Restricted Medications

As part of ongoing efforts to promote safety through Fitness-for-Duty, the following initiatives will be announced in November to covered agreement employees.   Your members who are affected by these requirements are in the Operating field (which includes Transportation, Mechanical, Engineering and Intermodal), Supply field and Telecom departments.  

 

  • Restricted Prescription Drugs - Work restrictions are currently applied to ensure employees working in safety related jobs are not impaired by prescription drugs that pose safety risks for themselves or others.  These individuals are not allowed to work while using a prescription drug of concern. In response to requests from supervisors, employees and union leadership to be more transparent, Health & Medical Services is publishing a list of restricted prescription drugs.  As always, employees should report ready to safely perform their job.


The drugs listed are restricted due to documented significant impairment that lasts for a prolonged period.  Employees must take the time to discuss their prescription drugs with their personal physician and begin to transition safely from any restricted prescribed drug to a safer alternative medication.  Employees should also be aware that updates to UP’s list are made as needed.  Drug categories of concern include: Opioids, Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, Muscle Relaxants, Hypnotics, and Varenicline.  

At this time, employees are not required to report use of these restricted prescription drugs, but that may change with any future Medical Rules update. Specific information about restrictions for each drug category is available by clicking on the link below.

 

Opioid and Synthetic Opioid Drugs
Opioid and synthetic opioid drugs are typically used to treat moderate to severe pain.  All drugs in this class are restricted except as noted. 

LONG ACTING OPIODS

Generic Name               BRAND EXAMPLES
Buprenorphine Buprenex, Butrans, Suboxone, Subutex
Butorphanol Stadol
Fentanyl Abstral, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Lazanda, Onsolis, Sublimaze
Hydrocodone (extended release) Hysingla ER, Roxicodone, OxyIR, Zohydro ER
  Hydromorphone   Dilaudid, Palladone
  Meperidine   Demerol
  Methadone   Dolophine, Methadose
  Morphine   Astramorph, Avinza, Duramorph Infumorph, Kadian, MS Contin, MSIR, Oramorph, Roxanol
  Nalbuphine   Nubain
  Oxycodone (extended release)   OxyContin, Dazidox, Oxecta, Oxyfast, OxyIR, Percolone, Roxicodone, Roxicodone Intensol, Targiniq
  Oxymorphone   Opana
  Pentazocine   Talwin NX
  Tapentadol   Nucynta
  Tramadol   ConZip, Rybix, Ryzolt, Ultram

EXCEPTIONS: SHORT ACTING OPIODS (cannot work until after 12 hours of the last dose)

Generic Name               BRAND EXAMPLES
Codeine (short acting)  Tylenol with codeine no. 3, Empirin no. 4
Dihydrocodeine (short acting) Panlor DC, Synalgos DC, Zerlor
Hydrocodone (short acting) Vicodin, Hysingla, Zohydro
Oxycodone (short acting) Combunox, Endocet, Endodan, Endocodone, Percocet, Percodan, Roxicet, Roxiprin, Tylox

Benzodiazepine Drugs 
Benzodiazepines are typically used as sedatives, to treat anxiety, as muscle relaxants, and for other purposes.  All drugs in this class are restricted.
       

Generic Name               BRAND EXAMPLES
Alprazolam Xanax
Clonazepam Klonopin
Clorazepate Tranxene
Diazepam Valium
  Lorazepam   Ativan
  Midazolam   Versed
  Oxazepam   Serax
  Temazepam   Restoril
  Triazolam   Halcion

Barbiturate Drugs 
Barbiturates are typically used as sedatives, in combination with other drugs for headaches and for a variety of other uses.  All drugs in this class are restricted.

Generic Name               BRAND EXAMPLES
Amobarbital Generic versions
Butabarbital Generic versions
Butalbital Esgic, Fioricet, Fiorinal, Phrenilin
Pentobarbital Nembutal
  Phenobarbital   Generic versions
  Secobarbital   Seconal

Muscle Relaxant Drugs 
Muscle relaxant drugs are typically used to treat muscle spasms, often for persons who have back or neck pain symptoms.  The muscle relaxant drug of concern, is Carisoprodol (brand name Soma).  This drug is restricted.

Hypnotic Drugs 
Hypnotic drugs are typically used as sleep aids. The hypnotic drugs of concern are Eszopiclone (brand name Lunesta)and Zolpidem Tartrate extended release (brand name Ambien CR).  These two drugs are restricted.

Varenicline 
Varenicline (brand name Chantix)is typically used to treat nicotine addiction, as an aid in smoking cessation.  This drug is restricted.

 

1.        When will more information be available?  A webpage dedicated to restricted medications will be available in November.  Employees will receive communication via UPOnline articles, ITV, and various other ways as needed.  

