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The site’s target for 2015 was to achieve less than 6 injuries per million hours worked, compared to an injury frequency rate of 9.5 accidents per million hours worked in 2014. Lost time injury frequency fell in 2015 and was 1.9, clearly exceeding the target.
The reduction in incidents was driven by systematic safety training sessions for both foremen and front-line employees at the site. “Must intervene” training highlighted the importance of intervening in unsafe work and being responsible for coworkers and oneself. There was also a strong focus on the orientation of summer workers, none of whom were involved in any incidents in 2015.
Safety information is displayed on info boards, the intranet and noticeboards. Safety rounds and safety “moments” are additional tools foremen use daily to improve the safety culture. These tools are intended to engage as many people as possible in safety improvement at work.
SSAB Europe’s facilities provide safety alerts, made in conjunction with incidents and near-miss situations, to other facilities to enhance best practices.
At SSAB, we produce steel from iron-ore in the Nordics and from scrap in the US. In SSAB as a whole, an average of 45% scrap was used in steel production in 2014. SSAB uses approximately 20% of scrap in conjunction with steel production in the Nordics, and 100% in the US. The processes have entirely different environmental prerequisites.
SSAB’s steel production in the Nordics is blast furnace-based. Hot metal is produced by the reduction of iron ore, through coke and coal being added to the blast furnaces. This process gives rise to carbon dioxide.
With current technology, it is not possible to produce steel without carbon dioxide being formed. The process has been continuously developed and improved to become extremely efficient, with process gases and waste energy being utilized for the production of electricity and district heat.
International comparisons show that SSAB’s blast furnaces are at the forefront as regards low carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of hot metal. There are several reasons for this: the use of high-grade raw materials in the form of iron-ore pellets, high-quality coke, and efficient processes in which the blast furnaces produce without disruption.
A large number of usable residuals, such as heating, gas, slag and dust, are recovered to minimize waste.
Steel is one of the most recycled materials in the world. SSAB’s plants in the US produce steel based exclusively on scrap. A certain amount of coal and natural gas is used in the production process, but in the main electricity is used for smelting the scrap.
All in all, carbon dioxide emissions are less than one-tenth of the emissions generated in conjunction with iron ore-based steel production.
SSAB’s production processes are energyintensive. Systematic energy efficiency management and energy recovery at all sites, as well as production of electricity from process gases at certain steel mills, ensure efficient use of energy and lower emissions. Process gases like blast furnace gas, coke oven gas and converter gas are generated in the iron- and steelmaking processes. Steam and hot water are also produced. These energy flows are recovered to generate electricity and heat, thereby saving additional fossil fuel resources.
The energy-rich gases which cannot be used in steel production are used in local power plants to supply SSAB with approximately 43 (40)% of the electricity needs of steel production in Sweden and Finland. Heat is generated in converters, where iron is made into steel.
Since the 1980s, recovered heat has been used to produce district heating in Luleå, Raahe and Oxelösund. The recovered heat meets about 90% of local district heating needs.
A high-performing organization provides a structure that helps to align actions and behavior with strategic direction. An ability to timely match the competences demanded by the business with available skills and development plans among employees, while delivering on synergy targets, is an important criterion for being a high-performing organization. There are three main priorities toward achieving a high-performing organization:
SSAB One – shared management philosophy
SSAB One is our common management philosophy. It encompasses SSAB’s vision, values and principles, which together give a direction and framework for the company. Use of the word ‘’management,’’ does not mean the philosophy is exclusive to managers, but that it is relevant to each and every one of us. Only when all of our employees have a good understanding of our management philosophy can we successfully involve everyone in SSAB’s development efforts. SSAB One provides us with a common framework and language between the different parts of our company.
SSAB One serves as a common denominator for our improvement structure at SSAB. We’ll succeed by ensuring we have an understanding of SSAB One and the company’s vision as our common purpose, living the values as standards for our convictions and behavior, and using our principles as the rationale to achieve our fundamental goals.
SSAB One has two objectives:
The global process for management planning
A strong managerial pipeline is not only a requirement for a high-performing organization, but also a strategic choice for SSAB. Leaders are instrumental in delivering results and managing change. The company applies a global process for management planning and annual review to ensure we retain a firm grip on and understanding of our leadership capability.
Through the global annual Management Review process, SSAB works to ensure that internal leadership talents are identified and systematically developed. In the process, all SSAB managers are assessed against the company’s manager criteria, and succession plans are established. An important function of the Management Review is to ensure that we have suitable internal candidates for managerial positions.
