Safety at Eurostar
As an international high speed rail operator carrying millions of passengers we take safety extremely seriously. Safety is, and always will be, our first priority. Our customers need to have complete confidence that they will arrive at their destination safely and our colleagues and partners need to know that they can carry out their duties without fear or harm to their health, safety or wellbeing.
Delivering high standards of health and safety management requires constant vigilance and commitment of our teams and partners, supported by a disciplined, rigorous approach to everything that we do.
At Eurostar we work hard to ensure a safe and secure environment for our customers, colleagues and partners. It is critical, however, that we never allow ourselves to become complacent and we must continually strive to deliver improvements to our safety performance.
Our guiding principles
To ensure that we challenge ourselves and continually improve our safety performance we are committed to:
- Displaying a positive safety culture in which no colleague will accept unsafe acts or conditions, acknowledging that no accident however minor is inevitable
- Empowering colleagues and partners to report accidents, assaults, hazards or other health, safety or wellbeing concerns knowing that the matters they raise will receive a prompt response and be thoroughly considered
- Ensuring that colleagues and partners have no fear of retribution for raising health, safety or wellbeing concerns
- Developing mechanisms to reduce risk of train accidents as well as personal injury, ill-health, fire and damage to property and the environment
- Establishing challenging health and safety objectives, both for the company and for our managers, and monitoring progress against those objectives with individual safety objectives carrying the same weight as other business objectives
- Working closely and collaboratively with all parties with whom we interact
- Providing adequate information, training and the resources required for our teams to deliver our safety responsibilities
- Implementing a programme of local, company and independent audits, reviews and tours, developing action plans and monitoring these through to implementation
- Fully complying with all relevant legislation and industry standards
Our Safety Management Group (SMG)
At the heart of our commitment to safety is our Safety Management Group (SMG).
The SMG is the senior cross-functional group within Eurostar that is dedicated all aspects of health and safety. It is chaired by an independent safety specialist with over twenty years in senior safety roles in the rail industry.
The SMG membership also includes Eurostar’s CEO, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Safety as well as other key managers within the business.
The remit of the SMG, which meets on a monthly basis, is as follows:
- Ensure that the company has a robust safety plan with a clear strategy and targets which the SMG formally approves
- Review the key areas of risk, including occupational, operational and engineering safety, ensuring that there are appropriate plans in place to mitigate and minimise these risks
- Monitor the competency arrangements in place for safety critical colleagues
- Monitor the operational and occupational safety performance of the company
- Ensure that the appropriate action is taken if any concerns are identified in relation to safety performance
- Ensure effective communication to all colleagues across the company with regular updates on safety and safety related initiatives
Every year the Board of Eurostar requests an annual independent audit of the company’s safety management system.
Safety at the heart of our business
addition to the work of the SMG, we also implement a programme of local, company-wide and independent audits to ensure that we hold ourselves to account and maintain safety as our highest priority.
Safety performance is monitored and proactively reported every week at the Eurostar Management Group meeting which is chaired by the company’s CEO.
Eurostar executive directors also carry out regular safety tours in conjunction with the safety team across the business, ensuring that safety is always front of mind among our people.
We hold an annual safety conference in which our safety performance and future plans are discussed in detail. In addition, colleagues’ experience of safety within Eurostar is measured on an annual basis as part of our all colleague Point de Vue survey.
With these extensive measures in place, we aim to monitor and challenge our performance rigorously to ensure that we continue to build a positive, proactive safety culture.
As a cross-Channel rail operator, Eurostar operates at the highest level of security and has security checks that are similar to those of an airport. We work in close cooperation with the authorities on both sides of the Channel. Both passengers and luggage are scanned prior to departure so that our customers have the peace of mind that they are travelling in highly regulated, safe and secure environment.
With the UK being outside the EU Schengen zone, border controls need to be carried out by immigration authorities. These controls are conducted at the departure terminal by the authorities of the country that the passenger is leaving and directly afterwards by the authorities of the country to which the passenger is travelling. This requires passengers to arrive in advance but allows them to leave the terminal quickly upon arrival.