- HEALTH & SAFETY
- ENERGY & GREENHOUSE
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BlueScope Steel Strengthens Mobile Equipment & Forklift Safety
Blue Hat Safety Assistants Set the Standard in Suzhou
Take 2 for Your Health
Drug Awareness Highlights Health & Safety Risks
Victorian Self-Insurance Licence Renewal
Health & Safety Highlights
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Mobile equipment and forklift safety risks throughout BlueScope Steel have been addressed through the Mobile Equipment Safety Network Committee established in early 2004. The network has provided guidance in forklift and other mobile equipment safety, strengthened codes of practice and implemented training across the Company.
Comprising representatives from each of the BlueScope Steel businesses, the Network Committee covers all types of Mobile Equipment, with particular emphasis on areas where mobile equipment and pedestrians have the potential to come into contact with each other.
Committee Network Chairman, Max Bland said the need to constantly improve our practices has led to the development of the Mobile Equipment Code of Practice and also the review of the Forklift Code of Practice to further improve safety procedures.
Speed was identified as a forklift safety risk and the addition of speed-limiting devices to forklifts was added to the Forklift Code and is in the process of being implemented throughout the Company.
The separation of pedestrians and mobile equipment was also identified, and as a follow-up to the Stop for Safety program, a forklift safety support pack was developed to assist people to understand what is meant by separation, as well as providing examples of how to separate people and forklifts. The pack gives guidance on key forklift attributes and appropriate high visibility clothing and is available through the Company's intranet site, along with the Mobile Equipment Code of Practice and the Forklift Code of Practice.
Approximately 25 training sessions using the safety pack were conducted in Australia, the USA, New Zealand and Asia during April and May 2005. Trained employees are now conducting audits on forklift/pedestrian interactions, forklift attributes and high visibility clothing at all our sites.
BlueScope Steel's Board of Directors also participated in the safety initiatives, with the Directors conducting focussed safety audits on gas safety, forklift safety and load restraint as part of the Board meeting held at Port Kembla in May 2005.
Safety assistants supplied by major contractors on our Suzhou site in China have played an important role in improving safety practices.
Eight safety assistants monitor each of the major site areas and have significantly improved the standard of housekeeping and barricading. In their distinctive blue hard hats, the safety assistants were the first crew on site every day and the first back from lunch breaks.
Safety Officer BlueScope Steel Suzhou-China, Phil Nancarrow said the safety assistants had been nominated for safety awards by the mechanical installation supervisors. The group was commended for improving housekeeping standards; ensuring barricades were erected ahead of work groups commencing work; and completing the installation of solid hand rails around openings and pits, leaving the scaffolding crew more time to focus on access and erection of safe working platforms for the work crews.
The example set by the Safety assistants on the construction site has spread to other workers. Safety assistants have also reminded fellow workers of compliance requirements, such as wearing the correct Personal Protective Equipment.
A major health initiative run in consultation with Australian Health Management (ahm Total Health) called 'Take 2 for your Health' aims to improve the health and wellbeing of BlueScope Steel employees and their families.
'Take 2 for your Health' was launched at the Port Kembla Steelworks on 1 June 2005. The program was designed to build on the success of the 'Take 2 for Safety' campaign conducted in 2004.
The 'Take 2 for your Health' initiative extends the concept of occupational health to personal health and gives employees the opportunity to complete a total health assessment, which provides a confidential personal health profile. For each returned survey an A$2 donation is made to a nominated local charity.
Interactive health seminars were also conducted by ahm Total Health, some of which were open to the local community, covering issues ranging from men and women's health, exercise, nutrition/weight loss, alcohol, stress management, and how to quit smoking.
BlueScope Steel has conducted a number of health related programs, including executive and staff health programs, safety critical medical assessments, occupational strain surveys, and a survey on the safety climate.
At the launch of the initiative, CEO ahm Total Health, Dan Hook congratulated BlueScope Steel for being one of the first Australian companies to address the 'health' of employees as a serious Occupational Health and Safety strategy.
All employees at BlueScope Steel New Caledonia met in January 2005 to discuss the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.
Drug and Alcohol Consultant, Dr Christian Michel and Safety and Prevention Trainer, Nathalie Hecq spoke to employees about the risks of alcohol and drug use. The topics discussed covered alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, and kava (a local drink in New Caledonia) and associated personal and workplace risks.
The speakers described the specific risks of alcohol, tobacco use and its relationship to cancer, as well as the association between drugs such as cannabis and kava and psychological problems. They explained that problematic alcohol and drug use may be reflected in work absenteeism, inattention or violence.
Employees attending the meeting learnt that alcohol and drug use has a direct effect on people's performance and when this occurs in the workplace, a significant safety risk is created. They also discussed how behavioural problems and the physical effects of drug and alcohol use can compromise safety and lead to dangerous situations when undertaking tasks such as driving equipment or operating machines.
Dedication to health and safety practices and demonstrated care by BlueScope Steel operational employees, safety staff and management resulted in the renewal of our Victorian Self-Insurance Licence in June 2005.
The licence was renewed for four years with no conditions, a significant achievement for all of the teams at the BlueScope Steel Victorian sites of Western Port, Lysaght Lyndhurst and Braeside Service Centre.
Responsibility for workers compensation self-insurance for BlueScope Steel employees in Victoria was first achieved in 2002 when our Company separated from BHP Billiton. At that time, a three year licence was granted and became due for renewal in July 2005.
To achieve the Victorian licence renewal, a rigorous process of auditing and inspection was carried out, to demonstrate BlueScope Steel's capacity as a self-insurer to the Victorian WorkCover Authority.
BlueScope Steel's Victorian sites were audited against SafetyMAP 4, based on Australian Standard 4801. At Western Port, the audit was conducted for 82 elements of SafetyMAP 4 while our Lysaght Lyndhurst and Braeside Service Centre operations were audited against 11 selected criteria.
Following a process of providing documentary evidence, questioning and inspection, a draft report identified seven areas where further work was required before renewal could be recommended. During the next three months, a project team, safety staff and all employees worked to rectify the identified shortcomings and a recommendation for renewal was achieved.
Holding a licence to self-insure employees requires BlueScope Steel to demonstrate sufficient finances for actuarial liabilities; show competent management of workers compensation claims; meet the regulatory body's requirements as guided by legislation; and demonstrate a safety system is in place which meets criteria determined by the Victorian WorkCover Authority.
BlueScope Steel's commitment to the health and safety of employees involves many initiatives aimed at achieving Zero Harm and bringing health benefits to employees.
Examples of initiatives undertaken in 2004/05 include: