Aggression, insecurity and the feeling of insecurity in rail passenger transport

10 Dec 2012

The European rail social partners, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), with the support of the Eva Academy as project manager, organised in 2011-2012 a joint project Insecurity and the feeling of insecurity in rail passenger transport.

The aim of the project was to discuss and elaborate solutions to prevent, manage, mitigate and reduce insecurity and the feeling of insecurity caused by third-party violence in rail passenger transport in Europe. Improving the personal safety of workers means to improve the safety of passengers.

The starting point of the project was the shared firm belief that insecurity in the rail passenger transport is unfortunately a reality and it is a problem for both the workers who are, together with the passengers, the direct victims of the aggressions, violence and insults, and for the companies that have all the interest to assure a secure transport.

Being aware that this kind of problems have an origin in the society and cannot be solved by adopting only one measure, the social partners addressed human resources policies to tackle third-party violence, security measures and procedures and the role of civil and social dialogue and communication. The project developed a tool for trade unions and company management: a good practice guide Promoting security and the feeling of security vis-à-vis third party violence in the European railway sector.

The social partners ETF and CER signed the joint recommendations Promoting security and the feeling of security vis-à-vis third-party violence in the European railway sector. In these joint recommendations, the social partners stress, among other items, the need of:

•    Raising awareness;
•    Documentation, reporting and analysis;
•    Security management and technical measures;
•    Preventive training and raising staff awareness;
•    Aftercare;
•    Law and order partnerships;
•    Implementation of good practice examples;
•    Dialogue with politicians, other stakeholders and the social partners (civil and social dialogue);
•    Conditions under which public rail passenger transport contracts are awarded;
•    Conclusion of a social partner agreement;
•    Regular evaluation of the effectiveness of the measures.

In issuing these recommendations, the European railway sector social partners have the following intentions:
•    To support their members in taking measures that help to increase security and the feeling of security of staff and passengers vis-à-vis third-party violence;
•    To contribute to improving working conditions in rail passenger transport;
•    To initiate strategies aimed at preventing and handling third-party violence at work via practical measures in its communication, prevention, intervention and aftercare.

In 2003, the European social partners signed the recommendations Insecurity and the feeling of insecurity in local public transport. In 2011, a study on the implementation of these recommendations was produced.