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Occupational safety is a key topic at EQOS

Interview with Christoph (41), safety specialist in charge of his location in the Railway Technology business unit

Christoph is a team player. He is dedicated to occupational safety with considerable expertise, a lot of sensitivity and strong commitment. Training new employees in safe working practices is particularly close to his heart.

What exactly is your job?

I have been in charge of my location since January 2023 and am responsible for in-house production in St. Valentin. My area of responsibility is very diverse. The focus is on occupational safety. I am also responsible for work preparation, production control and welding supervision. I am supported by five industrial and three leasing employees.

What is your background?

I trained as a structural steel fitter and industrial electrician. After completing my apprenticeship, I graduated from the HTL (Higher Technical College) for automation technology. I then worked as a mechanics supervisor. My work was characterised by long deployments abroad, primarily in Asia. I travelled the world a lot.
The topic of occupational safety has been with me ever since I joined the company in 2012.
The different, sometimes poor working conditions that I have seen in various countries, are one of the reasons why I still deal with this topic in depth today.
It is important to me to optimise processes and make workflows safer.

What exactly do you do in the area of occupational safety?

Occupational safety is an absolute priority at EQOS: In addition to legal requirements, we also address specific customer requirements. We are in constant contact with our customers and work together to see what can be optimised.

Furthermore, we hold regular committee meetings on this topic. Regular dialogue with colleagues is the be-all and end-all. We also consult with external companies on certain key topics.

At EQOS, we also apply very high standards when selecting high-quality work clothes – regardless of whether it’s shoes, trousers or helmets. Together with the central purchasing department and all business units, we have just gone through a comprehensive process to select a new service provider for our work clothes in order to offer our fitters top-quality workwear.

What about training in occupational safety for new employees?

We have developed a training matrix for new employees. This includes several days of training on site.
The environment for fitters is very demanding. Therefore, it is important that everyone involved acquires some basic knowledge before they start working. In order to be as close as possible to the practical side of things, we have set up training masts in St. Valentin, which have proven their worth time and time again.

I think it is important that our employees know from the outset what they are getting into when working in catenary construction. This also applies to our special working hours. They are adjusted to the special requirements on site and, of course, to the needs of our clients. For us in long-distance traffic, this includes around 70 per cent night work. And, of course, it also includes working on public holidays.

“When the winds of change blow, it’s better to build wind turbines than walls.”

What characterises EQOS as an employer?

EQOS offers me a secure job with lots of variety. There is good team spirit and low staff turnover in our team. I am a team player, so I feel that I am in good hands. In addition, we all benefit from good career opportunities and excellent future prospects in railway technology at EQOS thanks to the mobility transition that we are helping to implement.

What I also perceive as positive are the constant questions if something could be improved. We engage in a dialogue with all employees. It’s an advantage that our colleagues can become involved to help shape things. The fact that so many new positions are filled through our “Employees Recruit Employees” programme also shows how we live and breathe team spirit. New colleagues will know exactly what they are in for.

What do you do in your free time?

My two children (aged 4 and 6) always keep me busy. My significant other and I have built a house in the countryside. I like living in a secluded and rural location. Tending my own forest and meadows creates the perfect life-work balance for me. I also meet up with my mates once a month for a men’s get-together where we talk sports.