Reduction of maximum standing time for security personnel at Schiphol

This is a joint press release of the trade unions CNV Vakmensen and De Unie Security, the security firms G4S, Securitas and I-SEC, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Yesterday afternoon (23 May 2016), the trade unions CNV Vakmensen and De Unie Security, the security firms G4S, I-SEC and Securitas, which operate at Schiphol, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol entered into agreements in the ‘Standing Times’ working group of the Dutch Social Fund for Private Security (Sociaal Fonds Particuliere Beveiliging) regarding a reduction of the maximum amount of time security staff spend standing during work hours. The agreements are based on constructive consultation. Recommendations by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) were observed on maximum standing times, into which TNO recently conducted a study for CNV Vakmensen and De Unie Security.

120-minute standing maximum as of 1 September

During the consultation, concrete agreements were made on the introduction of a shorter maximum standing time at Security Control in Departure Halls 1, 2 and 3 as from 1 September this year. In accordance with TNO’s recommendations, the maximum standing time will be reduced from 150 to 120 minutes at these locations. This agreement will create significant additional employment at Schiphol. The security firms will work on the recruitment, selection and training of additional security staff in the coming period. Because all new security personnel will have to be screened in advance, the agreements will not take effect until 1 September of this year.

Start of ‘effective breaks’ and ‘relieving the strain of standing work’ pilots

The consultation also resulted in agreement on launching two pilot projects on 6 June. The results of these pilots (to be finalised on 1 September at the latest) will be taken on board in the final agreements on working hour adjustments.

TNO concluded that given the current standing times for security staff at Security Control in Departure Halls 1, 2 and 3, breaks of 15 minutes are too short to recover sufficiently from the work. On-site trials are being used to investigate the most effective break strategy in terms of both break duration and how they are spent.

TNO further notes that the current total time spent standing during a single shift can cause physical discomfort for security guards working at Security Control in Departure Halls 1, 2 and 3. A second pilot is therefore investigating measures to prevent such physical complaints. Additional facilities will be installed at these departure filters to alleviate the strain of standing work, for example ergonomic mats, sitting/standing supports and redesigned workspaces.

TNO has once again been asked to conduct an objective evaluation of the effects of both pilots.

Tackling problems in the workplace

Schiphol has already implemented various workplace measures for security staff over the recent period, focusing on adjustments to temperature and lighting.

All participants in the discussions feel that the new agreements will contribute to further improvement of the working conditions of security staff at Schiphol.