Title 49 Part 219 → Subpart C
Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter II → Part 219 → Subpart C
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR
Title 49 Part 219 → Subpart C
Subpart C—Post-Accident Toxicological Testing
§219.201 Events for which testing is required.
§219.203 Responsibilities of railroads and employees.
§219.205 Specimen collection and handling.
§219.206 FRA access to breath test results.
§219.209 Reports of tests and refusals.
§219.211 Analysis and follow-up.
§219.213 Unlawful refusals; consequences.
§219.201 Events for which testing is required.
(a) List of events. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, FRA post-accident toxicological tests must be conducted after any event that involves one or more of the circumstances described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (5) of this section:
(1) Major train accident. Any train accident (i.e., a rail equipment accident involving damage in excess of the current reporting threshold) that involves one or more of the following:
(i) A fatality to any person;
(ii) A release of hazardous material lading from railroad equipment accompanied by—
(A) An evacuation; or
(B) A reportable injury resulting from the hazardous material release (e.g., from fire, explosion, inhalation, or skin contact with the material); or
(iii) Damage to railroad property of $1,500,000 or more.
(2) Impact accident. Any impact accident (i.e., a rail equipment accident defined as an “impact accident” in §219.5) that involves damage in excess of the current reporting threshold, resulting in—
(i) A reportable injury; or
(ii) Damage to railroad property of $150,000 or more.
(3) Fatal train incident. Any train incident that involves a fatality to an on-duty employee (as defined in §219.5) who dies within 12 hours of the incident as a result of the operation of on-track equipment, regardless of whether that employee was performing regulated service.
(4) Passenger train accident. Any train accident (i.e., a rail equipment accident involving damage in excess of the current reporting threshold) involving a passenger train and a reportable injury to any person.
(5) Human-factor highway-rail grade crossing accident/incident. A highway-rail grade crossing accident/incident when it involves:
(i) A regulated employee who interfered with the normal functioning of a grade crossing signal system, in testing or otherwise, without first taking measures to provide for the safety of highway traffic that depends on the normal functioning of such system, as prohibited by §234.209 of this chapter;
(ii) A train crewmember who was, or who should have been, flagging highway traffic to stop due to an activation failure of the grade crossing system, as provided by §234.105(c)(3) of this chapter;
(iii) A regulated employee who was performing, or should have been performing, the duties of an appropriately equipped flagger (as defined in §234.5 of this chapter) due to an activation failure, partial activation, or false activation of the grade crossing signal system, as provided by §234.105(c)(1) and (2), §234.106, or §234.107(c)(1)(i) of this chapter;
(iv) A fatality to any regulated employee performing duties for the railroad, regardless of fault; or
(v) A regulated employee who violated an FRA regulation or railroad operating rule and whose actions may have played a role in the cause or severity of the accident/incident.
(b) Exceptions. Except for a human-factor highway-rail grade crossing accident/incident described in paragraph (a)(5) of this section, no test may be required in the case of a collision between railroad rolling stock and a motor vehicle or other highway conveyance at a highway/rail grade crossing. No test may be required for an accident/incident the cause and severity of which are wholly attributable to a natural cause (e.g., flood, tornado, or other natural disaster) or to vandalism or trespasser(s), as determined on the basis of objective and documented facts by the railroad representative responding to the scene.
(c) Good faith determinations. (1)(i) The railroad representative responding to the scene of the accident/incident must determine whether the accident/incident falls within the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section or is within the exception described in paragraph (b) of this section. It is the duty of the railroad representative to make reasonable inquiry into the facts as necessary to make such determinations. In making such inquiry, the railroad representative must consider the need to obtain specimens as soon as practical in order to determine the presence or absence of impairing substances reasonably contemporaneous with the accident/incident. The railroad representative satisfies the requirement of this section if, after making reasonable inquiry, the representative exercises good faith judgement in making the required determinations.
(ii) The railroad representative making the determinations required by this section may not be a person directly involved in the accident/incident. This section does not prohibit consultation between the responding railroad representative and higher level railroad officials; however, the responding railroad representative must make the factual determinations required by this section.
(iii) Upon specific request made to the railroad by the Associate Administrator for Safety, FRA (or the Associate Administrator's delegate), the railroad must provide a report describing any decision by a person other than the responding railroad representative with respect to whether an accident/incident qualifies for testing. This report must be affirmed by the decision maker and must be provided to FRA within 72 hours of the request. The report must include the facts reported by the responding railroad representative, the basis upon which the testing decision was made, and the person making the decision.
