A new report launched by ArcelorMittal, European Metalworkers' Federation, United Steelworkers, and the International Metalworkers' Federation reviews how unions and management have been working together globally to deliver better safety results for ArcelorMittal. The report called "Together for Safety, Global Agreement, Local Impact", chronicles the work undertaken since signing the Steel industries first ever global agreement on Health and Safety.
GLOBAL: Since signing the agreement in June 2008, the joint union and management approach has had a positive impact on the number of accidents in the workplace, especially fatalities, and helped reduce the risk faced by workers. Since 2008 the total number of fatal accidents has been reduced by one third. The report also identifies that even one fatality is too high and that fatalities within the company continue to remain unacceptably high despite progress.
Mr. Jyrki Raina, General Secretary International Metalworkers' Federation, commented at the launch "This report demonstrates our commitment to improve health and safety in ArcelorMittal. The Joint Global Health and Safety Committee have carried out a lot of good work, but achieving Zero fatalities remains our highest priority."
Prior to signing the agreement the company had its worst year for fatalities and unions and management identified safety as their number one priority. The spirit of the agreement is a shared recognition that the most effective tool in ensuring good workplace health and safety is good cooperation among workers, trade unions and management. The global agreement sets out standards that every site must adopt including the creation of a joint health and safety committee.
Mr. Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ArcelorMittal stated "The Joint Global Health and Safety Committee set a new benchmark in steel, and its leadership has improved cooperation with unions and helped us to make progress on our Journey to Zero in Health and Safety. I count on all our joint committees to further boost progress in health and safety to reach the challenging objectives the company has set itself, since health and safety remains top priority. Innovation and not being afraid to make bold decisions are at the heart of our success".
Mr. Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers, added "When we first signed this agreement the question was could this approach save lives, the answer is yes. But we haven't saved every life and put simply that is our goal"
Mr. Tony Murphy from the European Metalworkers' Federation stated "We always maintained that working with unions can benefit safety performance, the more involvement the unions have the better the results will get".