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Compliance, Drug and Alcohol Testing, Rail Tasker

Streamline Drug and Alcohol Testing: Go Paperless with Rail Tasker

Streamline Drug and Alcohol Testing: Go Paperless with Rail Tasker

The United States Congress recognized the need for a drug and alcohol-free transportation industry. Under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, the Department of Transportation (DOT) was required to implement Drug and Alcohol testing programs within various transportation industries. Drug and alcohol testing has been required by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for railroad industry employees since 1986.

The general purpose of this program is to prevent accidents and casualties in railroad operations that result from impairment of employees by alcohol and/or drugs. In 1991, the Act required other DOT agencies to implement the drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees. Commercial Motor Vehicle drivers fall under the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) DOT agency. Each DOT Agency-specific regulation spells out who is subject to testing, when and in what situations for a particular transportation industry. These regulations also impose privacy protections and restrictions on employers and service agents against the use and release of sensitive drug and alcohol testing information.


In these regulations, specific record retention requirements are defined. Each agency must maintain the following records associated with each testing event, all results, random selection rate, random selection pool, DOT pre-employment test verification, follow up testing program, verification return to duty testing, and so on and so forth. These requirements are found in 49 CFR Part 219.901-905 and 49 CFR Part 382.401-405. The company must provide this information to any DOT agency upon request.


Failure to comply with these regulations puts companies at risk for civil penalties implied as defined by each specific DOT agency. Violations range anywhere from $1,000 to $20,600 per event. In addition to company penalties and fines, DOT agencies, specifically the FRA, have been assessing civil penalties and fines for individual employees and supervisors.


See Appendix A pdf below for Part 219 Schedule of Penalties.

Benefits of a Software Solution

Paperless System

Moving to a paperless solution will allow for easy auditing and access to an employee’s entire drug and alcohol history and paperwork by the click of a button. Affidavits, 40.25s, chain of custodies, results, and any other relevant drug testing information could be uploaded into Rail Tasker.

Documenting Reasonable Cause and Suspicion Testing

Rail Tasker will allow us the ability to track the reasons why we do reasonable cause and suspicion testing. This will allow for more efficient review of DOT reporting requirements and reporting mechanisms to report out why we are testing.

Uploading Lab and MRO Information

The Medical Review Officer (MRO) and LAB can easily upload results into Rail Tasker saving more time and reducing the billable hours by our Medical Review Officer AND reducing the Drug and Alcohol team’s time needed to make sure the results are data entered with Rail Tasker, the LAB and/or MRO can upload information with a few key strokes.




Automation will reduce human errors and potentially reduce the risk for regulatory errors.

Access to Data

Rail Tasker will allow your company to act independent of the vendor and you can monitor test status each month and verify that tests are, in fact, completed, scheduled or cancelled.


The Designated Employer Representative (DER) will have special permission access and will be able to view, analyze, and manage data easily within Rail Tasker.


Auditing and Viewing Files


Rail Tasker is role based. Notes can be added to the system to track and monitor unusual situations.


Random Drug Pool Generation


Rail Tasker can be programmed to conduct random selections and assist in providing a complete audit trail, from the random selection through test completion. Rail Tasker will be able to track “no tests” and reasons for “no tests”. This is an DOT requirement. The selections will be uploaded into the system for the DER to distribute and track.


PDF link: Appendix A for Part 219 Schedule of Penalties.