 

2.        What should employees discuss with their doctors?  Employees should discuss the following with their doctor:

·        Their safety related job duties

·        UP’s list of restricted prescription drugs

·        Safer alternative drugs

·        A plan to discontinue restricted drugs (if applicable)

 

3.        Are there less impairing alternative drugs that UP does not restrict  for covered employees?  Yes, for each category of restricted drugs there are safer alternative drugs, which UP does not restrict.  Employees should discuss other alternatives with their doctors.   Employees can email [email protected]if they have questions about whether a specific prescription drug is restricted or not.

 

4.        What should I tell an employee who believes he or she may be on a restricted prescription drugs?  Employees should take the following steps now:

·        Take UP's list of restricted drugs to their doctor

·        Only change the use of prescription drugs under the direction of their doctor

·        If the doctor confirms the employee is using a restricted prescription drug, the employee and  doctor should discuss a plan to discontinue the restricted drug

·        Employees with questions after discussing prescription medications with their doctor, may contact Fitness-for-Duty at[email protected] or call the HR Service Center at 1-877-275-8747, Option 4.

 

5.    How does this align with the company’s emphasis on safety? Safety is a core value at UP and a responsibility for all employees.  The purpose of the restricted prescription drug list is to ensure covered workers are not impaired by medications at work, which may pose significant safety risks for the worker and others.

  • Color Vision Field Test Standardization - The color vision field test may be administered to train crew and other employees who do not pass the first level color vision Ishihara test.  To ensure consistency, enhancements to the field test have been made, and include: standardized process for conducting field tests, coordination by an Occupational Health Nurse, utilization of the same equipment, and employees may still request union representation.
  • Compliance Requirements for Medical Monitoring - Employees with certain serious health conditions will be required to periodically provide medical information to Union Pacific Health & Medical Services by a specific date for a medical review to determine the employee’s ability to continue working safely.  Medical monitoring will mainly be done for chronic medical conditions such as cardiovascular disorders, diabetes treated with insulin, severe sleep apnea and vision related conditions.

    As part of this process, the employees will receive three written reminders (60, 30 and 15 days) prior to the date the medical information is due.  If a response is not received from the employee following the first notice, then the supervisors will also be notified at the time of the employee’s second notice (30 days before deadline).  If the employee does not respond by the due date, then the employee will be removed from service until the requested medical information is received and a Fitness-for-Duty review is completed.  

Employees with questions after discussing prescription medications with their doctor may contact Fitness-for-Duty at [email protected] or call the HR Service Center at 1-877-275-8747, Option 4.

 

Thank you!

Greg Workman
Vice President-Safety & Chief Safety Officer
Union Pacific Railroad

Restricted Drugs

I got this list yesterday, if you are taking these any of these prescriptions, the UP wants you to go to your Doctor and ask for alternative medications.  These are legal medications that your MD might have you taking.  They did not say they when or if they were going to start testing for these legal medications.

 

I wasn't supposed to put out this list, UP says they will be putting something out soon.  I just wanted to give everyone a heads up.

 

Ronnie

File attachments: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Restricted Medications2.73 MB

MAPS, New discipline policy

File attachments: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon MAPS263.33 KB

Fatigue

 

BLET President Pierce challenges railroads on fatigue, attendance policies

Locomotive engineer fatigue remains a major safety issue in the railroad industry, and BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce challenged the CEOs of North America’s six largest freight railroads to work with the BLET to help alleviate the issue. A less punitive approach to employee relations would go a long way toward making the industry safer, President Pierce said.

In a letter dated September 22, 2015, Pierce wrote: “This is to alert you to a significant problem facing … locomotive engineers who are being forced by threat of an attendance policy violation to work when fatigued, even though such safety-critical locomotive engineers honesty believe that working in such circumstances would jeopardize safety.”

Countless National Transportation Safety Board accident reports show that fatigued operating employees pose a significant safety risk for every railroad, and that “fatigue induced performance degradation” all too often contributes to or directly causes accidents. Fatigue can seriously degrade task performance, leading to longer reaction times, memory problems, poor decision-making, workload shedding, and inefficient information processing.

Pierce said a main cause of fatigue is variable work schedules, which result in unpredictable and inconsistent patterns of awake and sleep time for engineers. However, the situation is made much worse when railroads routinely fail to provide accurate train lineups.

“Due to the unpredictable nature of their assignments, compounded by glaring deficiencies in the railroad’s train lineups as compared to actual call times, these engineers are more frequently subjected to situations where they are not adequately rested through no fault of their own, despite their being in compliance with carrier calling rules,” Pierce wrote.

Punitive carrier attendance policies only make the situation worse by threatening employees with discipline for attempting to avoid hazardous conditions by laying off due to fatigue. Under current attendance policy rules, engine and train service employees could be suspended from work or even fired for laying off due to fatigue.

