worldsteel calls for an industry-wide safety audit

worldsteel_worldsteel-logo2Brussels, 14 April 2014 – The World Steel Association (worldsteel) calls for an industry-wide safety audit across the steel industry on the occasion of the Steel Safety Day on 28 April. This safety initiative coincides with the World Safety Day held by the International Labour Organisation and aims to engage the entire steel industry as well as all related organisations with a cross section of employees and service providers, involving as many as four million people worldwide.

worldsteel is requesting all participating organisations to carry out the audit during the two weeks starting from 14 to 28 April and report back to worldsteel afterwards. The audit will focus on identifying the hazards for the main causes of safety incidents within the steel industry and setting up an action plan to manage the hazards and risks for each site.

The five most common causes of safety incidents and preventative measures are as follows:

  • Moving machinery – before any machinery is cleaned, serviced or adjusted all sources of energy including gravity must be isolated, locked, or pinned to prevent movement.
  • Falling from heights – training should be provided on how to use protective equipment and work safely at heights.
  • Falling objects – measures must be taken to prevent objects from falling and all people should be evacuated from areas where this remains a possibility.
  • Asphyxiation or gassing – people should be trained to ensure they can test for and eliminate dangerous gasses in confined spaces.
  • Cranes – daily checks must be carried out on cranes before use to maintain reliable operation.

Edwin Basson, Director General of worldsteel said: “The steel industry is a highly automated industry and most manual handling, heavy lifting and many operational activities have been automated. This has removed staff’s exposure to many hazards and reduced safety risks in the working environment. However, safety incidents still happen in the industry today and it is our responsibility to make sure that all applicable measures have been put in place to manage the hazards. We believe all injuries and work-related illness can and must be prevented.”

The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is one of the largest and most dynamic industry associations in the world. worldsteel represents approximately 170 steel producers (including 17 of the world’s 20 largest steel companies), national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes. worldsteel members represent around 85% of world steel production.