Fran Nores – Global Head of Safety
Nothing is more important than ensuring the safety and wellbeing of ourselves and our people. And as today is annual World Safety Day it’s an opportunity to reflect on our own reasons for working safely, and to be reminded of why we need to look after each other.
This year’s World Safety Day theme is that “a safe and healthy working environment is a fundamental principle and right at work.” It’s a reminder that everyone has a reason to go home safely – whether it’s loved ones, hobbies or home, we all have someone or something.
Workers in the steel and aluminium industries face unique safety risks and challenges, and it is critical that employers, workers, and safety professionals come together to address these risks and prevent accidents and injuries. It takes a true team effort to make sure we can all return home safe to our loved ones.
That’s why we launched ‘Be GFG Safe’ three years ago to help us build a safer workplace. Since then we have achieved significant milestones, InfraBuild is recording their best safety performance in their 100 years of operations; Our coal mine in Tahmoor has also achieved their best safety performance ever; our operations in USA have reduced their injury rates by 50% over the last 18 months; and our steel plant in Galati continues to have world-class injury frequency rates.
But we cannot allow ourselves to get complacent. We can always do better – one incident is always too many. We must remain vigilant and continue to follow our safety protocols and reporting practices to prevent injuries and ensure everyone can return home safely.
The Be GFG Safe strategy has four key pillars to guide our way of working:
|Preventing life-threatening incidents by understanding and managing our biggest risks|
|Driving a safety-focussed culture where everyone takes responsibility for looking out for themselves, and each other|
|Encouraging fitness for work and life through targeted health and wellness programs and support|
|Enabling performance by constantly reviewing our processes and tools|
A key part of this is empowering our employees to intervene – having confidence in their right to speak up, step in and get involved to change an error-likely situation or to stop an at-risk behaviour.
We intervene because no one wants to see their workmates get hurt and because everyone has someone or something to go home to. If we don’t intervene and something happens, we can’t predict what the outcome will be; it could be a serious injury, or even worse.
We know that injuries have a ripple effect, meaning many people can be affected for a long period time, especially if the injury is serious. We should intervene anytime we see a person at risk, whether it is a co-worker, contractor, visitor, manager or supervisor.
We have developed a range of resources around safety to enable colleagues to actively engage with their teams – from Toolbox Talks, videos and posters for sites to use or customise. It means we can recognize individuals and groups who have demonstrated outstanding safety performance. By acknowledging and celebrating their efforts, we can reinforce the importance of safety and inspire others to follow their example.
Finally we must all take the time to look after our mental health and wellbeing, both at work and outside of it. Our Global Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub provides valuable resources to support our mental health and wellbeing.
Let’s act together, let’s speak up to create a positive safety and health culture,