Operational Safety

GRI 403-2, 403-9, 404-1, TR-RA-320a.1

In a continuous search to improve the safety of the railway operation, MRS is proud to have achieved reliability on the railroad with indicators on the same level as the main North American railways. In 2020, the accident rate per million train kilometers traveled (TKM) closed at 8.07, 5% below the safety target agreed with ANTT, provided for in the concession agreement for public rail freight transportation. This result represents a 2.54% drop compared to 2019. Accidents of technical origins related to MRS account for only 1% of the total.

These figures include accidents with the direct participation of MRS (related to failures in operation and maintenance) or those involving communities and other railways (mainly run overs and collisions of railway trains with vehicles). By recording technical cause results considered quite satisfactory, MRS faces the great challenge of educating and raising awareness of the communities crossed by the railway with a focus on safety, since part of the railway network crosses urban and densely populated areas in the states of MG, RJ and SP.

Evolution of accident rate

Number of accident by million TKM

Railway accidents and anomalies201820192020
Number of railway accidents - cause permanent way420
Number of anomalies identified121232820

MRS railway accidents are concentrated in those caused by the imprudence of the neighboring community, such as run overs and collisions. Through a permanent committee, MRS seeks to adopt blocking and mitigation measures such as, for example, channels of communication with the community, investigation and handling of complaints and reports, ostensive surveillance, vegetal control of the right of way area, in addition to maintaining level crossings and underpasses, footbridges, investments in protection systems (e.g. automatic gates) and lane fences.

In 2020, MRS invested R$ 5.0 million in a series of initiatives focused on railway safety. The railroad fence was extended by about 2.2 km in the cities of Belo Horizonte, Conselheiro Lafaiete, Juiz de Fora, all in Minas Gerais, and in the cities of Aparecida, Guaratinguetá and Taubaté. In Suzano (SP), 1 kilometer of safe path was built, which is the indication of the correct route where pedestrians can move in an area close to the right of way area.

There was also the revitalization of 14 pedestrian crossings (PPs) along the network: 5 PPs in Taubaté (SP), 4 in Barra do Piraí (RJ), 2 in Aparecida and Pindamonhangaba (both cities in SP) and one in Juiz de Fora (MG). In the cities of Santos and Aparecida, two level crossings were closed, one in each location, after the construction of safer alternatives for the crossing of the railroad.

For the next year, the company expects to maintain the high level of safety in the railway network, in relation to accidents with technical causes, and to improve the percentage of incidents involving third parties. In this sense, the implementation of a rail network diagnostic system with videoanalytics is planned, which will enable the preparation of a heat map of the railway pointing out where the biggest points of urban conflicts are, from the point of view of incidents. The improvement should contribute to a better use of resources and faster responses. In addition, we will also proceed with the projects for eliminating Urban Conflicts, which started in 2020 and are included in the concession renewal plan. Despite efforts to reduce these accidents, on December 23 there was a great derailment near the municipality of Belo Vale (MG). An external consultancy was hired to assist in the investigation of the causes of the accident and the work is expected to be completed by April 2021. Learn more in www.renovacaomrs.com.br .

Training and qualification of employees

MRS Academy ensures training and qualification to the employees, according to the needs of the positions and legal requirements. For operational positions, the Academy has certification processes as a way to ensure that the employee is able to perform a certain activity, by applying tests of specific knowledge or knowledge required for railway operation. In various positions, employees are only allowed to perform their duties if they are duly certified.

A constant monitoring of the drivers’ performance is carried out through the SIC (Driving Information System), which allows on-time monitoring via telemetry. Activities considered to be in non-compliance with the desired standard can be identified and corrected with in refresher and/or improvement courses. In more extreme cases, this may lead to loss of certification, resulting in the need for total retraining so that employees are again capable of performing their duties.

Programs focused on operational safety

Professionals from different areas of MRS make up a group focused on fighting run overs and collisions involving the community. In 2020, approximately R$ 5 million was invested in 22 work fronts for the preservation of the right of way area of the railroad, sealing, active signaling and revitalization of Level Crossing (PN) and Pedestrian Crossing (PP).

Installation and maintenance of cameras in the level crossings for recording images used in run over and collision investigations, as well as dissemination in the media as a manner of community awareness.

A program to control risks due to operating failures, based on the identification of conduct deviations in the execution of procedures and on training based on the feedback related to deviations found.

Audit program focusing on operating routines and permanent ways condition in customer terminals where MRS operates.  In 2020, approximately 1,300 inspections were performed at over 130 different terminals.

Audit program aimed at ensuring optimal conditions of the state of conservation of the permanent ways, assisting in the planning and control for eliminating anomalies found in the critical MRS yards. In 2020, approximately 3,345 audits were performed in approximately 100 yards.

This project aims to open a channel with community leaders and carry out campaigns in schools, together with an environmental education program with IBAMA. The project seeks to raise awareness about the importance of safety on the railroad and in relation to environmental issues. Property security agents complement the education activity with leafleting at the most critical level crossings. Communication work is also carried out with content in the press and social networks conveying these messages. In 2020, due to the pandemic, face-to-face contact with communities was not carried out.

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