Safe railways for Australia

Drug and alcohol management


Rail transport operators (RTOs) are required to have a drug and alcohol management program (DAMP), which must include a drug and alcohol testing regime. Guidance information regarding the preparation of a DAMP, including a drug and alcohol testing regime, is included in the Preparation of a Rail Safety Management System guideline. 

The Scalability of drug and alcohol management program requirements fact sheet also provides an example contrasting the approaches of two rail transport operators with different risk profiles.

In addition to the programs put in place by RTOs, the ONRSR undertakes:

  • post-incident drug and alcohol testing of rail safety workers following a Category A incident
  • programmed drug and alcohol testing of rail safety workers which includes intelligence-led risk-based testing and random testing.

The ONRSR drug and alcohol testing program, which was established in accordance with the National Rail Safety Law, aims to:

  • improve safety by being a deterrent
  • monitor compliance with the law
  • monitor the effectiveness of an RTO’s DAMP.

There is a maximum penalty of $10,000 for a rail safety worker who commits any of the following offences:

  • presence of drugs or alcohol
  • refusing a test
  • not following the direction of an authorised person.

The ONRSR has appointed Medvet Science Pty Ltd (Medvet) to undertake drug and alcohol testing on its behalf.  Medvet testers are appointed as authorised persons and are able test rail safety workers in those jurisdictions where the ONRSR has regulatory oversight.

For more information read the ONRSR drug and alcohol testing policy .

Drug and alcohol testing (NSW only)

All drug and alcohol testing carried out by RTOs in NSW must be conducted by an authorised person appointed under the Rail Safety National Law and holds an identity card issued by the ONRSR.

Other drug and alcohol management requirements applying specifically to rail operations in NSW include:

  • random breath or urine testing of not less than 25% of rail safety workers each year (heritage operators excluded)
  • mandatory drug and alcohol testing of any rail safety worker involved in, or reasonably suspected of having been involved in, a prescribed incident. This testing must be undertaken within three hours of the incident occurring.

The following fact sheets, forms and training course materials are available, or for more information contact ONRSR.

Related documents

Policy

Presentation (Vic. only)

Presentation (SA only)

Presentation (Tas. only)

Presentation (NT only)

Presentation (NSW only)

Fact sheets (NSW only)

Forms (NSW only)

Training material (NSW only)

Last updated: 13 April 2016