Friday, July 11, 2014

Loco pilots face termination if found drunk on duty

Smriti Sharma Vasudeva, Bangalore, July 8, 2014, DHNS:
Setting a sterling example at a time when the railways is seeking to put in place stringent laws against drunken driving, loco pilots and motormen of South Western Railways have so eschewed the habit, that in the last five years, none have been reported drunk on duty.

However, ensuring that it’s better to play safe than be sorry, the Railway Board, has been working on stricter laws to rein in the menace, which includes termination from service.

The new law stipulates that drivers found drunk on duty will be terminated if found to have 21 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood sample.

According to South Western Railways officials they have much cause for cheer on this score, as, in Bangalore, Mysore and Hubli divisions, that come under its jurisdiction, loco pilots, are well aware of the consequences of being found drunk. The reason is not far to seek.

Officials averred that regular surprise checks in-between journeys has ensured that there has been no case of drunk loco pilots on duty. All loco pilots and motorman are subjected to breath analysing test by Crew Controller before they start their duty.

Likewise, when duty is over, at the time of handing over trip documents, they are again tested for alcohol consumption in-between journey.

If anyone is found to have alcohol content in their blood, they are immediately sent to the hospital for complete medical examination, a SWR official said. South Western Railways DGM C S Gupta said loco pilots, have to do the most important and tedious job. They are given adequate 18 hours rest besides other perks.

Moreover, they are well aware of the consequences which keeps them away from drinking while on duty. A team of loco inspectors conduct surprise checks, decoy checking to find out any possible cases in between journey as well.


According to new guidelines, Category 1 workers will be terminated from services immediately if found to have blood alcohol level above 21 mg per 100 ml blood.

Those who have levels between 1 to 20 mg per 100 ml blood will be allowed to work after levels are brought down and will have incident on their permanent record.
If the worker violates the lower limit twice, he will be removed from service.

However, first time violators in lower limit will be counselled to avoid them from repeating the mistake.


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