Indian Railways To Study Impact Of Medicines Taken By Drivers, Guards On Safety

The Railway Board has directed all its zones to provide details of lifestyle diseases of its drivers and guards, medicines taken by them while on duty and their impact on safe train operations. A communication dated August 31, addressed to general managers of all railway zones, including Metro Railway, Kolkata and Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), says that the Board is examining issues related to the use of medicines and its effect on the running staff.

Train drivers (also known as loco pilots) and guards who perform running duty come under the running staff of the national transporter. Their respective associations have often voiced concerns on increasing cases of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, and severe mental stress due to the harsh working conditions.

The Board has directed the zonal railways to provide the data along with their remarks regarding “various types of lifestyle and job-related diseases amongst the running staff” and “impact of running duty on the lifestyle of train crew”. Such a step was also initiated to find out if such diseases have any correlation to safe operations of trains.

The railways also wants to know from its zones what advisories have been given to the drivers, guards and their families about the medicines they take on duty and if they are safe from the perspective of train operations.

Along with these details, the rail zones have also been asked to provide their suggestions and comments on whether the current system of periodical medical examination (PME) of the running staff needs any review with changing times. “Suggestions/remarks may be sent by Sep 10, 2023, positively for further necessary action,” the communication added.

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