Safety and Health Recognition 2021

12 October 2021 Brussels, Belgium

As part of its commitment to the highest safety and health standards, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) recognises excellence in six of its member companies for delivering demonstrable improvements in safety and health for everyone that works in the steel industry.

Andrew Purvis, Director, Safety, Environment and Technology, said, ‘it is pleasing to see the application of engineering controls and digital solutions reflected in so many of the submissions received; this reflects the increasing maturity of safety management in our industry.

The examples shown here demonstrate the application of contemporary safety science in the steel industry, including examples of reducing risk around the transportation of steel products, and facing COVID-19 using digital controls.

I would like to congratulate the successful companies and to thank them, and all the participants in this programme, for their leadership and support.’

The recognised companies this year are:

For safety culture and leadership

BlueScope Steel Limited, Global – HSE Evolution – Our human-centred approach

Partnering with industry experts, BlueScope is evolving its mindset and approach to health, safety and environment (HSE), building on its risk management foundations and seeking contemporary ways to continue to learn and improve. After piloting a human-centred approach across a number of business units, in 2021 BlueScope adopted its evolved approach across its global business.

This means:

  • Learning from the people who make and handle products to understand what is working and what can be improved.
  • Focusing on the presence of capacity in systems and processes, rather than the absence of incidents.
  • Empowering people to be problem solvers to help identify better ways to work.
  • Recognising human error is inevitable, and the importance of strengthening HSE controls to be more tolerant to error and resilient to recover when things go wrong.

Qatar Steel Company (Q.P.S.C.), Qatar – SEE it, OWN it & SHARE it

The safety observation and feedback programme ‘SEE it, OWN it and SHARE it‘ was initiated in 2018 to transform Qatar Steel Company’s workplace safety culture from a reactive, compliance-based culture to an interdependent culture in which people look out for each other’s safety and wellbeing. With the concept of ‘Care for People’ at its core, this programme integrates principles of behavioural safety interactions and visible felt leadership by line management to achieve a step change in safety culture and performance.

The introduction of the Behavior-Based Safety Interactions and Visible Felt Leadership programme provided real impetus to the organisation’s cultural transformational efforts by positively influencing employee behaviours and attitudes.

For occupational safety management

Tata Steel Europe, Europe, USA – Zero Harm Logistics

Steel travels around the world using a variety of modes of transport and if it is not packaged correctly, handled safely, stored safely and moved safely, then many people are exposed to danger. A dedicated resource was established to develop engineered solutions and to provide guidance for application across the entire logistics network. The initial focus was road haulage safety, but the programme was expanded significantly to cover steel product banding and product storage; and other transport modalities.

Perhaps the most technically demanding of the subjects tackled was that of coil banding to contain the ‘spring back’ energy of a steel coil. The stored energy in a steel coil depends on several critical factors. Mathematical models were developed and testing undertaken to produce a detailed code of practice specifying banding requirements to ensure product safety from mill to customer.

Ternium, Mexico – Safe Forklift

Ternium’s Safe Forklift project aims to reduce events with potentially severe consequences due to forklift operation, and to standardise safe practices for employees and contractors alike.

Ternium set up a multi-disciplinary committee of operators, supervisors, safety technicians, managers and directors and ran workshops to identify the common causes of forklift operation incidents. Once the causes were established, Ternium implemented strategies for solutions revolving around three vectors: operational practices, human resources, and technology.

In 2019, there were 36 reported incidents involving forklifts compared to 12 in 2020. The metrics show a considerable improvement in the number of forklift events with severe potential consequences, reducing the incidents per metric tonne dispatched by 65%.

For occupational health management

Tata Steel Limited, India – Mitigating COVID-19 risks

Unprecedented disruptions imposed by COVID-19 challenged business continuity globally, particularly for manufacturing industries.

Two innovative interventions, the POD concept and Digital COVID Safety Tracks, rapidly implemented via the COVID Impact Centre, were the tipping point in Tata Steel’s response to COVID-19. These interventions established several eliminations, substitution, engineering, administrative and PPE controls, reducing the risk to an acceptable level (ALARP level).

The direct positive impact on workforce safety and health metrics ensured delayed and minimal business impact of COVID-19 across company sites with no closure of manufacturing units or loss in production.

The POD concept also effectively restricted the transmission of the virus from one POD to another. Both initiatives, implemented for the first time in Tata Steel, were also a first for the manufacturing industry.

For process safety management

Gerdau S.A., Brazil – Online gas monitoring

Monitoring employees’ exposure to gases in the workplace is crucial to prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIF). As a preventative measure, Gerdau developed an innovative online monitoring system for fixed and portable gas meters.

The monitoring system covers the entirety of the connectivity infrastructure. It centrally tracks portable, mobile and fixed gas meters 24 hours a day, sending an alert email or SMS to designated people according to the type of exposure. The Values are measured in real-time in the main operating rooms and the Emergency Response Centre, with a standardised response routine for every kind of situation.

 The system produces reports/dashboards from stored data, enabling Gerdau to take preventative action on both processes and behaviour.

More details on each of the initiatives can be found in worldsteel’s Safety and Health Recognition Programme 2021 brochure.

#Ends#

Notes

  • The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is one of the largest and most dynamic industry associations in the world, with members in every major steel-producing country. worldsteel represents steel producers, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes. Members represent around 85% of global steel production.
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