Health and Safety

Creating safer workplaces and operations

Ferrovial actively works to create safe and harm free environments and operations for everyone, every day.

In 2015, Ferrovial established a roadmap to align the Health and Safety management systems of each business area, ensuring the necessary resources and tools were available to deliver safer operations. The changes included, amongst others, developing a reporting system that would give more weight to proactive indicators (leading indicators), to develop a more forward-thinking culture, and to focus action on an improved Health and Safety management model.

Since the implementation of this model, 393,624 inspections and audits have been carried out and 3,956,424 hours of Health and Safety training have been given, of 91,414 and 580,740 were in 2019. Thanks to the improvement actions implemented and the commitment of all workers, frequency and severity rates have dropped by 48.5% and 41.86% compared to 2015, respectively, and 15.6% and 13.8% compared to last year.


    1. Year-on-year change in the ratio showing the number of accidents to have occurred during working hours and leading to medical leave, for every million hours worked. Does not include contractors.

    However, despite this positive progress, the number of fatalities and significant incidents has not followed this downward trend. Sadly, there have been fourteen fatalities (five accidents of employees and nine of contractor workers) during 2019. The company is extremely unsatisfied with these facts and has taken the necessary measures to face this situation. For this reason, Ferrovial has reassessed what it measures and where it seeks to drive improvement. Whilst continuing to monitor existing indicators the work has begun on identifying “high potential incidents”, those events that could have resulted in either serious or fatal outcome but didn’t, ensuring the development of an agile and resilient business.

    Ferrovial have revised the strategy to address this critical aspect of Health and Safety, ensuring it is prepared and equipped to deliver safer work environments. Given their relevance, high potential incidents are now reported on a weekly basis, analyzed by the Management Committee, and reviewed by an executive team.


    compared to 2018


    compared to 2018


    aprox. 4 million since 2015


    1. Year-on-year change in the ratio showing the number of accidents to have occurred during working hours and leading to medical leave, for every million hours worked. Does not include contractors.
    2. (2) Year-on-year change in the ratio showing the number of days lost as a result of occupational accidents for every thousand hours worked. For more details see appendix of GRI indicators, accident tables page 125.


    Health and Safety of workers is a strategic enabler for Ferrovial, with a proactive focus on risk management, with employees who are aware of how to improve their own safety, where innovation is a lever to reduce risks, creating real links between safety and productivity. The cornerstones of this new focus are as follows:

    • The design of the “global” Health and Safety management system focuses on the context of the local system, and vice versa. Therefore, safety is incorporated into the lifecycle of each project, giving flexibility to the role that each stakeholder performs.
    • Variability in the execution of each project and during its lifecycle is inevitable, and this variability must be considered and integrated in the management focuses. That’s why the risk control hierarchy is used, which prioritizes the elimination of the possible risk (if feasible), thus promoting the thinking about and resolving problems through teams.
    • Workers are a source of inspiration and innovation, and they are needed for the resilience of the management system.

    NEW STRATEGY 2020-2023

    The Board of Directors of Ferrovial has approved its 2020-2023 Health and Safety Strategy, which focuses on four strategic elements:

    • Leadership: our people inspire, care and are uncompromising in delivering our H&S expectations.
    • Competence: we have colleagues, who are trained and competent to deliver their roles.
    • Resilience: we are agile and prepared to protect our people, stakeholders and business from adverse events.
    • Communication: we have a learning environment that enables knowledge sharing, innovation and effective risk management.

    This strategy enables Ferrovial to:

    • Celebrate success, rewarding and recognizing people and stakeholders.
    • Empower and enable competent people to make choices and manage risk.
    • Demand uncompromising leadership and be intolerant to incidents.
    • Manage risk by embedding H&S into the business and project lifestyle.
    • Create environments where everyone has a voice.
    • Nurture a culture of innovation and learning.

    The health and wellbeing of workers also constitutes another important element within the new strategy, seeking to acknowledge that the health and wellbeing of Ferrovial’s employees are critical to its continued success. The focus will support an improved working environment, create more cohesive teams, reduce absenteeism and job presence, increase productivity and contribute to a more caring workplace.

    The new Health and Safety Strategy will pave the way to offer a corporate culture truly aligned with the vision of “creating safe and free harm workplaces and operations for everyone, every day”.


    For Ferrovial, innovation is a key lever for change to drive improved performance in Health and Safety. For this reason, it has continued with the work started in 2018 at the Safety Lab to become a tool to be used to provide solutions to the challenges that workers face every day during operations at all workplaces. More information is available about the Safety Lab in the “Innovation” section of this report.


    In 2019, the Managed Lanes continued to register incidents where maintenance teams, as they carried out assistance work on the hard shoulder and/or in lanes, were exposed to high levels of risk from members of the public who were driving under the influence of alcohol or distracted by some other issue. To find solutions to this problem, the company talked directly to the workers who regularly use these vehicles, concluding that the best available option was to use new lorries with a modified version of the impact attenuators (TMA), which are known as “Armadillo”. This collaboration of leadership, management team and workers resulted in this end product, which already has one unit in operation and three more on the way.


    Ferrovial Agroman Canada has launched the Take a SIP program to refresh the health and safety knowledge of workers who do not always do on-site work. The online program uses case studies with specific themes, which are explained using photos and videos that show real situations. Workers must then answer a series of questions about these cases, receiving a score for each case study that they can compare against the correct answers to check their level of knowledge. This establishes a ranking of employees with their scores, thus promoting competition amongst them and an appetite to improve their personal knowledge.