ArcelorMittal employees in their tens of thousands will today mark the company’s tenth annual Health and Safety Day.
Above: Health and Safety Day kicks off in South Africa
Local activities across the company’s global sites – under the central theme of “Together for safety: take care!” – will focus on the importance of systematically following safety rules and procedures, including the effective use of hazard identification and risk assessment before the start of any task, the need for high-quality pre-shift meetings and safety audits, and the systematic use of the company’s “golden rules” of safety.
Coinciding with the steel industry’s Steel Safety Day, which is also celebrated annually on 28 April, the group-wide event enables ArcelorMittal employees to together renew their commitment to health and safety – the company’s number-one priority.
The company has made “considerable progress” in its safety performance over the past ten years, according to ArcelorMittal chairman and CEO, Mr Mittal, having successfully decreased the lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) from 3.1 in 2007, to 0.72 in the first quarter of this year.
Thanking employees for the personal role they have played in “hard-wiring safety into our culture”, Mr Mittal stressed that reaching the company’s ultimate goal of reducing workplace accidents and fatalities to zero, requires a two-fold strategy:
Above: an employee in Ukraine takes part in an emergency drill
“First, we need to get to a level where each and every employee consistently uses the world-class safety tools and systems that we have worked so hard to create. We cannot allow any shortcuts here.
“Second, we need to create a culture in which safety is always top of mind – every second and minute of our working day. We need to look out for our own safety but also that of colleagues around us. This means having the courage to speak up and stop an activity if you witness actions or behaviours that could potentially lead to accidents”.
He added: “I have no doubt that, as a company, we have all the right processes and procedures in place. But if we want to reduce fatalities, we need to commit to improving our behaviour and our safety culture. Programmes like ‘Courageous leadership’ in mining and the recently-launched ‘Take Care!’ programme in Europe aim to support this. But ultimately it all depends on how we act as individuals”.
Activities at ArcelorMittal sites today will include hazard recognition and hierarchy-of-controls exercises and workshops on the likes of improving the quality of shop-floor audits and how to treat burns.
> Learn more about key safety developments at ArcelorMittal in 2015
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