(iv) Any estimates of railroad property damage made by persons not at the scene must be based on descriptions of specific physical damage provided by the on-scene railroad representative.
(v) In the case of an accident involving passenger equipment, a host railroad may rely upon the damage estimates provided by the passenger railroad (whether present on scene or not) in making the decision whether testing is required, subject to the same requirement that visible physical damage be specifically described.
(2) A railroad must not require an employee to provide blood or urine specimens under the authority or procedures of this subject unless the railroad has made the determinations required by this section, based upon reasonable inquiry and good faith judgment. A railroad does not act in excess of its authority under this subpart if its representative has made such reasonable inquiry and exercised such good faith judgment, but it is later determined, after investigation, that one or more of the conditions thought to have required testing were not, in fact, present. However, this section does not excuse the railroad for any error arising from a mistake of law (e.g., application of testing criteria other than those contained in this part).
(3) A railroad is not in violation of this subpart if its representative has made such reasonable inquiry and exercised such good faith judgment but nevertheless errs in determining that post-accident testing is not required.
(4) An accident/incident with respect to which the railroad has made reasonable inquiry and exercised good faith judgment in determining the facts necessary to apply the criteria contained in paragraph (a) of this section is deemed a qualifying event for purposes of specimen analysis, reporting, and other purposes.
(5) In the event specimens are collected following an event determined by FRA not to be a qualifying event within the meaning of this section, FRA directs its designated laboratory to destroy any specimen material submitted and to refrain from disclosing to any person the results of any analysis conducted.
[66 FR 41973, Aug. 9, 2001, as amended at 81 FR 37930, June 10, 2016]
§219.203 Responsibilities of railroads and employees.
(a) Employees tested. A regulated employee subject to post-accident toxicological testing under this subpart must cooperate in the provision of specimens as described in this part and appendix C to this part.
(1) General. Except as otherwise provided for by this section, following each qualifying event described in §219.201, a regulated employee directly involved in a qualifying event under this subpart must provide blood and urine specimens for toxicological testing by FRA. This includes any regulated employee who may not have been present or on-duty at the time or location of the event, but whose actions may have played a role in its cause or severity, including, but not limited to, an operator, dispatcher, or signal maintainer.
(2) Fatalities. Testing of the remains of an on-duty employee (as defined in §219.5) who is fatally injured in a qualifying event described in §219.201 is required, regardless of fault, if the employee dies within 12 hours of the qualifying event as a result of such qualifying event.
(3) Major train accidents. For an accident or incident meeting the criteria of a major train accident in §219.201(a)(1)—
(i) All assigned crew members of all trains or other on-track equipment involved in the qualifying event must be subjected to post-accident toxicological testing, regardless of fault.
(ii) Other surviving regulated employees who are not assigned crew members of an involved train or other on-track equipment (e.g., a dispatcher or a signal maintainer) must be tested if a railroad representative can immediately determine, on the basis of specific information, that the employee may have had a role in the cause or severity of the accident/incident. In making this determination, the railroad representative must consider any such information that is immediately available at the time the qualifying event determination is made under §219.201.
(4) Fatal train incidents. For a fatal train incident under §219.201(a)(3), the remains of any on-duty employee (as defined in §219.5) performing duties for a railroad who is fatally injured in the event are always subject to post-accident toxicological testing, regardless of fault.
(5) Human-factor highway-rail grade crossing accident/incidents. (i) For a human-factor highway-rail grade crossing accident/incident under §219.201(a)(5)(i), only a regulated employee who interfered with the normal functioning of a grade crossing signal system and whose actions may have contributed to the cause or severity of the event is subject to testing.
(ii) For a human-factor highway-rail grade crossing accident/incident under §219.201(a)(5)(ii), only a regulated employee who was a train crew member responsible for flagging highway traffic to stop due to an activation failure of a grade crossing system (or who was on-site and directly responsible for ensuring that flagging was being performed), but who failed to do so, and whose actions may have contributed to the cause or severity of the event, is subject to testing.
(iii) For a human-factor highway-rail grade crossing accident/incident under §219.201(a)(5)(iii), only a regulated employee who was responsible for performing the duties of an appropriately equipped flagger (as defined in §234.5 of this chapter), but who failed to do so, and whose actions may have contributed to the cause or severity of the event is subject to testing.
(iv) For a human-factor highway-rail grade crossing accident/incident under §219.201(a)(5)(iv), only the remains of any fatally-injured employee(s) (as defined in §219.5) performing regulated service for the railroad are subject to testing.
