit and appendix C to this part.

(2) Standard shipping kits may be ordered directly from the laboratory designated in appendix B to this part by first requesting an order form from FRA's Drug and Alcohol Program Manager at 202-493-6313. In addition to the standard kit for surviving employees, FRA also has distributed a post-mortem shipping kit to Class I, II, and commuter railroads. The post-mortem kit may not be ordered by other railroads. If a smaller railroad has a qualifying event involving a fatality to an on-duty employee, the railroad should advise the NRC at 1-800-424-8802 of the need for a post-mortem kit, and FRA will send one overnight to the medical examiner's office or assist the railroad in obtaining one from a nearby railroad.

(d) Shipment. Specimens must be shipped as soon as possible by pre-paid air express (or other means adequate to ensure delivery within 24 hours from time of shipment) to the laboratory designated in appendix B to this part. However, if delivery cannot be ensured within 24 hours due to a suspension in air express delivery services, the specimens must be held in a secure refrigerator until delivery can be accomplished. In no circumstances may specimens be held for more than 72 hours. Where express courier pickup is available, the railroad must ask the medical facility to transfer the sealed toxicology kit directly to the express courier for transportation. If courier pickup is not available at the medical facility where the specimens are collected or if for any other reason a prompt transfer by the medical facility cannot be assured, the railroad must promptly transport the sealed shipping kit holding the specimens to the most expeditious point of shipment via air express. The railroad must maintain and document a secure chain of custody of the kit(s) from its release by the medical facility to its delivery for transportation, as described in appendix C to this part.

(e) Specimen security. After a specimen kit or transportation box has been sealed, no entity other than the laboratory designated in appendix B to this part may open it. If the railroad or medical facility discovers an error with either the specimens or the chain of custody form after the kit or transportation box has been sealed, the railroad or medical facility must make a contemporaneous written record of that error and send it to the laboratory, preferably with the transportation box.

[81 FR 37933, June 10, 2016]