Rail safety the focus of Kazakhstan visit

A British rail industry health and safety professional is in Kazakhstan to see how one of the country’s major track operators protects its workforce.

KTZ is the largest railway operator in Kazakhstan
KTZ is the largest railway operator in Kazakhstan

Keith Morey will spend a week with Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ). His visit will allow for the sharing of good practice from both the UK and Kazakhstan rail networks and build links between relevant organisations.

The knowledge-sharing assignment, which takes place from March 13-19, is the first activity as part of a partnership between IOSH and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

KTZ is the largest rail operator in Kazakhstan, accounting for 47 per cent of freight as well as being a major provider of passenger services. 

It is planning to expand its operations and is keen to interact with a railway peer with years of experience in the same sector, to compare health and safety practices. 

Keith, who is Chair of IOSH’s Railway Group and part of Network Rail’s infrastructure projects team in the UK, will initially meet with the health and safety team at KTZ to discuss the challenges they face. 

He will then visit some of the work areas to engage with employees. He will also highlight the work of IOSH’s Railway Group and the Institution as a whole.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for all parties,” said Keith. “KTZ is a huge operation and, as with any rail industry organisation, there are many risks faced by their workers. 

“I am keen to learn how they manage these risks. It is a two-way communication. I hope to be able to share my own experience in case they find something useful to replicate for managing risks but, at the same time, to be able to bring back new ideas for our work in the UK.”

The EBRD is a multilateral bank committed to the development of market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiatives in more than 30 countries from Morocco to Mongolia and from Estonia to Egypt.

The two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2016, laying out a programme of activities to help companies and industries in transition countries adopt international standards for health and safety in the workplace.

Derran Williams, Principal Health and Safety Advisor for the EBRD, said: “This assignment provides an opportunity for both the IOSH Railway Group and KTZ to transfer and exchange sector-specific knowledge, learn new skills and promote alternative health and safety standards from both the UK and Kazakhstan which have been effective in protecting rail workers.”

Ayshikov Aidos, General Manager of KTZ’s Ecology and Industrial Safety Department, said the trip will be of value to all involved.

He said: “The upcoming meeting, where the two organisations will exchange information and experience in the field of safety and health protection in the transport sector, should promote the establishment of business relations and develop cooperation.” 

Shelley Frost, IOSH’s Executive Director of Policy, said: “IOSH and EBRD share the vision of effecting positive change by helping build professional and organisational capability. 

“This first project to be set up under our partnership with the EBRD will allow for a two-way exchange of information on how risks in the industry can be successfully managed. This is timely ahead of KTZ’s expansion plans and will help to pave the way for healthier and safer working environments across their operations. We thank Keith for volunteering his time and valuable experience.”


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