Health, Safety, Environment and Community Report 2004

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Safety Initiatives

Safety Olympics 2004

Positive Learning from the Manildra Fire

Avoid Falling Objects Complements Take 2

Safety Olympics 2004

During August 2004, and timed to coincide with the Athens Olympic Games, the Port Kembla Steelworks held their own version of an Olympic event.

President Industrial Markets Lance Hockridge launched the Safety Olympics on 27 July and acknowledged the company's performance in safety as amongst the best in Australia and the international steel industry.

During the financial year ending June 2004 the Port Kembla Steelworks experienced a tremendous improvement in its safety performance. A Lost Time Injury Frequency rate of 1.8 (the average LTIFR for manufacturing industry in NSW is around 20) was achieved as well as an improvement of 43 per cent in the Medically Treated Injury Frequency Rate, reflecting a fantastic effort by all employees.

The Safety Olympics idea came as yet another creative initiative on the journey towards the company goal of a Zero Harm workplace, acknowledging BlueScope Steel's world class safety performers.

The Olympics were about moving from being an excellent safety performer to being the world's best performer and challenging individuals and the company to become the best there is, becoming the gold medal contender or better yet, the winner on a world stage.

Over the two-week period of the event, a special Zero Harm flag was flown from the main entrance of the Steelworks and a symbolic lighting of a miner's lamp took place at an opening ceremony.

The goal of the program was to recognise outstanding individual and team activities that were consistent with world class performance. Gold medals were awarded to individuals for auditing and accident near miss reporting. Team medals were awarded for best team initiatives or activities within a department.

Positive Learning from the Manildra Fire

An explosion and fire in an ethanol tank adjacent to the Port Kembla Steelworks property in late January 2004 created media headlines around Australia, but resulted in some positive learning for BlueScope Steel.

The tank, owned by the Manildra Company, blew its lid at about 10am on January 28 and the noise was heard many kilometres away.

The huge fire that resulted led to the mounting of one of the area's most significant industrial emergency situations. Teams from the NSW Fire Brigade worked all day and throughout the night to try to extinguish the flames, which were being fuelled by four million litres of ethanol.

Soon after the explosion was heard, emergency plans were put in place. All levels of BlueScope Steel's emergency plans from individual departments to the Emergency Management Team were tested.

Even though the incident did not occur on the steelworks site there was still the potential to impact on both employees and the business, which necessitated all emergency plans being executed.

Some personnel were despatched to the scene to liaise with police and emergency teams, to offer technical advice and support regarding the need for an exclusion zone, the precautionary evacuation of Coke Ovens personnel, and environmental considerations.

BlueScope Steel provided foam and water from the mains as well as Serco fire fighters who were actively involved in fighting the fire and providing technical advice.

The fire was finally extinguished at 6.30am the following day.

Port Kembla's Emergency Management Team carried out a desktop exercise at the end of 2003 with a scenario of a fire in a cokemaking tank, which is in the vicinity of the Manildra tank.

The exercise was designed to ensure that all aspects of the emergency plan were sound and the emergency teams given an opportunity to experience a worst-case scenario. This practice was of benefit during the real emergency.

For BlueScope Steel good outcomes were achieved as there were no employees injured and the real-life emergency was a great learning opportunity as well as a positive reinforcement of our emergency plans.

The hard work in planning for this sort of emergency paid off and the efforts of all the department emergency coordinators and other emergency responders for their contribution to BlueScope Steel's overall response was to be praised.

Avoid Falling Objects Complements Take 2

The Take 2 initiative was introduced at the Port Kembla Steelworks seven years ago and since that time the Company has dramatically reduced work injuries, with the Take 2 philosophy a major contributor to that improvement.

The Take 2 Tortoise is there to constantly remind employees of the need to STOP, THINK and PLAN before undertaking any tasks.

In the past seven years, BlueScope Steel's LTIFR for employees and contractors has fallen from 4.8 to 1.3. This rate is up with world's best practice, but future improvement towards the goal of zero harm needs effort to keep the safety issue at the top of people's minds.

To complement the Take 2 message, sections of the Company have developed specific initiatives to protect against safety hazards particular to workplaces. One such scheme is the Falling Objects Awareness Initiative developed for the No. 5 Blast Furnace maintenance shutdown. The initiative was a huge success with zero incidents from falling objects being recorded.

Prior to the shutdown a number of near miss incidents had occurred involving falling objects while working above or below. This demonstrated the need to raise awareness of the risks involved, particularly when working on intensive shutdowns and in areas such as the blast furnaces.

The Falling Objects awareness program was developed between Transfield Services, the BlueScope Steel Ironmaking team and contracting partners.

The program highlighted the risk of falling objects and the need for Take 2 and other basic tools and processes to assist in eliminating any falling objects. A major focus was the education and communication of everyone working on the shutdown during start-up meetings.

A package of posters, stickers, coach and audit sheets and signs was used with the objective to make people aware of objects that could fall and to provide examples of previous incidents.

A real example of objects that had fallen was given in the form of a display board holding an angle grinder, steel plate, nuts, and bolts.

The most encouraging aspect along with the result was the way the program was embraced by everyone concerned. People appeared to enjoy storing objects which had a possibility of falling and leaving their work site clean and tidy. As a result of the success of the program it is intended to use the program for all Blast Furnace Stops.

Safety Olympics - to become the best in Safety.

Safety Olympics - to become the best in Safety.

Manildra Fire.

Manildra Fire.