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Transport Canada unveils medical fitness rules for safety-critical personnel


Transport Canada last week implemented rules designed to create a new medical assessment process, as well as define medical fitness requirements, for locomotive engineers, assistant conductors, yard foremen, rail traffic controllers and other safety-critical positions.

The Railway Medical Rules for Positions Critical to Safe Railway Operations — which replace General Order 0-9, or Railway Vision and Hearing Examination Regulations — establish a comprehensive assessment process that recognizes any diseases or disorders that could impact performance, the agency says. Drafted by a steering committee including representatives from Canadian National Railway Co., Canadian Pacific Railway, VIA Rail and rail labor, the rules require medical assessments every five years for workers under age 40; every three years for workers over 40.

Transport Canada plans to monitor rule implementation through national inspection and audit programs, said Transport Minister David Collenette in a prepared statement.