Occupational safety

Where the safety and health of our staff is concerned, our aim is that accidents are prevented and that everyone should come home from work just as healthy as when they started work, both physically and mentally. In 2018, NS carried out a risk assessment and evaluation (RAE). This identified all potential safety risks concerning occupational safety. We include the points requiring attention in an action plan to find solutions for them.
KPMG carried out a safety culture assessment throughout NS. We have developed a monitoring dashboard based on the results, which we can use to monitor safety processes. This way, we can determine whether we are compliant and have achieved the desired safety objectives. NS is doing this to have a better grip on the safety processes and to have a positive effect on the safety culture.

Involvement of the Executive Board and management

The Executive Board and management are responsible for health and safety of employees. That is why they are intensely involved with the occupational safety policy. The Executive Board talks to individual staff about their personal health and safety in their own working environments during planned ‘safety walks’. Furthermore, the central works council has agreed to the NS working conditions policy; the risk assessment and evaluation structure has been aligned accordingly. Legislative amendments due to the new Working Conditions Act were realised before the mandatory date of 1 July 2018.


On Thursday, 31 January 2019 the RIVM presented the results of the hexavalent chromium investigation for the reintegration project tROM in Tilburg. In the Tilburg tROM project, people on unemployment benefit worked between 2004 and 2012 on trains belonging to NS and the Dutch Railway Museum at the then NedTrain workshop in Tilburg. RIVM carried out an investigation, with which NS cooperated. An independent committee drew conclusions and formulated recommendations based on the research results. The committee drew some strong conclusions, including about the role of NS in the Tilburg project. According to the committee, the municipality of Tilburg, NS and the Dutch Railway Museum all cut corners. At the start of February 2019, the parties announced that they would be jointly making arrangements, each taking their share of the responsibility, with the aim of providing clarity to the people affected as soon as possible.
Last year, we took various steps for improvement in the chromium-6 and hazardous materials programmes. In 2018 the chromium-6 programme was focused not just on carrying out the current work safely but also on investigating the working conditions of NS staff in the past. This investigation is being carried out by RIVM. The hazardous materials programme focuses on working safely with hazardous substances in general and complying with health & safety and environmental legislation. More information on chromium-6 can be found here. 

Physical accidents

In order to improve accident monitoring and implementation of the occupational health and safety policy, NS switched to reporting the Total Recordable Rate (TRR) for physical accidents. The TRR was 5.3 (5.0 in 2017). This concerns accidents resulting in sickness absence (including those accidents where it was possible to find replacement work) expressed in numbers per million hours worked. Accidents as a result of aggression are not included.