Health & Safety
Our Undisputed Priority.
Safety: Our N°1 Priority
Aperam Takes Pride in its Health and Safety Culture
The safety of our people remains our undisputed priority and always takes precedence over everything else, including efficiency and costs. Because of this focus, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were able to quickly adapt our processes to this new reality. From the shopfloor to our headquarters, our entire organization reacted with remarkable efficiency and professionalism.
Building on our existing safety practices, we quickly set up strict protocols and follow-ups, preventing the spread of the disease amongst our people and allowing the continuity of operations. We also improved our lost-time injury frequency, reducing it from 1.7 in 2019 to 1.5 in 2020.
However, we still have a long way to go towards reaching our zero-accident objective. To help, we recently reviewed our Health & Safety organization to strengthen its operational approach, as well as support our sites as closely as possible. The goal is to ensure that Health and Safety is above all a personal value of each employee, whatever the status or function.
Health & Safety Culture
Building and maintaining a positive health and safety culture helps us and our principal contractors achieve common safety goals.
What is safety culture?
Simply put, a safety culture is “the way we do things around here.” It can also be described as the assumptions, values, attitudes and behaviours related to safety that are shared by a group of people in an organisation. Safety incidents are often associated with failures in safety culture. It is widely accepted that a positive safety culture is vital to achieving excellent safety performance.
What is Aperam doing to improve its safety culture?
We reviewed safety research, lessons from incidents in our industry, and consulted with our people to develop a framework that defines the critical behaviours that characterise a robust safety culture. This framework helps everyone at Aperam understand the behaviours they should and should not display to play their part in strengthening our safety culture.
Why do we focus on behaviours to improve safety culture?
Our efforts to improve safety culture focus on behaviours because we can define, observe and measure them. We also have the right tools and methods to understand behaviour and reinforce the behaviours we know foster a strong safety culture.
Health & Safety Standards
Together, Aperam’s corporate health and safety standards help prevent workplace accidents and fatalities. As these standards are only effective when properly implemented, we established our Fatality Prevention Standards (FPS) and Fatality Prevention Audit (FPA) as measures for ensuring compliance.
Health: A Local Focus
Due to the diversity of functions, conditions and personnel found across Aperam’s global locations, many of our health initiatives happen at the local level. This strategy ensures that all our standards are tailored to meet the unique health needs of our employees. As a result, every year we see a large variety of local actions happening at each of our units.
Health & Safety Policy
Aperam is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all of its employees, contractors and stakeholders and to compling with all existing local laws and regulations.
Our Health & Safety program is based on 3 strategic axes:
- Prevent and control the risk of fatal and severe accidents: Each Aperam site
has been audited on its compliance with Aperam H&S Standards. Based on this
audit, a detailed action plan was implemented and is monitored monthly.
- Identify cultural maturity: Based on an external framework widely used by
other companies, the sites’ H&S Culture was assessed. Key areas for
improvement have been defined and are being worked on together with the
- Support and coordinate transversal actions within Aperam: Building on its
new organization, the implementation of transversal actions, such as using a
single Aperam incident reporting and investigation tool, has started.
In addition to these initiatives, and in preparation for the deployment of the 2021
program, members of the Aperam Leadership Team took part in a preview of the
“Safety Leadership Training”, which will be deployed to the entire managerial line
at each site in 2021. This training is a continuation of the award-winning SAFE
program, launched in 2015, and is an important component of our H&S Culture.
We are confident that adhering to this Health and Safety Policy WILL lead us to our goal of becoming a “Sustainably Safe Company”.
To continuously enhance the safety of our sites, Aperam has internal initiatives aimed at promoting successful teams and sharing best practices. In addition to these company initiatives, in recent years many sites also competed in local challenges, including:
- 2020 ISSF Safety Award. Our “Think Outside Your Chair!” initiative was noted for its focus on promoting the health and well-being of our employees. The campaign provides employees with quick and easy exercises for preventing injuries, improving posture, increasing flexibility and supplying necessary nutrients to the muscles and brain. Read more
- 2019 ISSF Safety Award. Aperam was recognised with a Safety award at the ISSF Annual Awards ceremony for its “Leave your phone in your locker!” project.
- 2018 ISSF Safety Award. The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) awarded Aperam its Silver Safety Award. The award recognises Aperam’s successful SAFE programme.
- 2017 Health & Safety Awards. In our 2016 Sustainability Report we highlighted the work done by Aperam Genk to reduce accidents and improve controls and safety in transport fleets, with very significant results and some carriers banned. Since then, this programme won the second prize at the annual International Stainless Steel Forum, thanks to its multifaceted approach and engagement with all parties involved. As ISSF commented: “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.”
- GESiM’s Special Prize, won in 2016 by a 12 member delegation from the Gueugnon rolling mill for their idea for enhancing the process used to change grinding wheels for rectification.
- The Regional and National Competition organised by the Polish Labour Relation Commission recognises the best safety conditions at work. Out of 17 pre-selected finalists, Aperam’s Poland Service Centre took home the prize.
- German BGHW 2016 Prevention Award, given to our German unit for their “Safe working on factory roofs” project. The team was selected from 60 applications.