Self-Assessment Checklist

FTA Drug and Alcohol Regulation Updates
Issue 11, page 3

Post-Accident Testing Checklist

        The FTA drug and alcohol regulations require testing for prohibited drugs and alcohol in the case of certain transit accidents.  To assist in clarifying or identifying these circumstances, the FTA has developed this checklist for use by employers in their program assessments.  The checklist includes regulatory requirements, as well as “best practice” recommendations; it should not be construed as the “last word” in regulatory compliance - it merely provides guidance.


o  Are post-accident tests conducted for accidents where there is loss of life?
o  Are post-accident tests required for non-fatal accidents unless the employee can be completely discounted as a contributing factor?
¨    A non-fatal accident is defined as an occurrence associated with the operation of a revenue service vehicle in which:

Ţ   an individual suffers a bodily injury and immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of an accident; or
Ţ   one or more vehicles involved incurs disabling damage as the result of the occurrence and is transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other vehicle; or
the rail vehicle or vessel involved is removed from revenue service.

¨    Revenue service vehicles include not only trains, buses and vans, but also non-revenue service commercial motor vehicles and vehicles used by armed security personnel.
¨    Disabling damage means damage that prevents any of the vehicles involved from leaving the scene of the occurrence in its usual manner in daylight after simple repairs or damage to the vehicle such that it could have been operated but would have further damaged the vehicle if so operated.  Disabling damage does not include damage that could be remedied temporarily at the scene of the occurrence without special tools or parts; tire disablement even if no spare tire is available; or damage to headlights, tail-lights, turn signals, horn, or windshield wipers that makes them inoperative (Fall/Winter Update, page 7).
o  Are procedures in place to determine when post-accident tests must be performed and who must be tested?  Do you use those procedures?  Are the decisions documented?
o  Are procedures in place to determine if an employee can be completely discounted as a contributing factor?  Is a decision not to test documented?
o  Are policies and procedures in place to test other safety-sensitive employees not on the vehicle (e.g., maintenance personnel, dispatcher), but whose performance may have contributed to the accident (as determined by the transit agency at the time of the accident)?  Are the procedures utilized?  Are test decisions documented?
o  If tests are performed for accidents that do not meet the FTA definition, are the tests clearly performed under the authority of the transit system using non-USDOT forms?
o  Are policies and procedures in place to ensure that post-accident drug and alcohol tests are performed as soon as possible?  Are procedures in place to document the reason for delays (greater than 2 hours) in the alcohol test?  Are the procedures followed?
o  Are procedures in place to discontinue efforts to obtain a drug test if more than 32 hours have passed since the accident or more than eight hours have passed since the accident for an alcohol test?  Is the explanation documented?
o  In the rare event that you are unable to obtain an FTA drug or alcohol test following an accident, are you aware that you can request the results of tests administered by State or local law enforcement officials (Winter 1999 Update, Issue 10, page 2)?
o  Does the transit agency have internal policies and procedures in place to conduct testing any time and anywhere individuals are performing safety-sensitive job functions?  This includes periods of time outside of the normal business day and locations outside the agency’s normal service area.
o  Has the agency designated who will determine whether a post-accident test is required, where to report for testing, and how the employee will be transported to and from the collection site?

(This information was excerpted from the Drug and Alcohol Program Self Assessment Checklist developed for the Transportation Safety Institute by RLS & Associates, Inc.)

Where To Find?.....

49 CFR Part  654, Prevention of Alcohol Misuse in Transit Operation
February 15, 1994
Federal Register Vol. 59
Pages 7532-7571

May 10, 1995
Federal Register Vol. 60
Pages 24765-24766
Primary Topic:  Suspension of Pre-employment Alcohol Testing

August 2, 1995
Federal Register Vol. 60
Pages 39618-39620
Primary Topic:  Exemption of Volunteers and  Post-Accident Testing Provision

December 8, 1998
Federal Register Vol. 63
Pages 67612-67613
Primary Topic:  Use of Law Enforcement Post-Accident Test Results

December 14, 1998
Federal Register Vol. 63
Pages 68818-68819
Primary Topic:   Random Alcohol Testing Rate at  10%

January 5, 1999
Federal Register Vol. 64
Pages 425-427
Primary Topic: Safety-Sensitive Maintenance Functions

Technical Corrections:
March 6, 1995
Federal Register Vol. 60
Pages 12296-12300
Primary Topic:  Corrections and Clarifications

The information presented on this page should be used to update Chapter 6 of the Implementation Guidelines.


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