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Second suppliers' day rail sector also a success

On 7 March, the second suppliers’ day for the rail sector in the Netherlands was held at Railcenter in Amersfoort.

Personnel from some 25 suppliers were invited to perform work according to the Framework of Stands for Safe Working (NVW). Last October, the rail companies BAM Infra Rail, Dura Vermeer, Strukton Rail and VolkerRail organised the first joint suppliers’ day. The sector-wide approach was a success: For the suppliers, this is an efficient approach. Furthermore, the most important theme, safety on the rails, is something that concerns us all.

This immediately provided the slogan for 7 March: ‘Safety on the rail concerns us all’. The underlying theme had already emerged during the meeting in October: You achieve safety via a proactive attitude, by holding each other accountable, holding yourself accountable and by actively reporting incidents.

Supplier day of rail industry

What does safety mean to you?
In the introduction round, the participants said what safety meant to them. This produced striking statements like ‘Safety must be in people’s genes’ and ‘Safety starts with the preparation’. In groups, people then discussed the statements and several questions about safety, like:

  • Which ‘attitude & behaviour aspects’ do you focus on?
  • How are you trying to improve the proactive attitude (holding / being held accountable / reporting), both within your own organisation and among subcontractors / suppliers / self-employed contractors?
  • What support (and in which form) do you need from the rail contractors to take steps towards a proactive attitude?
  • The suppliers came up with various questions/dilemmas:
  • Does safety cost money or does it generate money because you also reduce the failure costs?
  • Does the requested production in the sector compromise safety?
    These issues can’t be resolved after one day, but it’s good to discuss them together.

Improvement points
Various concrete improvement points were also mentioned:

  • Involve the subcontractors in the evaluations after the work (project evaluations)
  • Make it easier to report dangerous situations and near-incidents and provide feedback on what was done with the reports
  • Involve suppliers in toolboxes of rail infra companies
  • As rail infra companies, offer one communication channel in the field of instruction materials, toolbox subjects, etc.

The sector parties are going to get to work on the improvement points and look forward to the next suppliers’ day.