Occupational health and safety

"Zero accidents" – that’s our vision

Workplace safety and maintaining the employees’ health are at the heart of Vossloh’s care obligations as an employer. Nearly all major production plants worldwide are certified under the internationally-recognized standard OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) or the successor standard ISO 45001, and undergo the prescribed audits by independent external auditors. As of the end of 2018, just under 70 percent of Vossloh employees were employed at entities certified in accordance with OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001. The switch and system servicing segment within Vossloh Rail Services has even had SCC (Safety Certificate for Contractors) certification since 2017, which goes above and beyond the requirements of OHSAS 18001. For the managers of the operating units, achievement of the defined occupational safety performance indicators is an integral part of their pay-related target agreements.

There has been a permanent Group-wide occupational safety body since 2012 in the form of the Work Safety Committee. This has initiated important steps to harmonize the occupational safety conditions across the various divisions in recent years. For example, a standard occupational safety policy has been developed which is mandatory for all companies around the world. In this policy, the zero-accident strategy vision is defined.

Since 2014, workplace accidents throughout the Group have been documented at Vossloh every month on the basis of uniform criteria. The key performance indicators here are the globally used metrics of lost time accident frequency rate (LTAFR) and lost time accident severity rate (LTASR). Accidents resulting in lost time due to an employee’s ill health are reported directly to the Executive Board in a timely manner. The Work Safety Committee and the Group Works Council cooperate closely in order to further reduce workplace accidents and further develop the culture of safety.

Workplace accidents (Vossloh Group)*20182017
Lost time accidents19880
Lost time accident frequency rate213.812.3
Lost time accident severity rate32.11.7

*The following values can be stated for 2018 for the Transportation division reported as discontinued operations: LTA = 10 (2017: 14), LTAFR = 12.4 (2017: 16.8) and LTASR = 0.9 (2017: 0.9).

1 Accidents involving injury-related lost time of at least 1 hour

2 Frequency of accidents involving injury-related lost time of at least 1 hour in relation to the cumulative actual work time, based on 1 million hours worked

3 Severity of accidents involving injury-related lost time of at least 1 hour in relation to the cumulative actual work time, based on 1 million hours worked

18 more workplace accidents with injury-related lost time of at least one hour occurred in 2018 than in 2017. The number of hours worked also increased, but the increase in workplace accidents and absence after workplace accidents was disproportionately high, which cumulatively led to higher values for the LTAFR and LTASR indicators.

Both accidents with and without lost time and near accidents are systematically analyzed at Vossloh in order to learn from them for the future at all the Company’s sites. The definition of concrete targets for specific time frames in the area of occupational safety is likewise one of the responsibilities of the sustainability working group. It addressed this subject at every meeting in 2018 and prepared initial proposals to be coordinated with the Work Safety Committee.

Prevention is a matter of importance to Vossloh in order to stop workplace accidents from happening in the first place. This includes regular conduct-based safety inspections designed to raise safety awareness among the employees, regular safety instruction and training for all the staff, online training sessions on safety-relevant subjects, the provision of comprehensive protective equipment and awareness campaigns. Memorable videos are frequently employed as well. The hand safety campaign launched in the previous year, which focused on risks for hand injuries, was notably continued in 2018. This aims to raise employee awareness of conduct-based occupational health and safety, and allow employees to proverbially experience the importance of keeping your hands safe.

The “4 Seconds for Safety” campaign is now well-established throughout the Group: Every day, every new activity, every shift talk and every get-together at Vossloh begins with a brief discussion of specific safety aspects, and not just in the production area. The technical and commercial trainees of Vossloh Fastening Systems in Werdohl showed a particular commitment in regard to occupational health and safety in 2018: Together with their training manager, they developed a poster campaign entitled “Safety first” that points out hazards in day-to-day work, for which they received the “Smart Fox” award from the Wood and Metal Trade Association for exemplary occupational health and safety measures.

Since February 1, 2018, a standardized time-based travel security management system has been available for all employees who travel internationally as part of their activities for Vossloh. It encompasses both medical and security-related aspects of business travel, and also offers precautions about potential emergencies. Information from the global travel security guidelines are available to employees through the intranet. Group employees are assisted when preparing for travel both through the automated dispatch of travel-related emails by a competent external service provider, as well as by the Group’s Assistance Centers and Travel Security Manager. This cooperation gives travelers access to 11,000 international medical, security and logistics experts at over 1,000 locations in 90 countries, around the clock 365 days a year. The help provided by the service provider, which itself acts in accordance with GRI guidelines, is completed by an assistance app as well as information about the Assistance Centers in check card format.

Vossloh’s occupational health management pursues the goal of offering all its employees preventive health care and promotion. This includes the occupational safety measures already mentioned, workplace ergonomics and driver safety training as well as daily fruit, nutritional advice, company sport (including jogging groups and yoga courses), support with quitting smoking and preventive measures (like flu vaccinations, health screenings and health care tips).