Welcome to Railroad Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is required to complete the alcohol and drug use course for all roadway workers (Course 14)?

 

In 49 CFR Part 219, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requires employers (both railroads and contractors) to provide specific information about the Federal alcohol and drug use program to all regulated employees. Course 14 satisfies this requirement. It is also a prerequisite for Course 15 that provides mandatory Part 219 training for supervisors of regulated employees.

 

Am I a regulated employee?

 

The category of “regulated employees” in Part 219 includes two groups of employees. The first group is referred to as “covered employees”. In Part 219, a covered employee is a railroad employee or contractor who must comply with hours of service regulations. Typically, covered employees include train operators (locomotive engineers and conductors), dispatchers, and signal maintainers. Part 219 has applied to covered employees for many years. However, recently, the FRA added “roadway workers” to the category of regulated employees. Your employer must provide regulated employees the required information about Part 219 that is in Course 14.

 

Am I a roadway worker and do I need to take Course 14?

 

The term “roadway worker” is defined in 49 CFR Part 214 and includes all railroad workers who have the potential to be struck by trains or roadway maintenance machines (RMM) on or near the track and who are performing specific tasks. If you are inspecting, constructing, maintaining or repairing track, bridges, roadway, signal and communication systems, electric traction systems, roadway facilities or RMM on or near track, you are a roadway worker. Therefore, your employer must provide you the required information about Part 219 that is in Course 14.

 

My union provides alcohol and drug information. Do I need to take Course 14?

 

The FRA placed the responsibility for complying with Part 219 on your employer. Therefore, your employer must ensure you have the required information about Part 219 that is included in Course 14. It is possible your employer has an arrangement with your union to fulfill its responsibilities for distributing the required information. But, without knowing the exact content of the information your union provides, it is difficult to answer this question.

 

Are there exemptions for obtaining the information that is included in Course 14?

 

There are no exceptions. Employers of regulated employees must comply with Part 219’s requirement for information given to regulated employees and for training supervisors of regulated employees. However, small railroads (15 or less covered employees) or foreign railroad operations outside the United States are not considered to have regulated employees and are not required to comply with Part 219.

 

Does Course 14 take the place of the Roadway Worker Protection (RWP) training that is in Course 13?

 

Courses 13 and 14 satisfy different FRA requirements. RWP training (also called On-track Safety training) is mandated by 49 CFR Part 214 for all roadway workers and is included in Course 13. It is separate from the FRA’s alcohol and drug use regulation that is promulgated in 49 CFR Part 219 and included in Course 14. Roadway workers need both courses.

 

You mentioned Course 15 above for supervisors. Who does the FRA consider to be a supervisor?

 

Part 219 defines a supervisory employee as an officer, special agent, or other employee of the railroad who is not a co-worker and who is responsible for supervising or monitoring the conduct or performance of one or more employees.

 

Do supervisors require special training in the FRA’s alcohol and drug use program?

 

Yes. Each supervisor responsible for regulated employees must be trained in the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug influence, intoxication, and misuse. This training must also include the signs and symptoms of certain prescription drugs that can have acute behavioral and apparent physiological effects. Together, Courses 14 and 15 satisfy this requirement.

 

I am a supervisor of regulated employees, and my union provides alcohol and drug training. Do I need to take Course 15?

 

The FRA placed the responsibility for complying with Part 219 on your employer. Therefore, your employer must ensure you have the information in Course 14 and required training about Part 219 that is in Course 15. It is possible your employer has an arrangement with your union to fulfill its responsibility for providing this information and training to you. But, without knowing the exact content of the information and training your union provides, it is difficult to answer this question.

 

I am working for a railroad or railroad contractor within 25 feet of the track. What information or training do I need?

 

Most railroads and the FRA consider a worker within 25 feet of the track to have the potential to be struck by equipment on or near the track. Therefore, you qualify as a roadway worker, and you must annually complete roadway worker protection (RWP) training. This website offers RWP training in Course 13.

 

As a roadway worker, you are also a regulated employee. Your employer must also provide you the required information about Part 219 that is contained in Course 14.

 

Finally, if you are a supervisor of regulated employees, you will need the Part 219 training in Course 15.

 

Who is required to take parts 214 & 237 for Bridge Safety Standards?

The short answer is that in addition to the training required to be a roadway worker, bridge workers need additional specialized bridge training.


Training mandated in 49 CFR Part 214, Subpart C is referred to as RWP or On-track Safety training and is included in Course 13. However, Part 214, Subpart B, provides safety standards specifically for bridge workers and is not included in Course 13. If an individual is a bridge worker, he/she must annually complete RWP training (Course 13) and training in bridge safety standards addressed in Part 214, Subpart B.


49 CFR Part 237, “Bridge Safety Standards” is different than Part 214, Subpart B. Part 214, Subpart B, applies to bridge worker safety. However, Part 237 applies to owners of railroad track that is supported by a bridge, and it requires them to adopt a bridge safety management program to prevent the deterioration of railroad bridges. Part 237 identifies railroad bridge engineers, inspectors, and supervisors as responsible persons who must be qualified to perform their respective tasks. Therefore, these individuals must be trained annually in Part 214, Subpart B, and every 3 years in Part 237.


We are in the process of developing a bridge worker training program that must be completed annually and will provide the training for Part 214, Subpart B, and for Part 237.


Note that Course 13 will continue to be required for all roadway workers needing annual training in Part 214, Subpart C.


I have heard the FRA released a new minimum safety training standard. Will that regulation affect my railroad safety training?


Yes. On 1 January 2019, all railroad safety training for roadway workers must comply with 49 CFR Part 243, “Training, Qualification, and Oversight of Safety-related Railroad Employees”. It requires railroad safety courses to be provided as part of an FRA approved training program. Courses 13, 14, and 15 will be compliant with this new training standard and courses for Part 214, Subpart B, and for Part 237 will also be compliant.


Be sure to verify that railroad safety training courses from other vendors or training organizations or from companies that provide their own railroad safety training to roadway workers are approved by the FRA.


My company developed safety training for its roadway workers. What is the procedure to have the FRA approve that training in accordance with 49 CFR Part 243?

 

Once your employer’s safety training courses satisfy the guidelines in Part 243, it must register on the FRA website at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/SPAccountRequests/default.aspx?app=part243 to begin the process of submitting training programs to the FRA for approval.


Must an employer provide information about Part 219 to all of its roadway workers?

 

Yes. Additionally, an employer must train its supervisors of roadway workers to administer its alcohol and drug program.


Is there a deadline by which an employer of regulated employees must educate its roadway workers and train its supervisors of roadway workers?

 

The only deadline in 49 CFR Part 219 is 12 June 2017. Thirty days prior to that date, every company with roadway workers was required to submit to the FRA a plan describing its random alcohol and drug testing program for roadway workers. Thirty days after the FRA approves that plan, the company must implement it. Implementing the plan will require the employer to provide all of its roadway workers the information outlined in Part 219 and to train its supervisors.


If you need any further assistance, please email us at support@railroadeducation.com

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