(v) For a human-factor highway-rail grade crossing accident/incident under §219.201(a)(5)(v), only a regulated employee who violated an FRA regulation or railroad operating rule and whose actions may have contributed to the cause or severity of the event is subject to testing.
(6) Exception. For a qualifying impact accident, passenger train accident, fatal train incident, or human-factor highway-rail grade crossing accident/incident under §219.201(a)(2) through (5), a surviving crewmember or other regulated employee must be excluded from testing if the railroad representative can immediately determine, on the basis of specific information, that the employee had no role in the cause or severity of the accident/incident. In making this determination, the railroad representative must consider any information that is immediately available at the time the qualifying event determination is made under §219.201.
(i) This exception is not available for assigned crew members of all involved trains if the qualifying event also meets the criteria for a major train accident under §219.201(a)(1) (e.g., this exception is not available for an Impact Accident that also qualifies as a major train accident because it results in damage to railroad property of $1,500,000 or more).
(ii) This exception is not available for any on-duty employee who is fatally-injured in a qualifying event.
(b) Railroad responsibility. (1) A railroad must take all practicable steps to ensure that all surviving regulated employees of the railroad who are subject to FRA post-accident toxicological testing under this subpart provide blood and urine specimens for the toxicological testing required by FRA. This includes any regulated employee who may not have been present or on-duty at the time or location of the event, but whose actions may have played a role in its cause or severity, including, but not limited to, an operator, dispatcher, or signal maintainer.
(2) A railroad must take all practicable steps to ensure that tissue and fluid specimens taken from fatally injured employees are subject to FRA post-accident toxicological testing under this subpart.
(3) FRA post-accident toxicological testing under this subpart takes priority over toxicological testing conducted by state or local law enforcement officials.
(c) Alcohol testing. Except as provided for in paragraph (e)(4) of this section, if the conditions for mandatory post-accident toxicological testing exist, a railroad may also require an employee to provide breath for testing in accordance with the procedures set forth in part 40 of this title and in this part, if such testing does not interfere with timely collection of required urine and blood specimens.
(d) Timely specimen collection. (1) A railroad must make every reasonable effort to assure that specimens are provided as soon as possible after the accident or incident, preferably within four hours. Specimens that are not collected within four hours after a qualifying accident or incident must be collected as soon thereafter as practicable. If a specimen is not collected within four hours of a qualifying event, the railroad must immediately notify the FRA Drug and Alcohol Program Manager at 202-493-6313 and provide detailed information regarding the failure (either verbally or via a voicemail). The railroad must also submit a concise, written narrative report of the reasons for such a delay to the FRA Drug and Alcohol Program Manager, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590. The report must be submitted within 30 days after the expiration of the month during which the accident or incident occurred. This report may also be submitted via email to an email address provided by the FRA Drug and Alcohol Program Manager.
(2) The requirements of paragraph (d) of this section must not be construed to inhibit an employee who is required to be post-accident toxicological tested from performing, in the immediate aftermath of an accident or incident, any duties that may be necessary for the preservation of life or property. Where practical, however, a railroad must utilize other employees to perform such duties.
(3) If a passenger train is in proper condition to continue to the next station or its destination after an accident or incident, the railroad must consider the safety and convenience of passengers in determining whether the crew should be made immediately available for post-accident toxicological testing. A relief crew must be called to relieve the train crew as soon as possible.
(4) A regulated employee who may be subject to post-accident toxicological testing under this subpart must be retained in duty status for the period necessary to make the determinations required by §219.201 and this section and (as appropriate) to complete specimen collection.
(e) Recall of employees for testing. (1) Except as otherwise provided for in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, a regulated employee may not be recalled for testing under this subpart if that employee has been released from duty under the normal procedures of the railroad. An employee who has been transported to receive medical care is not released from duty for purposes of this section. Furthermore, nothing in this section prohibits the subsequent testing of an employee who has failed to remain available for testing as required (e.g., an employee who is absent without leave). However, subsequent testing does not excuse a refusal by the employee to provide the specimens in a timely manner.
(2) A railroad must immediately recall and place on duty a regulated employee for post-accident drug testing, if—
(i) The employee could not be retained in duty status because the employee went off duty under normal railroad procedures before being contacted by a railroad supervisor and instructed to remain on duty pending completion of the required determinations (e.g., in the case of a dispatcher or signal maintainer remote from the scene of an accident who was unaware of the occurrence at the time he or she went off duty); and
(ii) The railroad's preliminary investigation (contemporaneous with the determination required by §219.201) indicates a clear probability that the employee played a role in the cause or severity of the accident/incident.
