Network Rail Drug Testing Policy Updates

13:01 07 March in News

Effective Date: 4th March 2024

Key Changes:

  1. Random testing of ‘safety critical’ staff increased to 20% from the previous 5%.
  2. Expanded testing panel now includes tramadol and ketamine.
  3. Introduction of urine point of care tests (POCTs).

Reason for Including Ketamine and Tramadol:

Ketamine and tramadol have the potential to impair safety critical roles. Tramadol is a prescription-only pain medication that can cause drowsiness and cognitive impairment. Ketamine, a powerful anaesthetic, may lead to hallucinations and disorientation. The inclusion of these drugs in the testing panel aligns with industry standards.

See our blog on Ketamine and its effects here.

Determining Drug Testing Panel of Testing Provider:

Screen4 have a dedicated testing panel to comply with Network Rail Standards.

Implementation of Increased Random Unannounced Testing:

We can assist you with your random testing program implementation however please contact RISQS to get accurate guidance on the timeline for implementing the new policy.

Contact RISQS here.

Accuracy of POCTs:

Our POCT test cup is CE Marked and FDA approved and delivers fast, accurate results for qualitative onsite test results that can be relied on.

When there is a non-negative reaction, the sample can be sent to our UKAS accredited laboratory for confirmation analysis using our Chain-of-Custody collection kit (please ask for details).

Types of POCTs Allowed:

Network Rail’s standard specifies the use of urine-based POCTs. Saliva/oral fluid POCTs are not permitted.

Performing POCTs Internally:

To ensure accurate results and prevent potential collusion, it is necessary to have a trained professional administer the POCTs. Therefore, conducting the tests internally is not recommended.

Sentinel Updates:

Sentinel will be updated to allow the input and registration of POCT results, similar to the handling of laboratory tests.

  • Negative POCT results can be directly uploaded to Sentinel.
  • Non-negative POCT results will require a confirmatory laboratory test before they can be uploaded to Sentinel.

Updating your Drug & Alcohol Policy:

If you have a drug and alcohol policy that applies to Network Rail, it is advised to update it.

We can provide you with a Free of Charge Policy Review. Contact us today to find out more.

Any scheduled test events should have been cancelled and clients advised accordingly of the situation. If this is NOT the case, or you need further clarification then please email or call +44 1226 654654.Please note that this does NOT affect operations in Dubai, Bahrain or Hong Kong which are operating as normal.
We thank you for your understanding and patience.
Please be advised that due to operational reasons, Screen4 Yorkshire Limited is currently unable to carry out any testing services at this time.URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT