FRA Issues Final Rule on Non-controlled Substances

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently issued a final rule which adds certain “non-controlled substances with potentially impairing side effects to its standard post-accident testing panel.”  Since 1985 the FRA has mandated post accident testing for alcohol, marijuana, cocaine,  amphetamines, barbiturates, PCP, select opiates, and benzodiazepines on railroad employees involved in serious train accidents.

The non-controlled substances included in the latest final rule include tramadol and sedating antihistamines.  According to the rule the FRA “intends to keep the post-accident test results for these non-controlled substances confidential while it continues to obtain and analyze data on the extent to which prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drug use by railroad employees potentially affects rail safety.”  The rule will go into effect on May 6, 2013.

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