(3) If the criteria in paragraph (e)(2) of this section are met, a regulated employee must be recalled for post-accident drug testing regardless of whether the qualifying event happened or did not happen during the employee's tour of duty. However, an employee may not be recalled for testing if more than 24 hours have passed since the qualifying event. An employee who has been recalled must be placed on duty for the purpose of accomplishing the required post-accident drug testing.
(4) Urine and blood specimens must be collected from an employee who is recalled for testing in accordance with this section. If the employee left railroad property before being recalled, however, the specimens must be tested for drugs only. A railroad is prohibited from requiring a recalled employee to provide breath specimens for alcohol testing, unless the regulated employee has remained on railroad property since the time of the qualifying event and the railroad has a company policy completely prohibiting the use of alcohol on railroad property.
(5) A railroad must document its attempts to contact an employee subject to the recall provisions of this section. If a railroad is unable, as a result of the non-cooperation of an employee or for any other reason, to obtain specimen(s) from an employee subject to mandatory recall within the 24-hour period after a qualifying event and to submit specimen(s) to FRA as required by this subpart, the railroad must contact FRA and prepare a concise narrative report according to the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) of this section. The report must also document the railroad's good faith attempts to contact and recall the employee.
(f) Place of specimen collection. (1) With the exception of Federal breath testing for alcohol (when conducted as authorized under this subpart), an employee must be transported to an independent medical facility for specimen collection. In all cases, blood may be drawn only by a qualified medical professional or by a qualified technician subject to the supervision of a qualified medical professional (e.g., a phlebotomist). A collector contracted by a railroad or medical facility may collect and/or assist in the collection of specimens at the medical facility if the medical facility does not object and the collector is qualified to do so.
(2) If an employee has been injured, a railroad must ask the treating medical facility to obtain the specimens. Urine may be collected from an injured employee (conscious or unconscious) who has already been catheterized for medical purposes, but an employee may not be catheterized solely for the purpose of providing a specimen under this subpart. Under §219.11(a), an employee is deemed to have consented to FRA post-accident toxicological testing by the act of being subject to performing regulated service for a railroad.
(g) Obtaining cooperation of facility. (1) In seeking the cooperation of a medical facility in obtaining a specimen under this subpart, a railroad must, as necessary, make specific reference to the requirements of this subpart and the instructions in FRA's post-accident toxicological shipping kit.
(2) If an injured employee is unconscious or otherwise unable to evidence consent to the procedure and the treating medical facility declines to obtain blood and/or urine specimens after having been informed of the requirements of this subpart, the railroad must immediately notify the duty officer at the National Response Center (NRC) at (800) 424-8802, stating the employee's name, the name and location of the medical facility, the name of the appropriate decisional authority at the medical facility, and the telephone number at which that person can be reached. FRA will then take appropriate measures to assist in obtaining the required specimens.
(h) Discretion of physician. Nothing in this subpart may be construed to limit the discretion of a medical professional to determine whether drawing a blood specimen is consistent with the health of an injured employee or an employee afflicted by any other condition that may preclude drawing the specified quantity of blood.
[81 FR 37931, June 10, 2016]
§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]
§219.206 FRA access to breath test results.
Documentation of breath test results must be made available to FRA consistent with the requirements of this subpart, and the technical specifications set forth in appendix C to this part.
(a) In the case of an employee fatality in an accident or incident described in §219.201, body fluid and tissue specimens must be obtained from the remains of the employee for toxicological testing. To ensure that specimens are collected in a timely fashion, the railroad must immediately notify the appropriate local authority (such as a coroner or medical examiner) of the fatality and the requirements of this subpart, making available the post-mortem shipping kit and requesting the local authority to assist in obtaining the necessary body fluid or tissue specimens. The railroad must also seek the assistance of the custodian of the remains, if the custodian is someone other than the local authority.
(b) If the local authority or custodian of the remains declines to cooperate in obtaining the necessary specimens, the railroad must immediately notify the duty officer at the National Response Center (NRC) at (800) 424-8802 by providing the following information:
(1) Date and location of the accident or incident;
(3) Name of the deceased;
(4) Name and telephone number of custodian of the remains; and
(5) Name and telephone number of local authority contacted.
