Stricter drug testing is on the way for railroad conductors. According to "Conductors to be Tested For Over-The-Counter Drugs After Rail Accidents," the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) intends to test any railroad conductor for non-controlled substances following train wrecks. As experienced FELA attorneys, we think this is great. Many over-the-counter medications can produce harmful side-effects. When you work as a train conductor, you need to have full control of your faculties at all times. You are operating a fast-moving, large vehicle and one false move can produce devastating consequences. Consequences that may include the taking of innocent lives, even your own. Therefore, unless prescribed by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition, it makes sense the FRA wants to eliminate the use of these medications. That point is driven home when you look at this quote from the above article:
In 80 percent, or about 235, of those accidents one or more employees involved reported having taken "at least one generic or brand name drug, and many employees reporting the use of multiple substances."
Hopefully, this legislation significantly reduces the number of railroad conductors operating trains while under the influence of over-the-counter drugs. It is just far too dangerous to do so.