Systematic work for increased safety.
Steel production involves many elements which require a high level of safety preparedness. Molten steel measuring roughly 1,600°C, explosive gases, hazardous chemicals, noise, railway tracks and engines, and heavy vehicles are just some examples of potential risks for accidents.
SSAB has for a while been carrying out systematic work to increase health and safety. The two steelworks in Mobile and Montpelier have demonstrated extremely good safety results, and are among the leading steelworks in the US in terms of health and safety. Top priority has been given to achieving the same excellent results in the Swedish operations.
The vision is zero tolerance.
SSAB's ambition is to be one of the world's leading steel companies as regards health and safety. SSAB possesses the technical and practical conditions for achieving this. Hazardous work situations have been gradually eliminated. Strict routines and procedures are in place in respect of any hazardous elements which it has not been possible to eliminate. At the same time, work is also taking place to improve safety through increased understanding, attitudes towards safety, and behavior which affects safety.
Important aspects of the program include regular reminders through training courses, meetings, information campaigns, exchange of experiences and follow-up.
OHSAS 18001 certified work environment management system and safety
All units within SSAB Americas – production plants as well as cutting lines – are certified in accordance with OHSAS 18001. During 2012, all Swedish plants within SSAB EMEA became certified and there are also long-term plans as regards SSAB APAC. In practice, a standardized health and safety management system means that SSAB has in place joint policies, procedures and documentation. This strengthens the organization’s ability to address safety issues systematically.
Within the Group, Tibnor is also OHSAS18001-certified.
Preventive health care.
SSAB has a strong commitment to improved health, and a number of proactive health care projects are being carried out. Examples include support for hiking paths in the vicinity of the steelworks in Montpelier and Mobile, a project involving the municipality in the form of a preventive health care center in Oxelösund, as well as the HälsoSAM work environment and ergonomy health project in Luleå. HälsoSAM now serves as a model for the systematic work environment work also in Borlänge.
Accidents and sick leave.
During 2012, the efforts focused on systematic safety work have shown a positive trend in terms of the number of lost time injuries and accident frequency. Within SSAB EMEA, the work has led to appreciable improvements in accident statistics. The OHSAS 18001 certification creates conditions for further improvements. The operations in North America show remarkably low accident figures and are an industry leader in terms of safety work.
With respect to sick leave, there has been a slightly negative development in 2012, indicating a trend which SSAB wishes to break. The focus on preventive health care within the scope of the reduced work hours program in SSAB EMEA provides an example of how SSAB is expanding preventive health care work and encouraging more people to participate in preventive health care activities. Within all parts of the business, SSAB offer some form of preventive health care to employees and this is an area in which the Group is continuing to focus efforts.
It is important for SSAB that employees are able to speak their mind and contribute their views on the business and how it should be developed. SSAB carries out regular employee surveys covering all employees.
The survey constitutes an important tool in the implementation of improvement work within the organization. Based on results from the employee surveys, each supervisor devises improvement plans which address areas for development. Every second year, an employee survey is carried out covering the entire Group.
SSAB employees should feel a responsibility to act in the event irregularities are uncovered. Since 2010, a whistleblower system has been in place for the entire Group, to which employees can anonymously report serious irregularities and violations of the Company’s various policies. During 2012, ten complaints were made to the whistleblower function, of which six matters have thus far resulted in measures being taken by SSAB. In 2012, and e-learning course was launched in order to ensure awareness of the whistleblower function and how it is used.