The results of the Management Review are used actively throughout the year for competence development, appointments and as support in organizational development.
Engaging SSAB employees for performance toward goals
Aligning individual performance with SSAB’s strategic direction is a central element in being a high-performing organization. Clarity concerning goals and performance expectations, as well as feedback, are key enablers to effectively manage our change journey and to achieve results. In annual performance dialogs, all employees and managers follow up on results, provide mutual feedback, discuss the workplace atmosphere and plan future performance and individual development. SSAB continuously reviews and aligns reward structures to ensure performance management processes are effectively supported. Matching potential candidates with development opportunities at different levels in the organization is important for developing a high-performing organization.
SSAB conducts employee engagement surveys to give employees an equal opportunity to voice their views on a number of important topics. The surveys help analyze the drivers of employee engagement and capture improvement opportunities which contribute to leadership, high performance and engagement. The survey results are utilized at all organizational levels, starting with the Group Executive Committee.
Each manager is responsible for planning, executing and following up improvements with his or her team based on the results of the survey.
SSAB is a knowledge company; our success depends heavily on the competence of our employees. SSAB has about 16,000 employees from diverse demographic backgrounds in more than 50 countries. Leveraging this diversity is a prerequisite to providing a superior customer experience. However, appreciating and working toward diversity is not enough. SSAB also strives for inclusion, which means that employees feel a sense of belonging and have equal opportunities to contribute and succeed.
The steel industry is traditionally male-dominated, and with only 19% of our employees being women, SSAB is no exception. We believe that improving gender balance will positively contribute to our performance culture. In order to increase the number of women in top management, SSAB launched a diversity target, aiming to have women in 30% of the top management positions in the company by the end of 2019.
With the long-term goal of increasing the presence of female employees across the company, we will start by placing women in top management positions, creating role models for others. To accelerate the process, we have initiated an in-house mentoring program. It is a mutual learning experience for both mentors and mentees, through challenging each other, exchanging experiences, broadening perspectives and building networks across the organization. SSAB also hasa number of initiatives and tools to promote diversity and inclusion in the company:
SSAB’s success largely depends on the dedication and skills of its employees, both as individuals and as part of a global team. To ensure both individual and company success, SSAB is committed to the constant development of its workforce. New employees learn and advance through on-the-job training, engaging in challenging work tasksand projects together with diverse teams, gaining experience and expanding their knowledge. All employees participate in performance dialogs with their managers to ensure continuous development and communication. These ongoing discussions help strengthen each employee’s core competences in e.g. technology, business and leadership, and contribute to the company’s overall success.
Business specific training is available through the SSAB Academy for employees who work with customers, such as in sales, services, technical support, customer care, marketing and product development. The training is related to SSAB’s strategy and business model, SSAB’s way of selling and delivering value to the customers, and building a network within the company to help participants develop customers’ applications and business.
In addition, SSAB continually looks for opportunities to develop the skills and experience of talented employees. An annual management review process aims to recognize managerial candidates and internal successors to leadership roles. Managerial candidates are offered development opportunities through on-the-job learning such as challenging projects and tasks and meetings with senior management. In 2014, a development center for global managerial candidates was established. SSAB also runs an internal mentoring program and participates in consortium programs with other global companies to develop strategic skills of talented managers. Other group-wide initiatives include the business ethics e-learning program, the business development program to expand participants’ business skills and networks within the company, and a technical development trainee program which aims to help employees quickly learn technical knowledge about the business.
Regarding continuous learning and improvement, SSAB has started training sessions to familiarize all employees with the SSAB One management philosophy and encourage them to apply the company values and continuous improvement principles in their daily work. It is implemented through a train-the-trainer concept: SSAB’s managers involve their teams to SSAB One learning modules, each of which consists of a workshop, on-the-job learning and evaluation of the progress. The aim is to continuously improve the work flow based on customer needs, and it involves all employees to participate in the improvement efforts. Over the coming years, SSAB’s ambition is to successfully introduce all the eight modules across all work teams within the organization.
As described above, SSAB invests in a few strategic development initiatives. However, much of the responsibility for training and education is at divisional and local level, as each business unit has the best knowledge of their specific needs and circumstances. An example of divisional programs is new managers’ training, and of local ones introductory and orientation training for a new employees, including topics such as health and safety, use of information technology, and company policies and practices.