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SD Updates

Global: Performance and progress


Last year we made further efforts to improve our performance. We increased the number of managers taking part in safety leadership training, we identified top priority sites for enhanced support and a safety audit programme, we held a knowledge sharing conference on safety, and we ran a new communication campaign as part of our work on Journey to Zero, which focused on the causes of accidents.

Yet despite all this work, 23 of our colleagues lost their lives during 2014; two in our mining operations and 21 in our steel plants. This is not acceptable, and it has been deeply distressing for all concerned. We know that every member of our workforce has to learn further and better lessons from these accidents – as well as our near-misses - and demonstrate this in the way they work with their colleagues. We have to ensure our fatality prevention standards are implemented across our operations, and our safety policies are updated to reflect the lessons we learn. But even where we have made extra efforts to do this, by supporting a number of top priority sites, fatalities have still occurred – 54% happened at such sites in 2014, even though they made up only 38% of the total hours worked. And most of the fatalities last year were the result of accident types we have seen before, specifically falling from height, burns and crushing.

More than anything else, we clearly need to persuade people to change the way they behave. We are working with our business units on a specific campaign looking at what caused the fatal accidents we have suffered in the past, and asking them to use this information to develop specific awareness campaigns in their own operations.

Since the company was formed, our Journey to Zero campaign has nonetheless made significant safety improvements. Our lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) has fallen from 3.1 incidents per million hours worked in 2007, to 0.85 in 2014*. There was particular progress in the second half of last year, but overall we did not reduce the injury rate compared with our 2013 performance, nor did we meet our target of 0.75 for the year. By way of comparison, the latest information from the World Steel Association indicates that the steel industry average LTIFR was 1.61 in 2013, up from 1.45 in 2012. Meanwhile our accident severity rate – the number of days' absence from work following an accident expressed in days per thousand hours worked – fell slightly in 2014 from 0.09 to 0.08.

The safety record of our mining operations was better, with both the rate and severity of accidents falling again in 2014, including the number of fatalities. LTIFR was down to 0.56, whilst the severity rate was down to 0.06. This is testament to the effectiveness of our Courageous Leadership programme.

*Assured by Deloitte Audit

Lost-time injury frequency rate: - steel

(per million hours worked)

0.91 2014 115
0.91 2013 1.2
1.1 2012 1.2

Lost-time injury frequency rate: - mining

(per million hours worked)

0.56 2014 115
0.63 2013 0.8
0.70 2012 0.8