“Indeed, there can be no question that even the mere threat of a Carrier policy violation in these circumstance is itself an unfavorable personnel action and/or a denial of a safe place to work that not only is dangerous but may constitute a violation of federal law,” Pierce wrote.

The Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) was enacted to promote safe rail operations, and it protects employees who refuse to work in unsafe conditions and who report such conditions to their management supervisors. “Therefore, enforcement of Carrier rules and policies violates the FRSA if it denies employees a safe place to work,” Pierce wrote.

Pierce suggested the carriers include provisions in their attendance policies that allow engineers to lay off when fatigued, exhausted, overworked or otherwise unable to perform safety-critical duties.

“I strongly urge you to instruct your managers to allow locomotive engineers who find themselves fatigued to lay off due to that fatigue without fear of disciplinary retaliation,” Pierce wrote. “It is clear that if forced to work when fatigued by no fault of their own, they will be jeopardizing their own safety as well as the safe operation of the trains to which they are assigned, which in turn directly endangers the safety of the general public and their co-workers.”

Pierce told the involved CEO’s, “I am sure that you share my interest in seeing that unsafe activities that could result in needless accidents and injuries be avoided. I trust you will investigate this situation and take appropriate action so that the interests of the company, its employees, and the general public are protected against the threat that fatigue brings to safe railroad operations.”

A copy of one of the letters is available here:
http://www.ble-t.org/pr/pdf/UP_Fatigue_Letter.pdf

Pool 1 Trip Rates

Brothers and Sisters,

Timekeeping is in the process of putting a check off box for the Pool 1 Engineers that will pay 2 trip rates when you go to Joppa or East  of Joppa, Cook, any point in between Joppa and Paducah.  

Now when called to Deadhead from Dupo to Joppa or anything East of Joppa you will be paid two trip rates.

Ronnie

 

Us or Them

We live here, 
We work here, 
We raise our families here, 
We vote here.  
 
Why are they telling us how things here should be done?
 
 
 
The above message was written by Brother Mike McGill in reference to the attachment below.  Well said Brother!
 
Thanks,
 
Brian
 
File attachments: 

Labor Day 2015

Labor Day 2015

By Dennis R. Pierce
BLET National President

CLEVELAND, September 4 — This weekend we celebrate American workers and the labor movement. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen was founded on May 8, 1863, and our members were among the first to lay down their lives and fight for the rights that you enjoy today. Many Americans — not just railroaders — benefit from the sacrifices made by these early rail workers.

Organized labor has contributed substantially to the highest standard of living and the highest levels of worker production the world has ever known. While Labor Day is intended to be a tribute to the sacrifices of workers, we unfortunately find that these contributions are now less valued than they have been at any time since the exploitive days before the dawn of the labor movement.

As we have seen recently, government and big business are conspiring against workers by crafting policies that are intended to hurt working men and women instead of celebrating them as the back bone of society. This is evident in the so-called “right-to-work” battle currently raging in the state of Missouri. It is a part of the War on Workers, which has been in high gear for the past several years.

Big business and the government have done everything in their power to ensure a weak labor movement. Why? A weak labor movement cannot best represent the interests of workers and a weak labor movement is less likely to put fair wages into the hands of any company’s employees.

On this Labor Day, becoming involved in your union and supporting union-friendly candidates at the ballot box are two of the best ways you can stand up for working families and Middle Class Americans. This is your Brotherhood, and we can be only as strong as your willingness to get involved and stay involved; that is your personal obligation as a BLET member. Fulfilling your obligation to vote in union elections, as well as national, state and local elections, is the best way to honor those who fought for your right to vote, whom we remember this weekend. We need to work together to transform government from a tool of the bosses to a servant of the people.

We certainly have our work cut out for us, but we realize that the stakes are far too high to lose. On behalf of the BLET Advisory Board, I wish you all a happy and healthy Labor Day. 

Local Chairmen Email

Your Local Chairman's email address is now found on the contact tab of the GCA website.  Don't forget to send them your email address so you won't get locked out of the websites for your Hubs.  We will be locking down soon as our Webmaster is going on vacation for 4 weeks so if you don't make the cut you will be locked out until he returns from vacation.

 

GCA website                http://www.bletupcr.org/

Website Access

Brothers and Sisters,

Please make sure your Local Chairman has your correct email address, you will lose access to the web page if we don't have your email.   You will be required to Login to the page with a user id and password. You will be receiving instructions on setting up your password via your email address. 

Thanks in advance,

Ronnie

WARNING

If you are called and subsequently released the computer will ask you if you have been called and released. Do not falsely answer this question, new programming is going to catch those employees who have been called and released, then check no to the answer if they were called and released.  Lying about the call and release, tying up and going home at the bottom of the board is going to get serious.  Do not be the person caught in this situation, if less than 4 hours, you should go first out.  If over 4 hours then you go to the bottom of the board.  This is an advance warning, please spread the word.

Pages