Making safe, sustainable steel and ensuring the safety of everyone on our sites is a promise that sits at the heart of ArcelorMittal’s operations
As a steel and mining company, our employees and contractors work in potentially dangerous environments every day, and our single most important priority is to ensure their safety. In our everyday work, we strive to live our philosophy of making only safe, sustainable steel. Our operations around the world are prioritising health and safety, with a number of plants having set an impressive lead for the rest to follow.
“Health and safety is, and has to be, embedded deeply into the foundation of everything we do, not because we are forced to comply, but because we believe that is the right way to do things. It is an integral component to each of our three existing values – sustainability, quality and leadership.”
Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal
In September 2008, ArcelorMittal launched Journey to Zero, a comprehensive health and safety programme to achieve zero fatalities, accidents and occupational illnesses. As part of this programme, we are using better systems to share best practices in safety among our sites, to use advanced safety indicators, and to work to ensure that our fatality prevention standards are followed at all times. We also signed a global agreement on occupational health and safety with trade unions, setting a precedent in the industry.
We do, however, realise that the success of any of these measures depends on employees’ commitment to our safety goals, and we have launched a number of initiatives to cultivate a shared sense of responsibility. For example, we have defined clearly how every employee can contribute to a safer workplace with our 10 golden rules of safety.
Ten golden rules of safety
Our efforts in the Journey to Zero have led to an improved safety performance, reducing our lost time injury frequency (LTIF) rate from 2.50 per million hours worked in 2008 to 0.8 in 2013. We had set ourselves a target of having a LTIF rate of less than one by 2013, and are very proud to have reached it. With improvements both on the mining and steel sides of our business, we are on the right path to maintain this rate.
We are committed to refining our approach to achieve results better and faster, and health and safety is one of five key components of our leadership strategy in the post-economic crisis climate.
At our global health and safety summit in early 2011, CEOs and other company leaders together identified the challenges we face, how best to solve them and how to replicate the success of some sites across the company. The critical message that our leaders took from the summit was that we have to create a culture in which every employee is proactive about and responsible for health and safety. The examples that we have seen from around the world show that we are making good progress on our journey to zero, but that there is no room for complacency in making sure all employees are safe and healthy. The follow-up seminar in December 2011 helped us to measure progress and introduce new ideas.
“We have the challenge of embedding safety more firmly into our individual and collective behaviour, into our contractors’ behaviour, and into every aspect of our mining activities. We need to change the DNA of our health and safety culture.”
Bill Scotting, head of mining