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Major railway companies come together for the first time to talk about safety and mental health

16/03/2022 Fuente: Agencies

Renfe, ILSA/Iryo and the State Railway Safety Agency take part in the online meeting organized by Psiconnea

The large companies in the Spanish railway sector, Renfe, ILSA/Iryo and the State Agency for Railway Safety (ASF) will come together for the first time together to talk about safety and mental health at the online meeting organized by Psiconnea, a specialist in psychological care in emergencies . 

The event will be held online on March 18 at 1:00 p.m. under the title “Safety management and psychological care in the railway sector” and it will address the essential role played by mental health care professionals of the sector, being a key factor in accident prevention, as explained by the CEO and director of the national team for psychological care in emergencies and catastrophes of Psiconnea, Rosa Becerril.

The conference, which will be held in a virtual studio, will bring together the main managers of this area in the different companies, as well as national and international specialists in the field.

Thus, it will have Estefanía Cortés Ramírez, head of the Human Factor and Safety Culture area of ​​the AESF; Marta Pérez de Vargas, head of the area of ​​occupational psychology and ergonomics at Renfe Operadora and head of Psychology for the Assistance Plan for the victims of railway accidents and their relatives of the Renfe Group; Ignacio Hernández, Head of Operational Security at ILSA/Iryo; Marino Santopinto, HSQE security director at ILSA/Iryo. Lastly, Rosa Becerril CEO herself, and director of the Psiconnea national team for psychological care in emergencies and catastrophes, will speak.

The pressure of transporting people

The online meeting will address good practices and innovations in the care of railway professionals and also in action with accident victims. Mental health care and psychological care for staff are considered key to the success of rail safety. “It is the engine by which train transport is considered the safest.”

Professionals in the sector assume the responsibility of safely transporting hundreds of thousands of people daily. For this reason, training them and preparing them psychologically to face the pressure that this entails is key, not only for the prevention of accidents, but also for acting in crisis situations. The number of serious accidents is very low, although 80% of train drivers will face some incident throughout their professional career.

Minimize the impact

Therefore, rail emergencies “are a reality and you have to be prepared. On the one hand, putting all the human and technical resources to avoid them. And if they do occur, so that staff can handle them and act efficiently to protect themselves and passengers.” To this end, action protocols specialized in intervention in the event of an accident are created.   

In addition, Marta Pérez de Vargas (Renfe) and Rosa Becerril will explain how psychological care is activated and provided to those affected and relatives after an event, managing to minimize the emotional impact and speed up the recovery process.

For her part, Estefanía will address the main causes of rail accidents and explain the evolution of protocols to improve rail safety in recent years. From Iryo Ignacio Hernández and Marino Santopinto they will explain the tools and internal processes that they have established to guarantee the mental health and psychological preparation of the drivers.


The speakers who will be part of the dialogue table are:

Marta Perez de Vargas

Marta is in charge of the psychology area, within the Renfe Group’s Assistance Plan for Victims of Railway Accidents and their Relatives whose main objective is psychological care for victims and relatives of victims. She has intervened in the different railway accidents that occurred from 2013 to 2020, from the Santiago accident to the La Hiniesta accident.

Marino Santopinto

Marino has almost 30 years of experience in the railway sector, much of it developed at Trenitalia as a driver, manager, trainer, safety expert, regulator, auditor and inspector, participating in the drafting of the management system rules. of Trenitalia and in numerous investigations after serious accidents as a technical expert. He also has extensive international experience in both maintenance and traffic regulations, having participated in various UIC and ERA groups since 2000.

Ignacio Hernandez

After having developed his professional career in the railway field at Renfe, Ignacio is currently Head of Operational Safety at ILSA/iryo. Throughout his career he has been in charge of the approval and inspection of rolling stock, the management of safety management systems, and has participated in European safety-related working groups. In recent years, he has participated in the development, implementation and dissemination of Security Management Systems, supervising their correct application and adaptation to new legal requirements.

Stephanie Cortes

Estefanía is the head of the human factor and safety culture area of ​​the State Agency for Railway Safety (AESF). Her work has been carried out mainly by supervising the application of the norm that applies to the regulation of railway personnel, training centers and psychophysical examination centers. She represents the AESF in European working groups on the human factor and safety culture, as well as in the group for the cooperation of the Member States for the application of the Drivers Directive. From the AESF she has collaborated in the drafting of technical recommendations for the sector.

Rosa Becerril

Rosa is CEO, leading technology and health psychologist and founder of Psiconnea and the Applause Project against COVID-19. With more than 15 years of experience as a psychologist at various institutions and director of the team of Emergency and Catastrophe psychologists, Rosa knows first-hand the keys to achieving, through technology, lasting and measurable mental health and psychological well-being.