Health, Safety, Environment and Community Report 2004

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Fatalities and Major Incidents

Tragically, a fatality occurred in our business on 29 June 2004 with the death of a contractor at our Brisbane Logistics Terminal in Australia.

The contractor was fatally injured when he was run over by a forklift moving steel coils from a rail wagon to the warehouse.

Following an internal investigation into the cause of the accident, a number of actions were taken at the Brisbane Logistics Terminal, our other Logistics facilities and across all BlueScope Steel sites.

These actions involved the further separation of people and forklifts; initiatives to ensure full compliance with the Company's Forklift Truck Safety Code of Practice; improved high visibility clothing; and hazard identification.

The Company is co-operating fully with the WorkCover investigation into the accident.

All BlueScope Steel employees and contractors around the world participated in a Stop for Safety program, to reflect on the death of their colleague and to improve safety in their workplace (see Response to a Major Incident below).

No other major incidents occurred during 2003/2004.

Response to a Major Incident

In early July 2004, BlueScope Steel Managing Director and CEO Kirby Adams asked every employee and on-site contractor across the Company's global operations to take time out of their usual work for a four-hour Stop for Safety briefing.

The aim of Stop for Safety was to encourage employees to reflect on the death of a colleague, to identify the major risks in each workplace and to commit to actions and behaviours that would keep every individual safe.

Feedback from the program indicated that employees appreciated this opportunity and that it generated excellent ideas.

Highlights of the positive feedback and outcomes from all sections of the Company included -

A number of safety improvements were initiated immediately as a result of the fatality investigation. The steps to be undertaken across BlueScope Steel worldwide included separation of people from forklifts, auditing forklift activities against the company's Code of Practice, improved high visibility clothing and identifying all high-risk hazards.

The work each site has undertaken and continues to progress as a result of these sessions will make all our operations much safer for all employees. Stop for Safety has reinforced to employees throughout the Company that it is safety first, last and every time.

Make it Zero

BlueScope Steel has taken a leadership role in the international steel industry, championing safety in the workplace and Zero Harm to people.

At the commencement of his twelve month Chairmanship of the International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI) in October 2003, Managing Director and CEO of BlueScope Steel and Chairman of IISI, Kirby Adams expressed the Company's desire to inspire others in the steel industry about the Company's safety commitment.

A key message from a session at the IISI's 37th Annual Conference on 'Improving Safety and Health within the Global Steel Industry' was that the safety performance of the industry is not acceptable and must be improved.

"As Chairman, I intend to remain very focused throughout my term in driving a heightened effort across our industry to improve safety performance and eliminate fatalities," Mr Adams said. "My hope is that the industry can rise to the challenge of reducing injuries and fatalities year-over-year by at least 20 per cent. Our aim must be to 'Make it Zero'."

Mr Adams also presented and shared with IISI members a BlueScope Steel video "Make it Zero", which is part of the Company's drive towards Zero Harm.

In a direct and personal way, the video outlines the impact of work-related accidents on the injured employee, their colleagues and their family and friends. In the video, Mr Adams outlines how, as CEO, he feels a sense of responsibility to injured employees.

"Safety leadership has integrity as an idea and as an outcome. It is my duty, as a CEO, to make sure every person who comes on to one of our sites leaves it in the same condition as they arrived," he said.

Through its involvement with IISI, BlueScope Steel is sharing the lessons learnt on its journey towards Zero Harm with steel companies around the world, helping them recognise the importance of safety improvement and bringing them on the journey with us.

Stop for Safety

In the wake of the fatality at our Brisbane Logistics Terminal, we took immediate action.

In early July 2004, every employee and on-site contractor across BlueScope Steel's global operations stopped work for a four-hour safety briefing. The Stop for Safety underlined our belief that employee engagement is essential if we are to achieve our goal of Zero Harm.

A number of new safety measures were immediately mandated across the Company. And our employees generated some excellent ideas for further improvements, which we are now implementing.

The aim of these measures is to ensure that anyone who enters one of our sites - employee contractor, supplier, customer or member of the public - leaves that site in the same condition as they arrived.