Of KiwiRail’s four core values, ‘Care and Protect’ is the one our people live and breathe. It is why our Zero Harm vision is to become the leading health and safety organisation in New Zealand.
The concept of Zero Harm starts with our people. We want all of our people and the public to go home safe to their families every day.
There are a number of things we do to encourage a proactive approach to safety. We have frontline Health and Safety Action Teams throughout the country highlighting issues and helping find solutions. Additionally, we offer safety skills training with a focus on non-technical skills, and engage with our people through ‘Safety, Health and Environment’ Work Conversations and through HPHE projects.
There are other projects where KiwiRail is trialling technology to support safe operations. An example of this is a technology that alerts machine operators and individuals if a person accidentally enters an exclusion zone. This is occurring at our largest container terminal, Southdown.
Fatigue is another issue faced by the rail industry and others. In a leading edge programme, KiwiRail and our union partners are working with the Massey University Research Centre on a pilot programme looking at new ways to manage fatigue in the workplace.
A collaborative effort by KiwiRail employees and the RMTU to make hotworks safer won a New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Award in 2017.
KiwiRail actively works with communities, schools and NZ Police to promote rail safety awareness, and address incidents of high risk behaviour and trespass on the rail corridor.
We have established a nation-wide network of safety ambassadors who visit schools and attend community events to speak about rail safety. Ambassadors are equipped with the resources needed to provide consistent and appropriate safety messages, including rail safety awareness videos aimed at school children.
KiwiRail is a key sponsor of TrackSAFE NZ, a charitable trust that raises awareness about rail safety and ways to keep safe around tracks and trains. Each year KiwiRail supports Rail Safety Week - an annual campaign run by TrackSAFE NZ, KiwiRail and AT to engage with the public and share critical messages about staying safe around trains.
Find out more about rail safety education here.