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 2019, over 76 percent of Vossloh employees were employed at units 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 top 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 that 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, over and above what is required by law. 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)*20192018
Lost time accidents111298
Lost time accident frequency rate216.013.8
Lost time accident severity rate32.92.1

* The following values can be stated for 2019 for the division reported as discontinued operations: LTA = 20 (2018: 10), LTAFR = 21.6 (2018: 12.4) and LTASR = 2.0 (2018: 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

Both accidents with and without lost time and near accidents are analyzed at Vossloh in order to learn from them for the future and reduce the number of accidents 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 prepared initial proposals, which are still 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, safety markings at the various workstations, and awareness campaigns. Memorable videos are frequently employed as well. The “Four seconds for safety” campaign is regularly discussed at the start of a working day or a get-together within the Vossloh Group, with brief reference being made to a specific safety aspect, and not just in the production area. The Vossloh Lifecycle Solutions division has taken this a step further. In 2019, all industrial employees were required for the first time to report to the responsible safety officer any situation or action in their everyday work that they felt was unsafe and that could, in the worst case, lead to an accident. The collected reports have not yet been fully evaluated.

Since February 1, 2018, a Group-wide 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. 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, 24/7, 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. With its ambitious program to launch its travel security management system, both in terms of its timeline and content, Vossloh has entered for the 2019 “Duty of Care Award”.

Vossloh’s occupational health management pursues the goal of offering all its employees preventive healthcare. 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 colorectal cancer check-ups, flu vaccinations, health screenings and healthcare tips). In 2019, Vossloh Fastening Systems introduced voluntary health insurance for all employees at its plant in Russia, through which employees can receive free medical assistance at selected facilities. Anti-fatigue mats were purchased for employees at the plant in the U.S. who stand on concrete floors all day.