Our plant at Tubarão, Brazil, has one of the most advanced and comprehensive occupational health programmes in the whole group, and is setting an example of shared value for others to follow.
The results are impressive: the proportion of our employees showing zero health risk has risen from 47% in 2000 to 91% at the end of 2014. This represents a slight fall from 93% at the end of 2013, due to the number of new employees who began during 2014: it takes some time for new employees to adapt to our health culture, and we are already working hard to make sure that our results are improved again in 2015.
Taking on board best practice from across the company worldwide, Tubarão has adopted a holistic approach to health that covers everything from managing environmental risks to providing vaccinations, addressing chronic diseases and promoting lifestyle choices, such as by addressing the use of alcohol and tobacco.
The programme covers our own employees, their families and our contractors and provides a full range of activities, from the promotion of well-being to the effective treatment and rehabilitation of specific conditions.
Dedicated time spent on health topics at monthly meetings, regular speeches from supervisors and managers and a focus on health in the company newspaper have all helped create a healthy culture across the workforce. In many cases we are working with external partners such as government departments and universities, to ensure the highest quality and the latest thinking.
Special emphasis has been placed on work-related health screening, especially for employees working at height, including drug and alcohol tests. Some 35,551 such assessments were carried out in 2014 alone. This represents an increase, owing to the work to repair blast furnace 3 Tuburao: since this involved a number of new employees and contractors on site, many of whom were to be working in high-risk areas, more assessments were needed.
Employees are also supported to live a healthier lifestyle through educational campaigns in areas such as smoking. On January 1, 2010, Tubarão became a ‘zero tobacco company’.
The results speak for themselves. To take just three examples: in 1992 more than 34% of the site’s employees smoked, 8% had a high level of blood pressure and 25% were affected by stress; by 2014 the smoking level had plummeted to 0.03%, only 0.5% had a high level of blood pressure and stress levels had fallen dramatically to only 0.1%.