Trafi prepares the health requirements and guidelines on health examinations on persons engaged in traffic safety tasks and grants dispensation from the health requirements for persons engaged in traffic safety tasks. Trafi trains and recognises the practitioners, medical experts and psychologists working in occupational health care for railway traffic.
In railway traffic, health requirements apply to all persons engaged in traffic safety tasks in the railway system as well as those engaged in safety equipment installation and maintenance tasks or working as security officers. Traffic safety tasks are considered to include the task entities of the transport of rolling stock, shunting, traffic control and being in charge of the traffic safety of rail construction.
Those engaged in traffic safety tasks in the railway system, i.e. transport, management of shunting and traffic control must obtain a licence or a medical fitness certificate by the end of 2017. One of the requirements for granting these is an assessment on the fulfilment of psychological criteria performed by an expert psychologist on railway traffic. Only expert psychologists on railway traffic recognised by Trafi may conduct the assessments.
An initial health examination must be performed before the person is engaged in the task. For a rolling stock operator, the following health examination must take place on the year he or she turns 25 and, subsequently, at least once every three years until the age of 55. After this, periodic health examinations must take place annually.
For those engaged in safety equipment installation and maintenance tasks and working as security officers as well as in traffic safety tasks other than as rolling stock operators, the following health examination must take place on the year the person turns 25.
Subsequently, periodic health examinations must take place at least once every five years until the person turns 40. After this, health examinations must take place at least once every three years until the person turns 61 and annually after this date. A form verified by Trafi is used in the medical examinations.
As interpreted by Trafi on 9 February 2015, a medical examination at the beginning of employment must be performed on a person engaged in a traffic safety task in the railway system and an assessment must be performed by a medical expert in the event of a change of employer.
Nevertheless, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency considers that, upon request, the medical expert may consider the possibility of issuing a new statement on the person's fitness to engage in a traffic safety task without a new medical examination, provided that the assessed person already holds a valid medical statement and his or her work tasks will remain unchanged even though the employer will be different. In this case, the new employer must contact the medical expert and submit the Form for the description of a task in the railway system for a medical examination (RU5101) to the medical expert. In order to conduct the assessment, the medical expert must be provided with a background information form for the railway system (RU5102) for the medical examination filled in and signed by the applicant. With the form, the applicant gives permission to the medical expert to obtain the results of the previous health examination and related documents.
According to the regulation on railway traffic, this interpretation by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency is concerned with the performed medical examinations at the beginning of employment and does not take a position on examinations conducted under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Occupational Health Care Act.
If the person does not fulfil all of the necessary requirements for the task, he or she may apply for dispensation referred to in the so-called Qualification Act. According to the Qualification Act, for extraordinary reasons, Trafi may grant a person a dispensation from the task-specific qualifications and the requirements concerned with the person's health for a fixed or indefinite period. The dispensation may not endanger the safety of railway traffic. Conditions and limitations may be set in the decision to ensure safety.
The decisions may be appealed in the administrative courts.
Annex II of the EU Directive 2007/59/EC lays down the provisions on the medical requirements and medical doctor system for locomotive drivers.
The psychological fitness of persons engaged in traffic safety tasks in the railway system and performing psychological assessments for persons
Approval of railway doctors or railway psychologists €100/approval period (negative decisions are also charged for).
Contact information of the Traffic Medicine Unit
liikennelääketiede (at) trafi.fi