The impact of the COVID-19 crisis across all sectors of the economy and industries has, and continues to, evolve rapidly.

We are focused on protecting the health and well-being of our employees, contractors, vendors and customers.

To do that, we have both an ArcelorMittal North America and ArcelorMittal Dofasco Coronavirus Covid-19 Task Force with key members of leadership and subject matter experts. Our team in Hamilton has been meeting daily since March 12 and continues to identify and address the impact of the global pandemic to both our people and the business. We have kept our focus on communicating with our employees, contractors, customers and suppliers, all while following the guidance of the Governments of Canada and Ontario and the Hamilton Public Health Unit.

The latest development is the Government of Ontario’s list of essential businesses that will stay open. Among those are “Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g. primary metal/ steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer).”

We are operating to ensure we meet the demand for steel, we maintain our assets, and we can resume our normal processes and procedures when the pandemic subsides. In terms of demand, we have had one temporary measure to align production with demand, as we undertook a temporary blow down of No.3 Blast Furnace (5 per cent of slab tons) with necessary precaution to preserve the asset for future production (there are no jobs impacted by this measure).

We also see some critical demand for steel. For example, in Consumer Packaging, where our tinplated steel is used in the packaging of food, and in Industrial Packaging, where our cold roll steel is used in drums and pails utilized for storing and transporting pharmaceutical ingredients, oils for food production, and lacquers for food can production.

Over the past 12 days, we have acted quickly and with significant response plans to ensure we protect the health and well-being of our employees, contractors, vendors and customers and help to stop the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19. Some of our actions include:

  • Implementing constant changes and improvements to ensure a safe workplace. That means assessing operating workstations, installing visual reminders for physical distance, posting safety watch personnel to ensure the distance is observed, deferring non-critical maintenance and stopping groups of employees from gathering and changing the way our employees travel within our plant.
  • Having those who can, work remotely (there are approximately 1,500 of our employees whose jobs can be done remotely)
  • Working with our third-party suppliers to ensure that those coming onto our site are taking appropriate precautions and following self-isolation guidelines,
  • Securing 24/7 cleaning services and creating a distribution system for extra cleaning supplies,
  • Mobilizing our medical staff (physician, nurses) to ensure that self-isolation requirements are met and return to work assessments are completed,
  • Ensuring our employees who must self-isolate can either work remotely or received Short Term Disability / Salary Continuance support,
  • Stepping up our education on prevention practices including re-organizing any on site work to be done with people staying 2 metres apart, or cancelling the work,
  • Changing how we provide wellness and fitness support for employees with information, resources, Facebook live fitness classes, launching an online mindfulness program and access to remote services through our third party Employee and Family Assistance program,
  • Communicating with our employees through a dedicated COVID-19 internal website and detailed daily updates to help them navigate all of the available information, support them as they manage with their families and friends and give them information about what the company is doing to help slow the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19.

The task force will continue to work to our Pandemic and Emergency Response plans to ensure that we are responding and acting responsibly and quickly.

Employees will continue to receive a daily update and information will continue to be fluid as the situation changes, sometimes hourly. Despite that, we’ll persevere to ensure we respond in the most responsible way possible and continue to take a leadership role in our community to manage through this unprecedented time.