Careers at Metro

Medical Requirements

Neurological Conditions

Safety critical work within the rail industry requires a number of intact neurological functions such as; insight, judgement, attention and concentration, reaction time, memory, visuospatial perception (the ability to process and interpret visual information of where objects are in space), sensation, muscle power, coordination, balance and vision. Some neurological conditions may impair these functions. The conditions include and procedures include (but are not limited to);

  • Dementia
  • Seizures and epilepsy
  • Vestibular disorders
  • Aneurysm
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Neuromuscular disorders (such as Motor Neurone Disease)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Subarachnoid haemorrhage
  • Space occupying lesions, including brain tumours.

Effect of rail on condition

Many rail safety positions involve working rotating shifts. Sleep deprivation is not uncommon amongst railway workers. Several of the conditions described above may be exacerbated by lack of sleep and careful consideration of the effect of shift work on the condition will be required.

Effect of condition on rail

Neurological disorders may affect the ability to perform Safety Critical Work due to their effect on cognitive function, vision, sensation, motor function or balance. Although evidence of accident or incident is limited, it is very likely that symptoms that are common to many neurological conditions, such as potential spontaneous loss of consciousness, confusional states and impairment of muscular power and coordination are harmful to Safety Critical Work.
Effect of treatment on rail
Various medications may have serious side effects that may interfere with the discharge of duty as a Rail Safety Worker. Impairment caused by medication may lead to a breach of Rail Safety National Law. Such effects may include but is not be limited to, drowsiness, slowed thinking, dizziness, loss of balance, increase or reduction in sleep.

Approach to fitness for duty

More likely to be fit for duty if;
The condition is stable and there is good evidence from your treating doctor to confirm this. Some of the conditions described above such as stroke may leave a permanent but stable deficit whilst other conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease are progressive.

Less likely to be fit for duty if;
Conditions that are unstable or not yet fully diagnosed, treated and stabilized are less likely to lead to a determination that the candidate is fit.

You are unique
Every neurological case is different. How you are affected will depend on a range of circumstances. The assessing Authorised Health Professional decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. A particular assessment decision is based on the individual circumstances of the applicant under consideration.

Further Information
If you have or have previously been treated for a neurological condition and are considering applying for a position at Metro Trains Melbourne, please bring any relevant information from your treating practitioner detailing your medical condition with you to your medical assesment.