The bench – mark for saftey in the sector
DB Cargo BTT and DB Cargo offer Rail Safety Days on handling hazardous goods – and demand for the event is growing. The rail experts are sharing their experience to help participants improve safety management.
The rail experts are sharing their experience to help participants improve safety management. Safety is the foremost priority at DB Cargo BTT. This is especially true in transport operations for the chemicals industry. Since rail is statistically the safest transport mode, certain hazardous freight may only be transported by rail. 17 per cent of the total freight volume transported in the EU and one in seven tonnes transported by DB Cargo involves hazardous goods.
DB Cargo staff have therefore always had a huge amount of experience dealing with hazardous goods. When several parties are working together to complete huge numbers of transport journeys every day, it is vital that even the smallest incident is avoided – and every conceivable precautionary measure must be taken. This is the only way to ensure that everyone involved in the supply chain is able to act quickly and efficiently to protect people and the environment.
“Safety takes top priority in chemicals logistics and we go beyond the minimum requirements set out in the statutory regulations. We are therefore keen to develop a transnational safety culture,” explains Dr Carsten Hinne, CEO of DB Cargo BTT. DB Cargo has developed a concept that is unique in the industry in order to bring forward safety efforts. With its Rail Safety Days, the company brings together all the stakeholders on the topic of safety around one table, including representatives from the European chemicals industry and safety sectors, as well as the emergency services, infrastructure operators and public officials.
The concept has met with strong demand. More and more companies are interested in BTT’s training and exercise programmes as a way of bringing their staff and other participants together to train them on handling hazardous goods safely. In October 2017, the biggest Rail Safety Days yet will be held at the Evonik chemicals company in Marl. Over the five days, more than 300 people will receive training on how to handle hazardous goods and around 180 guests are expected to attend the lectures and networking meetings. Participants will include representatives from the German Federal Railway Authority, managers and executives, chemicals and mineral oil logisticians, and representatives from the plant’s fire brigade and the VCI (the German chemicals industry association). In addition to lectures, networking meetings and training measures, the programme of planned events also includes a fire exercise. One of the focus areas of the programme is “logistics 4.0 and safety”.
At the training sessions, the experts not only explain how the technology of a tank wagon works and carry out leakage exercises; they also practise deployments in potential emergency scenarios with all the relevant stakeholders. Additionally, they explain the extensive loading and transport regulations for liquids and gases, and go over the variations to these rules in foreign countries. “Our aim is to give a complete picture of the topic of rail safety in the whole chemicals supply chain,” says Dr Hinne.
Depending on the specific requirements of the individual Rail Safety Days, DB Cargo BTT provides a tank wagon for demonstration purposes, an exercise train and experts on requested specialist topics. The experts use the tank wagons to simulate various leaks caused by damage and explain how the common valves are operated. Working in close collaboration with plant fire brigades, safety personnel and logistics experts, various scenarios are run through under realistic conditions. The DB experts also provide advice about accident risks, technical issues and emergency plans.
The Rail Safety Days can involve a single training session or a series of events, or even a communication platform providing opportunities to network and share experiences. “We are always working to further develop the concept,” explains Dr Hinne. “Because that is the only way we can help our customers, safety services and the authorities to be well prepared. We want the Rail Safety Days to become the benchmark for safety in the sector.”