Occupational safety

NS’s aim for 2016 was that employees should come home from work just as healthy as when they started, both physically and mentally. We have measured our progress and tested the results using the ‘safety culture ladder’. This is how NS is aiming to improve the health and safety culture, making it normal to address each other about unsafe and unhealthy behaviour.

Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate

The number of accidents at work resulting in over 24 hours’ absence from work is expressed as a frequency rate (the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate, LTIFR). The LTIFR at NS for 2016 increased to 1.4 (2015: 1.0) due to 11 more accidents resulting in absence compared with the previous year. This result says that 1.4 incidents took place that resulted in over 24 hours of absence for every 1 million hours worked. The LTIFR covers all employees working under NS supervision or authority.

Proactive occupational health policy

In 2016 we were able to assess potential safety risks using risk assessment and evaluation reports. This has contributed greatly to the focus on efforts to help prevent accidents at work and absences caused by illness. Where prevention failed, we investigated how to prevent a repetition. The approach to integrating processes relating to railway and occupational safety also suits this proactive policy.

Willingness to report and demonstrable leadership in safety

Health and safety levels at work improve greatly if as many employees as possible are willing and able to report unsafe situations. A lot has been done to remove the barriers as much as possible in 2016. For example, a reporting app was made and special safety campaigns made staff aware of the importance of reporting such situations.
To keep a dialogue going about security and to show engagement and leadership with regard to safety, the board and management regularly did so-called 'Safety Walk’ rounds at workplaces at locations across the country. They had face-to-face conversations with staff about their health and safety.

Safety ambassadors

Last year, 165 operations staff were trained as safety ambassadors and certified to monitor critical safety processes in their own working environments, as well as comparing them against the safety rankings ladder. They take action to improve and monitor the progress and efficiency of these actions in order to improve health and safety levels.