Friday, September 25, 2009


Bad health of railway drivers lead to train accidents’
Sameer Kumar Sharma : ludhiana, train accident, railways
Tuesday , Feb 03, 2009 at 0207 hrsLudhiana:

As many as 25 small or big train accidents that took place in the recent past were due to what the loco running staff in the Indian railways term as ‘micro-slipping effect’. This has been established by a study conducted in Germany and Japan.
Micro-slipping effect is a phenomenon in which the drivers of trains have a wink or some sort of a 'nap attack' for a second or two, due to lack of proper rest.
The secretary general of All-India Loco Running Staff MN Prasad who was at the Ludhaina railway station for a national convention programme to motivate the loco running staff said there had been a spurt of such cases wherein loco pilots happened to miss signals or apply brakes in time, thus leading to accidents.
This, he said, clearly indicated the safety hazards in rail journeys stemming from loco pilot's health which the railway authorities have long been ignoring. "Owing to lack of proper rest and less number of sleeping hours, the drivers become more susceptible to causing accidents. Nearly 10 of such incidents have taken place in the South Eastern Railways," Prasad said.
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"The erratic work hours are taking a toll on the health of loco pilots. A driver needs to rest properly so that he is vigilant when on duty. At least once in two nights he needs to have sleep at night as the day's sleep cannot provide the same kind of relief.
On the contrary, it has been found that most of the loco pilots drive long distances, sometimes without getting proper rest for consecutive nights," he told Newsline while talking about their demands to provide proper facilities and rest from time to time.
"The railways are treating its loco pilots as machines. According to a survey conducted by Nagpur-based Labour Institute, health deterioration was found in up to 30 per cent of 300 loco pilots covered in the survey," Prasad said. "This is a cause for concern for all, whether it's the loco pilots, the railway authorities or the passengers. Therefore, we want the railways administration do something in this regard."
While pointing anomalies in the Sixth Pay Commission's recommendation for loco pilots' pay scales, he added that the All-India Loco Running Staff Association has decided to press for the implementation of their demands that include, among others, hiking the grade pay of assistant loco pilots from Rs 1,900 to Rs 2,800, maintaining the functional difference among drivers of goods trains, passenger trains and mail trains and accordingly provide them promotional avenues.
The association threatened to adopt the agitational approach for pressing for these demands anytime in April if no concrete steps were taken in this regard. Also present on the occasion was Daljit Singh, divisional secretary, Ferozepur Division, Northern Railway Men's Union.

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Ahmed said...

In India the condition may even be worse. since the quality of periodic medical exam is bad. they just want to give you a-one certificate so that u are ready to drive the trains.
medical is like formality or an instrument of harassment.

Running Staff Solapur said...

I am S.M.Lokhande/Loco Pilot/SUR wants to put few lines in referance to Micro Sleep the reason of train accident atributed to human failure on administrative account. I mean to say that micro sleep disease attacking on running staff's healthdue to the addministravie lapses only such as non granting of PR, continuous night(Graveyard shift)working, not granting of leave, inadequate facilities at Running Room, lack of interest of enquiry committee's towards the route cause of accident & suggestion to prevent it. Enquiry committee's are interested only in fixing the responcibilty upon the running staff based on the violation of outdated rules instead of going in deep.
For details about Drivers Fatigue, Micro sleep please visit:

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