Safety and health
Nothing is more important than the safety and health of the people who work in the steel industry
A safe and healthy working environment for all employees is the number one priority for every worldsteel member. Our policy is to help all our members achieve an accident-free workplace.
Historically, steelmaking was a dangerous process and accidents were inevitable. Today, many steel companies recognise that this is no longer appropriate for a modern and technically advanced industry.
There is no area, process or type of work that cannot be accident-free. Safety and health requires a permanent 100% commitment from everyone. Most importantly, it requires a strong commitment from senior management of steel companies, which should set the culture in which safety and health is the number one priority and must not be compromised for any other objective.
Steel companies are improving their safety and health performance and some businesses have gone without any lost time injuries or fatalities for many years. These companies know that such performance requires excellence in all aspects of their operations. This excellence also produces superior business performance - the most successful steel companies are also the safest.
worldsteel member companies committed to eliminating accidents and injuries from the industry and significant improvements have been achieved over recent years. Safety data collected from our membership from 2004 to 2014 show that the steel industry has seen a steady and notable reduction in the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) over the past decade, decreasing from 4.81 in 2004 to 1.39 in 2014, a reduction of 71%.
In 1999, worldsteel produced the report Accident-free steel. It remains the definitive document for safety and health management in the industry.
In 2006, the Board of Directors issued a set of principles that clearly outline the industry philosophy on safety and health.
Six safety and health principles for the industry:
- All injuries and work-related illness can and must be prevented.
- Management is responsible and accountable for safety and health performance.
- Employee engagement and training is essential.
- Working safely is a condition of employment.
- Excellence in safety and health supports excellent business results.
- Safety and health must be integrated in all business-management processes.
worldsteel's policy is to help its members achieve an accident-free workplace.
worldsteel's Safety and Health Committee provides expert guidance to achieve the accident-free goal through a series of activities:
- Safety and health metrics survey
Measuring performance is one aspect of achieving good safety and health standards. worldsteel encourages all of its member companies to participate in the safety performance data collection and report as accurate information as possible. This information not only concerns the number of incidents that occur (number of fatalities, lost time injuries, medical treatment incidents, first aid incidents, near misses or safety deviations) but also all the actions taken to avoid further similar incidents. The metrics allow organisations to identify areas that need improvement and benefit from the strong support of their peers in the industry to share their knowledge.
- Safety and health guidance notes
There are a number of safety and health best practice examples and guidance notes on specific topics available from worldsteel. Provided by industry safety managers and based on actual working practice these can be utilised in any plant or company to prevent serious safety incidents.
- Safety and health excellence recognition programme
A good practice or a good idea that works well in one plant can also be a success in another plant and prevent injuries and save lives. worldsteel's Safety and Health Committee recognises each year member companies that are actively working to improve safety and health within the steel industry. Since 2008, more than 30 examples of best practice have been recognised and made available to the whole industry. An additional 200 submissions are available online for members to consult and reuse within their own premises.
- Safety workshops
The safety workshops allow people to meet face to face to discuss and exchange best practices. worldsteel provides specific safety workshops around the world, particularly in China where almost 50% of steel is produced. Serious safety occurrences sharing If an incident occurs, there is an enormous amount of knowledge to be gained from reviewing the causes and actions taken to prevent a re-occurrence. worldsteel promotes the sharing of safety serious occurrences between its members in order to avoid a repeat of similar incidents worldwide. worldsteel members can share safety serious occurrences online and exchange questions and answers on a safety forum.
- Shop floor safety audits
worldsteel performs shop floor safety audits or safety observation activities upon request. This allows members and non-members alike to develop their own observation and audit programmes.
- Steel Safety Day
Steel Safety Day is aligned with the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Ahead of the day, scheduled every year on 28 April, worldsteel asks all its members to carry out a special safety audit on the five most common causes of serious safety incidents. These are - moving machinery, falling from heights, falling objects, gas & asphyxiation, and overhead cranes.