Work environment and safety

The task of improving the work environment is a never-ending one; the steel industry must be a workplace free of injuries and illness and it must be characterised by health and gender equality.

Photo: Bildn, source: Jernkontoret's Picture Collection. 

Zero tolerance for accidents and injuries 

”Nothing is more important than the safety and health of the people who work in the steel industry.” This is the Word Steel Association’s introduction to their position paper on safety and health for the global steel industry. The work of reducing the number of workplace accidents and injuries is ongoing with zero tolerance the watchword. 

To increase awareness of the most common reasons for accidents in the steel industry, the World Steel Association has set up an annual safety day, “Steel Safety Day”

Improving workplace health and safety

Employment and work environment issues are handled by the Steel and Metal Employers Association within the Swedish Association of Industrial Employers. When seen over a twenty year period, the accidents in the Swedish steel industry have declined, according to statistics from the Association of Industrial Employers.

A reason for this is thought to be that more incidents (i.e. near accidents) are now reported than they used to be. The risks can thereby be rectified at an early stage, before the risks can turn into accidents. To further improve the work environment, the industry is striving to change attitudes and behaviour and thereby create a good safety culture throughout the plants.

Steel Industry Work Environment Group

The Steel Industry Work Environment Group is a network for work environment issues and a resource in the internal company work on behalf of a safe industrial workplace. The group consists of health and safety engineers and safety and security managers with steel and metal manufacturing companies.

The Work Environment Group works proactively to bring about a good work environment and to prevent accidents and ill health. This work is coordinated by the Association of Industrial Employers.

The steel companies work systematically 

One of the three commitments in the Swedish steel industry's joint vision for 2050, Steel shapes a better future, reads:

We nurture creative individuals – our working environment fosters new solutions for communities through global collaboration. Our creativity constantly challenges the limits of contemporary thinking.

Engaged and competent employees are the foundation for the steel industry's success, and to further strengthen the steel industry's competitiveness it is important that the companies can offer a good working environment and exciting development opportunities. Good health and high safety are basic requirements, but the work environment must also be equal, multifaceted, flexible and enjoyable.

Jernkontoret supports the network Women of Steel (Metallkvinnor). It is a network for women whose work activities relate to areas subject to collective agreements between employers and the Swedish trade union, IF Metall. The purpose of the network is to be a meeting place for women in these sectors and to actively pursue greater gender equality at work.