Tokyo, 18 May 2017 – The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has announced the winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in the categories Sustainability and Safety during their 21st conference (ISSF-21) which was held in Tokyo on 18 May 2017.
The ISSF promotes Safety Awareness among all its members, together with a Safety Programme which is driven by the CEOs of its members. The Board adopted the World Steel slogan “Nothing is more important than the safety and health of the people who work in the steel industry”. From this basic statement, the following guiding principles were developed:
- All injuries and work related illnesses can and must be prevented.
- Managers are responsible and accountable for safety and health performance.
- Employee training is essential.
- Working safely is a condition of employment.
- Excellence in safety and health contributes to excellent business results.
- Safety and health must be integrated into all business management processes.
These principles are worth repeating, because they place the responsibility for safety management and control equally on the management and employees.
The ISSF introduced a Safety Award Programme which invited members to submit good ideas from their Safety Programmes. Those good ideas are circulated among other members, following the simple premise that everyone can learn from the mistakes or accidents of others. The winners have the benefit of peer recognition and a Certificate which can be used in their own publications. Everyone who submits an entry is recognised by having their entry included in the ISSF Annual Safety Awards Report, which is circulated to all members and published on the ISSF extranet.
The standard of entries remains very high. Having decided to introduce second and third placed winners to increase the incentive to submit entries for these Awards, we actually awarded two joint winners in both second and third places, because the entry quality was so high.
In first place we selected Acerinox Europe SAU, for an innovative design for a new lifting device for the tundish, to avoid the risk of injuries to hands and fingers as well as the head or body.
In joint second place are Columbus Stainless and Aperam Genk which focused on reducing accidents and damage to material and improving controls and safety in their transport fleets. This is a timely reminder that our safety programmes are not confined only to the plants, but extend outwards along the routes taken by our transport. The third place is shared by JFE Steel and POSCO, who have made innovative use of films and DVDs for Safety Training.
All entries will be included in the Awards Brochure which will be published shortly.
The commonly understood meaning of “sustainability” is a development which conserves an economic balance. In recent years the environmental lobbyists have been active in extending the reach of this definition, to include a wide range of add-ons. It is no longer sufficient to have a long lasting product, it must have a high rate of recyclability; it must comply with a number of broadly similar, but different initiatives such as REACH and LEED, which acquire regulatory force; and it must have a demonstrable Life Cycle Assessment, undertaken by a suitably qualified Institute. It must also cope with the wide ranging attacks on raw material elements which are considered to be hazardous, even when apparently “locked-in” to an alloy.
Where it was once sufficient to show you did not discharge hazardous waste to water air or land; and to show you recycled and used recycled scrap; and to show you measured your CO2 emissions; now the scope of sustainability is widening year by year.
This is a non-competitive issue and one where bench-marking against best in field practices is surely beneficial for the industry as a whole. It is important to show the public and the local, regional and central governments an industry which is determined to do what is practically possible to sustain the environment.
To provide a platform from which best practices can be circulated, and to inspire deeper thought about these issues, the ISSF surveys its membership every year about best practices in Sustainability and publishes the results, so that each can learn from the others.
To encourage participation, a competition is held, based on the responses from members to select the best entry, followed by two runners-up. These Awards have value, because they are a recognition of excellence in this field, and the Certificates may be used in promotional literature.
For this year, although we received very few entrants, what we did receive continued to show a very high standard. All those who entered are congratulated on their very good efforts. There can, unfortunately be only three winners, but as I noted under the Safety Awards, there are no losers – all of this work has a value.
The winner for 2017 is Outokumpu, for an interesting development of plant-to-port transport at their Avesta plant, using alternatives to fossil fuels.
In second place is POSCO for its work in conserving energy.
In third place is Slovenian Steel Group for a project which uses high temperature waste heat from the furnace to provide energy for the neighbouring district.
We congratulate all the winners. All entries will be published on the ISSF extranet.