Safety and security
Working with electricity and gas involves certain risks. These risks may affect the safety of not just our own employees but also our externally hired staff, employees of supply chain partners that carry out work for us and, of course, our customers. Together, we ensure a safe infrastructure for gas and electricity. Cooperation between all of us is essential to achieving the safest result.
We make sure that our employees receive safety training, we use high-quality equipment and we make personal protective equipment available. We link quality and safety to attitude and conduct. In November, we presented the Golden Safety Shoe to employees who had demonstrated exceptional safety performance in the previous year.
Safety in the supply chain
We also involve our principal partners within the energy supply chain in our efforts to link quality and safety to attitude and conduct. We visit work locations, audit their management systems and assess their instructions framework in accordance with the BEI and VIAG. We hold quarterly meetings on quality and safety, during which incidents and workplace accidents are also discussed. Safety issues and policy are on the agenda of an annual executive review as well.
Preventing workplace accidents
We make great efforts to work as safety as possible and prevent workplace accidents. We define workplace or occupational accidents as lost-time incidents, with alternative work or medical treatment required. Unfortunately, we failed to achieve our target for 2019, which was a maximum number of 34 accidents. We eventually recorded 39 such accidents.
Type of accidents for Stedin Group
Number of fatal accidents
Number of lost-time injuries (lost-time > 1 day, LTI)
Number of accidents entailing alternative work (RWC)
Number of accidents without lost time requiring medical treatment (MTC)
We monitor our safety performance on the basis of two ratios:
RIF = Recordable Incident Frequency; the number of lost-time workplace incidents, incidents entailing alternative work or incidents requiring medical treatment per 200,000 hours worked;
LTIR = Lost Time Injury Rate; the number of lost-time workplace incidents per million hours worked.
The recorded RIF was 1.00, while the target was a maximum of 0.90.
The recorded LTIR was 2.19, while the target was a maximum of 1.95.
For 2020, we intend to maintain the targets from 2019, while we will do all that we can to achieve the RIF and LTIR targets.
Looking at the causes of the workplace accidents, we see that a large part of them are directly related to work, such as contact with electrical voltage or cuts. Many others are attributable to falls, stumbling and traffic accidents. The fact that we are carrying out the large-scale meter replacement programme ourselves has led to a substantial number level of traffic movements. We are therefore implementing a traffic programme in 2020 with the aim of reducing the number of traffic-related accidents in particular.
The following table shows the causes of lost-time injuries.
Cause of LTIR
Falling, stumbling, slipping
Participation in traffic
Lost-time workplace incidents
The following chart shows the number of lost-time workplace incidents for Stedin Group and its contractors. The last three years show a downward trend. We believe that this trend can be largely attributed to our efforts of raising safety awareness in the organisation, including our contractors (see below for more details). In addition, we did more to provide temporary alternative work.
Workplace incidents without lost time
The following chart shows the number of workplace incidents without lost time for Stedin Group and its contractors. The last three years show an upward trend. This trend is due to an increase in the number of incidents after which the employee concerned temporarily performs restricted or adjusted work (RWC) and an increase in the number of incidents requiring medical treatment. The employee in question continues to work and there is no sickness absence (MTC).
Total number of workplace incidents
The following chart shows the total number of workplace incidents as the sum of the number of lost-time workplace incidents and incidents without lost time for Stedin Group as well as its contractors.
Accident / incident ratio
The following chart shows the accident / incident ratio for Stedin Group, which is the ratio between the number of lost-time injuries and the number of workplace incidents. The last three years show a downward trend.
The entire Stedin Netbeheer organisation obtained certification for level 3 of the Safety Culture Ladder in the third quarter of 2019. This standard assesses safety awareness (attitude, behaviour and culture). In the fourth quarter, the Meter Cabinet & Connection department was nominated for level 4 of the Safety Culture Ladder following a successful audit. In order to raise safety awareness on a lasting basis, we employ a multi-year safety programme HRO (High Reliability Organisation).
HRO has five key features:
- I think ahead
- I am not afraid to ask and keep asking questions
- I am prepared for the unexpected
- I focus on solutions
- I am open to the expertise of colleagues
In 2020, we will start with the third phase of HRO: Embedding routines. We aim to be certified for level 4 of the Safety Culture Ladder by 2021 at the latest.
Health and environment
We developed an HRO module for the environment and began to roll it out in 2019. This module is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020. The environmental workshops are designed to broaden employees' operating knowledge, teaching them to recognise, prevent and correct environmental issues. We also responded satisfactorily to legislation and regulations on hazardous substances or pollutants, which present risks to health in addition to the environment.
Crisis management organisation
Safety is also a key element in the continuity of our day-to-day operations. Our crisis management organisation prepares for new and unexpected crisis situations. We published the updated Stedin Crisis Management Plan (CMP) in mid-2019. The updated CMP also includes a different approach to Exercising, Training and Education (ETE) for our crisis managers. Initial steps towards adopting a customised approach as well as the individual training and development of our own employees were taken in 2019. Preparation for incidents as well as cooperation with the emergency services, fire service and security region continue to be at the forefront. Fast and effective intervention in case of incidents or outage, with safety and security in public spaces as a priority, remains an area for attention.
The energy transition is having an increasing impact due to the accelerating pace of enhancing the sustainability of energy systems and the increase in alternative energy sources, such as wind as well as solar energy, biogas and hydrogen. Using different energy carriers and the associated new technologies poses a challenge. Anticipation of these developments in time is essential for guaranteeing safety into the future as well.
Road traffic safety
Overall, there has been a slight increase in the number of reports of unsafe situations. These mainly concern driving behaviour. This is attributable to the fact that, mainly due to work relating to smart meters, there are more traffic movements and more external reports are received about these.
Preventive as well as repressive measures were taken to address the issue of security in the reporting year. The focus was on combating fraud, theft of materials, the security of assets and growing levels of aggression. In several instances, there was close cooperation with police and security networks.
Large-scale digitalisation of the electricity gridas a result of the energy transition is accompanied by increased cybersecurity risks. Outside our company, new or current vulnerabilities in the field of cybersecurity are already being exploited by malicious parties, occasionally leading to significant loss or damage. This fact is acknowledged in laws and regulations. As a result, Stedin has been designated a 'vital service provider' pursuant to the Network and Information Systems Security Act, under the supervision of the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands.
Cybersecurity is addressed at the strategic as well as the tactical/operational level within Stedin. Stedin applies internationally recognised standards in order to reduce its vulnerabilities to outside threats, with a focus on prevention, timely detection and the resulting actions. As Stedin bases its cybersecurity on the tried and tested Deming cycle for continuous quality improvement, it arranges to be regularly tested by external specialised parties.
In the field of cybersecurity, Stedin works closely with other organisations in the private and public sector, including the Cyber Security Council (of which CEO Marc van der Linden is a member), the Vital Infrastructure Committee of VNO/NCW, industry association Netbeheer Nederland and the National Cyber Security Centre. Stedin shares information with these organisations on threats and measures, while it also collaborates with them to develop standards and provide mutual support in case of a materialised threat.
Charters and principles
In 2019, Stedin Group endorsed the following external economic, environmental and social charters or principles.
Stedin Group certificates
Veiligheidsladder, trede 3
Veiligheidsladder, trede 3
Veiligheidsladder, trede 4 (afd: M&A)
ISO 27001, Multimedia
ISO 27001 (afd: Hoogspanning)
ISO 27001, TUMS