Russian Labour Ministry Approves Women Railway Drivers From January 2021, the Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation has allowed women to work as drivers of electric trains, high-speed and high-speed electric trains. These professions are excluded from the new list of industries, jobs and positions with harmful or dangerous working conditions, where the use of women’s labor is limited. The corresponding order was registered with the Ministry of Justice last week. 

The Ministry of Labor began to update the list of works that prohibit the use of women’s labor in 2017. Representatives of the department and large employers, including Russian Railways, noted then that the current list of 456 professions, approved by the government in 2000, was outdated: some of them ceased to exist (on the railway this is a battery man, a trolley driver, a fireman and steam boiler boiler washer), others significantly changed their content and ceased to pose a threat to women’s health.  

The main criterion by which the Ministry of Labor was guided in the compilation of the new list is whether this or that production is dangerous for the reproductive health of women and whether the influence of harmful factors can affect the health of the future generation. 

As a result, the list of prohibited types of work was reduced by 4 times – up to a hundred positions. The Ministry of Labor lifted the restriction on women’s employment as an electric train (electric train), high-speed and high-speed trains (“Lastochka”, “Sapsan” and others). The department also allowed the ladies to drive heavy vehicles and agricultural machinery, work as a boatswain, skipper and sailor, engage in treetop work at altitudes above 10 m. , agriculture, ”the department noted.

According to the Director General of the All-Russian branch association of railway transport employers “Zheldortrans” Sergey Chaplinsky, updating the list is a long-awaited step for enterprises in the industry. “A special assessment of working conditions, legislatively approved several years ago, allows us to assess the real conditions at a particular workplace. I do not see any difficulties for women to work as machinists, assistants to the machinist on modern electric trains, where safe and comfortable working conditions are created. We even have women recruited to military schools for military pilots. A military bomber can be controlled, but why not a train? There are old types of locomotives where harmful factors act; women probably don’t need to work there. But these factors are identified during the special assessment. By the way,  

As previously noted at Russian Railways, all the series of locomotives that manufacturers are now supplying to the holding comply with the standards for vibration at the workplace. At the same time, it is not necessary to specially adapt the locomotive cabs for women. According to the deputy chairman of Rosprofzhel, the chief technical inspector of labor of the trade union Alexei Naletov, in terms of ergonomics, the cabs of high-speed trains are universal – they are “unisex” and suitable for women. 

At the same time, the Ministry of Labor still retained a number of restrictions regarding work on the railway. So, women should not drive railway construction vehicles, traction, motor carriages, and special self-propelled rolling stock in case of exceeding the maximum permissible concentrations of harmful chemicals and the maximum permissible level of general vibration. 

Ladies are also forbidden to engage in the repair and maintenance of infrastructure facilities (track fitters and inspectors-repairmen of cars), the contact network of electrified railways and rolling stock (electrician of the contact network), if the work process involves lifting and moving manually weights of more than established standards. Recall that the maximum permissible for women is lifting and moving weights when alternating with another job up to two times per hour – 10 kg, lifting and moving weights constantly during a shift – 7 kg.  

The ban also included shunting operations on the disbanding-formation of trains, regulating the speed of movement of brake shoes, as this is also associated with lifting and moving weights manually in excess of the established standards, as well as work on steaming and cleaning the inside of tanks from oil products and toxic chemicals. 

“It is important to note that when creating safe working conditions, the employer has the right to employ women’s labor without restrictions,” the Ministry of Labor emphasized. 

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