(c) A coroner, medical examiner, pathologist, Aviation Medical Examiner, or other qualified professional is authorized to remove the required body fluid and tissue specimens from the remains on request of the railroad or FRA pursuant to this part; and, in so acting, such person is the delegate of the FRA Administrator under sections 20107 and 20108 of title 49, United States Code (but not the agent of the Secretary for purposes of the Federal Tort Claims Act (chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code). Such qualified professional may rely upon the representations of the railroad or FRA representative with respect to the occurrence of the event requiring that toxicological tests be conducted and the coverage of the deceased employee under this part.
(d) Appendix C to this part and the instructions included inside the shipping kits specify body fluid and tissue specimens required for toxicological analysis in the case of a fatality.
[66 FR 41973, Aug. 9, 2001, as amended at 81 FR 37933, June 10, 2016]
§219.209 Reports of tests and refusals.
(a)(1) A railroad that has experienced one or more events for which specimens were obtained must provide prompt telephonic notification summarizing such events. Notification must immediately be provided to the duty officer at the National Response Center (NRC) at (800) 424-8802 and to the Office of Safety, FRA, at (202) 493-6313.
(2) Each telephonic report must contain:
(i) Name of railroad;
(ii) Name, title and telephone number of person making the report;
(iii) Time, date and location of the accident/incident;
(iv) Brief summary of the circumstances of the accident/incident, including basis for testing (e.g., impact accident with a reportable injury); and
(v) Number of employees tested.
(b) If a railroad is unable, as a result of non-cooperation of an employee or for any other reason, to obtain a specimen and provide it to FRA as required by this subpart, the railroad must immediately notify the FRA Drug and Alcohol Program Manager at 202-493-6313 and provide detailed information regarding the failure (either verbally or via a voicemail). The railroad must also provide a concise narrative written report of the reason for such failure and, if appropriate, any action taken in response to the cause of such failure. This report must be appended to the report of the accident/incident required to be submitted under part 225 of this chapter and must also be mailed to the FRA Drug and Alcohol Program Manager at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
[66 FR 41973, Aug. 9, 2001, as amended at 81 FR 37933, June 10, 2016]
§219.211 Analysis and follow-up.
(a) The laboratory designated in appendix B to this part undertakes prompt analysis of provided under this subpart, consistent with the need to develop all relevant information and produce a complete report. Specimens are analyzed for alcohol, controlled substances, and non-controlled substances specified by FRA under protocols specified by FRA. These substances may be tested for in any form, whether naturally or synthetically derived. Specimens may be analyzed for other impairing substances specified by FRA as necessary to the particular accident investigation.
(b) Results of post-accident toxicological testing for controlled substances conducted under this subpart are reported to the railroad's Medical Review Officer and the employee. The MRO and the railroad must treat the test results and any information concerning medical use or administration of drugs provided under this subpart in the same confidential manner as if subject to subpart H of this part, except where publicly disclosed by FRA or the National Transportation Safety Board. An employer is prohibited from temporarily removing an employee from the performance of regulated service based only on a report from the laboratory to the MRO of a confirmed positive test for a drug or drug metabolite, an adulterated test, or a substituted test, before the MRO has completed verification of the test result.
(c) With respect to a surviving employee, a test reported as positive for alcohol or a controlled substance by the designated laboratory must be reviewed by the railroad's Medical Review Officer with respect to any claim of use or administration of medications (consistent with §219.103) that could account for the laboratory findings. The Medical Review Officer must promptly report the results of each review to the Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Such report must be in writing and must reference the employing railroad, accident/incident date, and location, and the envelope must be marked “ADMINISTRATIVELY CONFIDENTIAL: ATTENTION ALCOHOL/DRUG PROGRAM MANAGER.” The report must state whether the MRO reported the test result to the employing railroad as positive or negative and the basis of any determination that analytes detected by the laboratory derived from authorized use (including a statement of the compound prescribed, dosage/frequency, and any restrictions imposed by the authorized medical practitioner). Unless specifically requested by FRA in writing, the Medical Review Officer may not disclose to FRA the underlying physical condition for which any medication was authorized or administered. The FRA is not bound by the railroad Medical Review Officer's determination, but that determination will be considered by FRA in relation to the accident/incident investigation and with respect to any enforcement action under consideration.
(d) To the extent permitted by law, FRA treats test results indicating medical use of controlled substances consistent with §219.103 (and other information concerning medically authorized drug use or administration provided incident to such testing) as administratively confidential and withholds public disclosure, except where it is necessary to consider this information in an accident investigation in relation to determination of probable cause. (However, as further provided in this section, FRA may provide results of testing under this subpart and supporting documentation to the National Transportation Safety Board.)
