Occupational safety

There has been a permanent Group-wide occupational safety body within Vossloh since 2012 in the form of the Work Safety Committee (WSC). Together with the WSC, which is headed by the Head of Corporate Sustainability, important steps have been taken in recent years to improve and harmonize occupational safety conditions in the various divisions. For example, a uniform occupational health and safety policy has been developed that is binding for all companies worldwide. This policy defines the vision of a zero accident strategy. The Work Safety Committee also played a key role in the development of the Group‘s own accident prevention app SAFE+.

One of the aims of the current Group-wide sustainability initiative is to reduce the frequency of workplace accidents by 20 % each year. Relevant key figures for goal achievement are the internationally used key figures Lost Time Accidents (LTA), Lost Time Accidents Frequency Rate (LTAFR) and Lost Time Accidents Severity Rate (LTASR) as well as the number of potential accident risks reported and minimized via the SAFE+ app.

The WSC, which works in close coordination with the Group Works Council, plays a central role in implementing the initiative. In addition to various measures and programs to improve occupational safety at Vossloh, the WSC focused on further raising employee awareness, prevention and communication in the 2023 fiscal year. To this end, the campaign “See something. Say something.“was developed, a 45-minute interactive training consisting of ten activities to raise employees‘ risk awareness, to illustrate the link between risks and accidents and to explain why the more safety risks are reported and mitigated, the fewer accidents there are. Live exercises will also enable training participants to carry out constructive safety interactions and learn to accept feedback. It will be rolled out across the Group in 2024 in all languages spoken in the Group.

Workplace accidents have been documented at Vossloh on the basis of uniform criteria, over and above what is required by law. Accidents resulting in lost time due to an employee’s ill health are reported directly to the Executive Board. The Executive Board as a whole discusses current developments in the area of occupational safety, the frequency, severity and causes of accidents at work as well as preventive and corrective measures taken with the heads of the business units on a quarterly basis.

Workplace accidents (Vossloh Group)20232022
Lost Time Accidents (LTA)1129107
Lost Time Accidents Frequency Rate (LTAFR)214.913.6
Lost Time Accidents Severity Rate (LTASR)32.41.6

1 Accidents resulting in injury-related absence of employees or temporary staff involving lost time of at least 1 hour.
2 Frequency of accidents resulting in injury-related absence of employees or temporary staff involving lost time of at least 1 hour, measured in the number of workplace accidents in relation to the cumulative actual work time, based on 1 million working hours.
3 Severity of accidents resulting in injury-related absence of employees or temporary staff involving lost time of at least 1 hour, measured in the duration of lost time in relation to the cumulative actual work time, based on 1,000 working hours.

Following a significant improvement in occupational safety figures in the previous year, the trend in 2023 fell short of expectations. As a result, the target of reducing the frequency of accidents at work by 20 % per year was not achieved. Both the frequency and severity of accidents increased compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, they represent the second-best level in the last five years. All divisions have taken measures to achieve an improvement again in 2024.

As in previous years, there were no work-related fatalities in the Vossloh Group in 2023.

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. Prevention is a matter of importance to the company in order to stop workplace accidents from happening in the first place. This includes regular behaviour-oriented safety inspections to raise employees‘ safety awareness, regular safety briefings and training for all employees, online training on safety-related topics, the provision of comprehensive protective equipment, safety signs at workstations and awareness campaigns. Impressive videos or safety flashes (anonymized summaries) of accidents are also frequently used. Many Vossloh locations celebrated World Day for Safety and Health at Work with specific campaigns.

The SAFE+ app plays an important role in minimizing potential risks and consequently achieving the goal of reducing the frequency of workplace accidents by 20 % annually across the Group. It was further improved in 2023; the new version was available in English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Serbian and Polish at the end of the year. Vossloh employees can and should use the app to report safety risks identified in their day-to-day work in order to systematically reduce hazards at all sites and in all areas. Over the course of 2023, employees reported a total of 2,184 potential accident risks, 1,433 of which were immediately eliminated or minimized.

If employees have to travel internationally for their work for Vossloh, they can make use of the Group’s travel safety management system. They will then receive comprehensive support with regard to medical and safety aspects of their trip, as well as precautions for possible emergencies. The company’s Travel Security Managers and worldwide Assistance Centers, in addition to a service provider’s assistance app, are available for this purpose.