The 28th UIMC Congress commenced its work on 22 September 2010 in Rabat, and was attended by fifteen countries. The annual congress was held at the invitation of the Moroccan railways (ONCF) and their medical service. The congress was opened by Mr Moha Kaddour, ONCF Director of Safety and Control, and Mr Karim Eddine Chennouf, ONCF Director of Human Resources and Legal Affairs.
In an address read out on his behalf, ONCF Chief Executive Mr Rabie Khlie presented his company’s achievements in terms of its medical services, particularly concerning its railway safety management system and its programme of staff medical coverage and check-ups.
He also expressed his pride at being the first Arab and African country to host this important international event.
The UIMC Chairman, Dr Pierre-Albert Voumard, for his part highlighted the congress’s importance in improving railway medical services. For him, the international gathering represented an appropriate platform for the sharing of information and expertise.
The UIMC General Assembly was held alongside the congress, on 24 September 2010. 18 members sent 24 representatives to Rabat.
The UIMC Management Committee met during the morning of 22 September 2010. It was composed as follows:
- Chairman: Dr P.-A. Voumard, CFF / SBB
- Secretary-General: Dr C. Cothereau, SNCF
- Vice-Chairman: Dr G. Palma, FS
- Treasurer: Dr O. Foss, NSB
- Committee members: Dr M. Tucek, CD, Dr V. K. Ramteke, IR, Dr D Whelan, CIE
Two committee members had stepped down following their retirement: Dr M. Banadiam, TeamPrevent (Austria) and Dr M. van den Heuvel, SNCB.
During its meeting, the committee handled points concerning the UIMC accounts, new members, the status of working groups, the medical database etc. These points were subsequently presented in greater detail to the General Assembly.
During the General Assembly, Vice-Chairman Dr G. Palma, who headed the working group operating for CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies), informed members that the group had examined closely the medical criteria relating to European Union Directive 2007/59/EC on the introduction of a European locomotive driver’s licence. The group had noted all the unclear or incorrect aspects of the aforementioned criteria in a catalogue. A UIMC / CER working group had been mandated to continue trying to clarify matters and to begin work on updating the handbook of medical aptitude criteria established by UIMC in 2000.
The day of technical visits comprised a trip to the new line serving the new port of Tangier Med and to the recently-completed Tangier station.
The gala dinner was held in a traditional Moroccan setting in Rabat, and was attended by Mr Kaddour, Mr Karim Eddine Chennouf and other high-level ONCF figures.
The scientific congress was devoted to the subject of “Human factors and medical requirements in safety management”. Various subjects were tackled by members:
- Socio-professional lifestyle and health of workers in the railways
- Health and safety management at work
- Respiratory problems encountered by welders and metalworkers
- Future action on medical unfitness in safety-critical roles following periodic check-ups
- Health and safety at work: perception, training and information for railwaymen
- New standard for detecting illicit drugs in saliva
- Management of sleep apnoea syndrome
- Medical fitness standards of locomotive drivers in relation to diabetes
- New colour vision test
- Initial experience with regular testing of workers for illegal drug consumption
- Health promotion for an ageing workforce
- New aptitude criteria for signallers (train movement staff)
The next meeting of the UIMC management committee will be held in Paris on 15 April 2011.
The 2011 UIMC Scientific Congress and General Assembly will be held in Barcelona in autumn 2011, at the invitation of FGC (Cataluña Railways).