Federal Railroad Administration

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Definition - What does Federal Railroad Administration mean?

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in the context of alcohol and drug testing, is a government agency that regulates drug and alcohol testing programs aligned with corporate health and safety guidelines in promoting the transportation of freight or passengers via the national railway system. The Department of Transportation (DOT) Act of 1966 established the FRA, which includes a hierarchy of administrators, chief engineers/inspectors, and management staff that work interdependently to coordinate, develop, implement, and enforce safety protocol for commercial and public transit by railroad.

SureHire explains Federal Railroad Administration

The overarching mission of the FRA is to advance a universal safety model that focuses on launching research programs and the introduction of new technology in upholding company standards for efficient rail line services between destinations. The FRA serves a vital function, along with the Association of American Railroads organization and other joint partnerships, in pioneering strategic methods in consolidating research projects and earmarking funds via grants and loans to deter accidents and injuries. FRA-covered employers are obligated to ensure that employees and Maintenance-of-Way (MOW) workers adhere to health and safety policies that emphasize railroad track and control systems upkeep, proper conveyance of hazardous materials, and operational procedures consistent with DOT regulations.

Because DOT-regulated companies involve safety-sensitive positions, applicants and employees are required to submit to drug and alcohol testing as a criterion in acquiring or retaining employment. The DOT places the responsibility on employers to incorporate drug and alcohol screens as a benchmark in gauging the fitness of an applicant or employee who might potentially occupy a safety-sensitive position. A 5-panel drug test involves the provision of a urine specimen to identify the presence of drug metabolites in the body including amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opioids (and expanded opiates), and phencyclidine (PCP) while individuals suspected of persistent alcohol consumption undergo breath alcohol tests.

Drug and alcohol testing formalities are a critical aspect in preventing accidents and injuries, fostering a climate of health and safety while curtailing liabilities that often cause economic downturns for employers.

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