Ensuring the safety of our employees is fundamental. But we also want our people to thrive and achieve their potential. Having a healthy, engaged and supported workforce, who feel valued for their contribution today whilst continuing to develop their skills for tomorrow, is also integral to our approach. Indeed, to create a high-performing organisation, it is vital.
With more than 190,000 employees working in our plants, service centres and offices around the world, to succeed in our aim of having zero injuries, we must build a safety focussed culture everywhere we operate.
Since 2008, we’ve been on a ‘Journey to Zero’, with the aim of achieving zero fatalities and severe lost time injuries (LTIs).
Our safety figures have vastly improved over the past decade and are well above industry standard. Our lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR), defined as the number of injuries per million hours worked that result in employees or contractors taking time off work, was 0.75 in 2019. For comparison, ArcelorMittal recorded an LTIFR of 3.1 in 2007, the year after the company was formed. So, we are making progress, our policies and procedures are strong, and the safety trainings we deploy are making a positive difference.
But we are not there yet. Accidents, including tragic fatalities, still occur. So, our clear challenge is to build on the progress that has been made over the past decade by further intensifying efforts to build a safety-focussed culture across the organisation, with rigorous standards and procedures in place backed up by strong training programs with employees encouraged not to look out just for themselves, but also each other.
Our ambition also aims at eliminating potential unsafe situations through a continued focus on near misses that could have resulted in a fatality - potential severe injuries and fatalities (PSIFs) as a leading indicator. The objective being to create a culture of shared vigilance in which we understand and monitor risks and hazards, share best practices and take appropriate action at every level.
Our approach to safety is consistent wherever we operate; the safety of our employees takes priority over everything. This is the culture that we are seeking to embed across our operations.
We have a global health and safety policy that outlines how we work and use equipment, how we identify and manage risk, how we take responsibility for our own and others’ safety, and how we learn from accidents and near misses. To ensure the quality of our management systems, our sites are certified to the international health and safety standard, OHSAS 18001.
Working closely with our unions and our contractors is also key to achieving a safe and healthy workplace. In 2008, we established the Joint Global Health and Safety Committee, the first management-union partnership of its kind in our sector.
We aim to create a culture of shared vigilance in which risks are understood and monitored, best practices are shared, and appropriate action is taken at every level. Employees are trained in relevant fatality prevention standards, ranging from working at height to isolation. Every visitor to a site is expected to follow our 10 Golden Rules of Safety
In addition to recording LTIs, we also track near-misses. Our ability to monitor and analyse potential severe injuries and fatalities (PSIFs) is key as it provides a deeper understanding of how near-miss incidents arise and can be avoided. Results show that sites with no fatalities proactively detect and manage twice as many PSIFs as sites with one or more. The volume of proactive PSIFs logged across the Group has increased more than five times since 2016, and more than 3,500 situations were proactively detected and addressed in 2019, a 29% increase over 2018.
We also work to improve the quality of our analysis and actions, including sharing best practices throughout the organisation. Whilst our vision is for every operation to report zero incidents, the rate of progress is not always consistent, with some plants closer to zero than others. We work to ensure those plants with consistently better results share their practices and learnings to enable others to accelerate progress. The sharing of best practice is further facilitated through our use of the workplace social networking tool Yammer.
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our employees.” Lakshmi N. Mittal, chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal
Our leadership is held accountable for our safety performance through the Company’s remuneration policy. The policy links 10% of leadership bonuses – from managers through to the CEO – to safety KPIs in the business where he or she works, where relevant. And safety is the first topic in the appraisal process for every employee, irrespective of where they work.
Site-based health and safety committees run regular safety campaigns, which culminate in our Global Health and Safety Day. This annual event includes health and safety activities and opens with a corporate safety video and a message from the chairman and CEO. Film has been an effective storytelling tool, engaging people emotionally. Our 2018 safety video, 'We choose the safest way', has been watched by more than 230,000 people and earned a gold medal at the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards.