The World Steel Association (worldsteel) has recognised ArcelorMittal’s sites in Venezuela and Mexico for excellence in their health and safety programmes.
At the association’s annual conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Unicon - ArcelorMittal’s Venezuela operations which are part of the tubular products division - and the company’s Lazaro Cárdenas facility in Mexico, were both commended with separate awards for specific health and safety initiatives and overall progress in workplace safety.
Management committee member Robrecht Himpe received the award on behalf of the company.
The programmes demonstrated a commitment to health and safety and fulfilled three key criteria:
1. positively embracing the worldsteel safety and health principles
2. demonstrating a positive impact upon safety metrics
3. being easily applicable to other member companies
ArcelorMittal Unicon joined ArcelorMittal’s group-wide ‘Journey to Zero’ campaign in 2008, taking a systematic approach with the company’s leaders demonstrating their commitment to the programme. Three different types of barriers to achieving the goal of zero injuries were identified: technical, organisational and behavioural. Several specific initiatives have been implemented to address the three barriers with more to come. The initiatives have shown major results in the five years since; our Venezuelan operations have reduced their lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) by an impressive 90%.
In Mexico, our Lazaro Cárdenas site implemented a safety management programme in 2009, specifically designed for contractors. The programme has been deployed across six main areas: mandatory safety training; access control; operational control risk; contractor safety supervising; golden ACES or trained safety experts overseeing work during major shutdowns, and safety evaluation performance. There have been zero fatalities at the site in three years and the LTIFR has reduced by 80%.
Commenting on the award, Frank Haers, group head of health and safety said: “It is a great result that two ArcelorMittal sites have made such great progress that they have won a Health and Safety Excellence Recognition Award from Worldsteel this year. Both awards are the result of a well-managed, multi-year approach to bring safety to the shop floor, and ensuring everyone is engaged and taking part in the programme."
Alexey Mordashov, worldsteel’s outgoing chairman for the year, said: “The goal of an injury-free, illness-free and healthy work environment remains the highest priority for our industry. Recognition by peers is one of the best ways to encourage people to continue towards zero injuries and most of the best ideas are simple and surprisingly easy to implement. I am very proud of the achievements this programme has made since its launch in 2009.”