In an effort that could involve up to four million people across the globe, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) is asking the steel industry to conduct a comprehensive safety audit that would conclude on Steel Safety Day and World Safety Day, April 28.
The association is reaching out to the steel industry, employees and service providers, asking them to engage in the audit and report the results 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.
Five common accident causes
worldsteel says that in the steel industry, 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.
“The steel industry is a highly automated industry and most manual handling, heavy lifting and many operational activities have been automated," said Edwin Basson, Director General of worldsteel. "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.”