Andrew Purvis, Director, Safety, Health and Environment, worldsteel

28 March 2018

Through relentless leadership efforts over a prolonged period, our industry has achieved significant improvements in safety and health.

This year the average lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) across reporting steel businesses has fallen to very close to 1.0. While we still have a long way to go to achieve a zero-harm steel industry, this represents a significant step in the right direction. With sustained support, we will continue to improve in the coming years.

One of the most important initiatives taken by the industry in recent years was the establishment of Steel Safety Day in 2014. Steel Safety Day reinforces awareness of the most common causes of safety incidents and creates a safer working environment across the entire steel industry worldwide.

Steel Safety Day is always held on April 28th to be aligned with the International Labour Organization’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work, and worldsteel and its member companies encourage all of our industry to perform site-wide safety audits during the months and weeks leading up to the day itself.

Participation in Steel Safety Day supports the elimination of serious incidents and injuries across our industry.

Put simply, the purpose of Steel Safety Day is to reduce the risks associated with the most common causes of serious injuries within the iron and steel industry. The day is a symbolic time when our industry pauses, takes stock and a close, long hard look at our working practices and conditions.  We ask ourselves, “is this safe?… and if not what needs to change to make it safe?”

Steel Safety Day audits focus on the five main causes of serious injuries and cover all company operations, engaging every employee, contractor, and service provider. In 2017, participation records were broken, with 440,000 people from over 1000 sites worldwide taking part. Nearly one million employees and contractors work at sites involved in the audit. Auditors included contractors and employees, shop floor operators, cleaners, managers, and CEOs.

Steel Safety Day is an industry-wide initiative designed to identify and manage the areas of hazards and risks associated with the top five causes of serious safety incidents in the steel industry: moving machinery, falling from heights, falling objects, on-site traffic and process safety incidents, with the ultimate target for the industry: the ‘zero’ goal: an injury-free and healthy workplace. This year the focus will be on on-site traffic.

The steel industry in 2018 is a more dynamic and safer place to work than it has ever been, but we have yet to deliver our goal of zero harm. worldsteel stands ready to support you and together we can deliver a bigger, more engaging and more effective Steel Safety Day in 2018.

Alongside the Steel Safety Day initiative, worldsteel and its members engage in a multitude of other activities (Position Paper) to ensure safety is and remains the highest priority in every company.  Just recently, for example, steeluniversity launched a new Safety Game.