Where the safety and health of staff are concerned, our aim is to prevent accidents and ensure that everyone comes home from work just as healthy as when they started work, both physically and mentally. In 2019, we mapped potential occupational safety-related risks at NS on the basis of a Risk Assessment and Evaluation, and developed an action plan aimed at mitigating the five most significant risks identified. By doing so, we have strengthened our safety processes and our safety culture and have reached Level 3 of the Safety Culture Ladder (2018: Level 2/3). The Safety Culture Ladder is a certification method aimed to assess, measure and promote safety awareness and safety-oriented working processes in businesses.
Involvement of the Executive Board and management
The NS Executive Board and management are closely involved in the company's occupational safety policy. They have periodic discussions with their staff based on the occupational safety dashboard. During these talks they also monitor implementation of the plans arising from the risk assessment and evaluation. Executive Board members conduct 'safety walks' to get in touch with staff on a regular basis on safety and health issues in the work environment.
In early 2019, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) presented the results of the hexavalent chromium investigation for the tROM reintegration project in Tilburg. In that project, people on unemployment benefit worked on trains belonging to NS and the Dutch Railway Museum at the then NedTrain workshop in Tilburg between 2004 and 2012. The parties jointly established a compensation scheme, and delegated its implementation to the municipality of Tilburg.
In 2019, the chromium-6 programme focused not just on carrying out the current work safely, but also on investigating the working conditions of NS staff in the past. This investigation is being carried out by RIVM. The hazardous materials programme focuses on working safely with hazardous substances in general and complying with occupational health & safety and environmental legislation.
Furthermore, the police are currently carrying out a criminal investigation on the instructions of the Public Prosecution Service, in which NedTrain is one of the suspects. It is not known at present what the outcome of this investigation will be.
NS reports on physical accidents using the Total Recordable Rate (TRR). This concerns accidents resulting in sickness absence (including those accidents where it was possible to find replacement work), and accidents resulting in injury that had to be treated by a BIG-registered medical officer, expressed in numbers of accidents per million hours worked. This category does not include accidents caused by aggression. The TRR has fallen from 5.3 in 2018 to 4.5 in 2019. This fall must be attributed entirely to the addition of group staff and the fact that no accidents took place here.