(e) An employee may respond in writing to the results of the test prior to the preparation of any final investigation report concerning the accident or incident. An employee wishing to respond may do so by email or letter addressed to the Drug and Alcohol Program Manager, Office of Railroad Safety, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 within 45 days of receipt of the test results. Any such submission must refer to the accident date, railroad and location, must state the position occupied by the employee on the date of the accident/incident, and must identify any information contained therein that the employee requests be withheld from public disclosure on grounds of personal privacy (but the decision whether to honor such request will be made by the FRA on the basis of controlling law).
(f)(1) The toxicology report may contain a statement of pharmacological significance to assist FRA and other parties in understanding the data reported. No such statement may be construed as a finding of probable cause in the accident or incident.
(2) With the exception of post-accident test results for non-controlled substances, the toxicology report is a part of the report of the accident/incident and therefore subject to the limitation of 49 U.S.C. 20903 (prohibiting use of the report for any purpose in a civil action for damages resulting from a matter mentioned in the report).
(g)(1) It is in the public interest to ensure that any railroad disciplinary actions that may result from accidents and incidents for which testing is required under this subpart are disposed of on the basis of the most complete and reliable information available so that responsive action will be appropriate. Therefore, during the interval between an accident or incident and the date that the railroad receives notification of the results of the toxicological analysis, any provision of collective bargaining agreements establishing maximum periods for charging employees with rule violations, or for holding an investigation, may not be deemed to run as to any offense involving the accident or incident (i.e., such periods must be tolled).
(2) This provision may not be construed to excuse the railroad from any obligation to timely charge an employee (or provide other actual notice) where the railroad obtains sufficient information relating to alcohol or drug use, impairment or possession or other rule violations prior to the receipt to toxicological analysis.
(3) This provision does not authorize holding any employee out of service pending receipt of PAT testing results. It also does not restrict a railroad from taking such action based on the employee's underlying conduct, so long as it is consistent with the railroad's disciplinary policy and is taken under the railroad's own authority.
(h) Except as provided in §219.201 (with respect to non-qualifying events), each specimen (including each split specimen) provided under this subpart is retained for not less than three months following the date of the accident or incident (two years from the date of the accident or incident in the case of a specimen testing positive for alcohol or a controlled substance). Post-mortem specimens may be made available to the National Transportation Safety Board (on request).
(i) An employee (donor) may, within 60 days of the date of the toxicology report, request that his or her split specimen be tested by the designated laboratory or by another laboratory certified by Health and Human Services under that Department's Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs that has available an appropriate, validated assay for the fluid and compound declared positive. Since some analytes may deteriorate during storage, detected levels of the compound shall, as technically appropriate, be reported and considered corroborative of the original test result. Any request for a retest shall be in writing, specify the railroad, accident date and location, be signed by the employee/donor, be addressed to the Associate Administrator for Safety, Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC 20590, and be designated “ADMINISTRATIVELY CONFIDENTIAL: ATTENTION ALCOHOL/DRUG PROGRAM MANAGER.” The expense of any employee-requested split specimen test at a laboratory other than the laboratory designated under this subpart shall be borne by the employee.
[66 FR 41973, Aug. 9, 2001, as amended at 74 FR 25172, May 27, 2009; 78 FR 14225, Mar. 5, 2013; 81 FR 37934, June 10, 2016]
§219.213 Unlawful refusals; consequences.
(a) Disqualification. An employee who refuses to cooperate in providing breath, blood or urine specimens following an accident or incident specified in this subpart must be withdrawn from regulated service, and must be deemed disqualified for regulated service, for a period of nine (9) months in accordance with the conditions specified in §219.107.
(b) Procedures. Prior to or upon withdrawing the employee from regulated service, under this section, the railroad must provide written notice of the reason for this action and an opportunity for hearing before a presiding officer other than the charging official. The employee is entitled to the procedural protection set out in §219.104(d).
(c) Subject of hearing. The hearing required by this section must determine whether the employee refused to submit to testing, having been requested to submit, under authority of this subpart, by a representative of the railroad. In determining whether a disqualification is required, the hearing official shall, as appropriate, also consider the following:
(1) Whether the railroad made a good faith determination, based on reasonable inquiry, that the accident or incident was within the mandatory testing requirements of this subpart; and
(2) In a case where a blood test was refused on the ground it would be inconsistent with the employee's health, whether such refusal was made in good faith and based on medical advice.