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The site’s target for 2015 was to achieve less than 6 injuries per million hours worked, compared to an injury frequency rate of 9.5 accidents per million hours worked in 2014. Lost time injury frequency fell in 2015 and was 1.9, clearly exceeding the target.
The reduction in incidents was driven by systematic safety training sessions for both foremen and front-line employees at the site. “Must intervene” training highlighted the importance of intervening in unsafe work and being responsible for coworkers and oneself. There was also a strong focus on the orientation of summer workers, none of whom were involved in any incidents in 2015.
Safety information is displayed on info boards, the intranet and noticeboards. Safety rounds and safety “moments” are additional tools foremen use daily to improve the safety culture. These tools are intended to engage as many people as possible in safety improvement at work.
SSAB Europe’s facilities provide safety alerts, made in conjunction with incidents and near-miss situations, to other facilities to enhance best practices.
At SSAB, we produce steel from iron-ore in the Nordics and from scrap in the US. In SSAB as a whole, an average of 45% scrap was used in steel production in 2014. SSAB uses approximately 20% of scrap in conjunction with steel production in the Nordics, and 100% in the US. The processes have entirely different environmental prerequisites.
SSAB’s steel production in the Nordics is blast furnace-based. Hot metal is produced by the reduction of iron ore, through coke and coal being added to the blast furnaces. This process gives rise to carbon dioxide.
With current technology, it is not possible to produce steel without carbon dioxide being formed. The process has been continuously developed and improved to become extremely efficient, with process gases and waste energy being utilized for the production of electricity and district heat.
International comparisons show that SSAB’s blast furnaces are at the forefront as regards low carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of hot metal. There are several reasons for this: the use of high-grade raw materials in the form of iron-ore pellets, high-quality coke, and efficient processes in which the blast furnaces produce without disruption.
A large number of usable residuals, such as heating, gas, slag and dust, are recovered to minimize waste.
Steel is one of the most recycled materials in the world. SSAB’s plants in the US produce steel based exclusively on scrap. A certain amount of coal and natural gas is used in the production process, but in the main electricity is used for smelting the scrap.
All in all, carbon dioxide emissions are less than one-tenth of the emissions generated in conjunction with iron ore-based steel production.
SSAB’s production processes are energy-intensive. Systematic energy efficiency management and energy recovery at all sites, as well as production of electricity from process gases at certain steel mills, ensure efficient use of energy and lower emissions. Process gases like blast furnace gas, coke oven gas and converter gas are generated in the iron- and steelmaking processes. Steam and hot water are also produced. These energy flows are recovered to generate electricity and heat, thereby saving additional fossil fuel resources. The energy-rich gases which cannot be used in steel production are used in local power plants to supply SSAB with approximately 45 (43) % of the electricity needs of steel production in Sweden and Finland. Heat is generated in converters, where iron is made into steel. Since the 1980s, recovered heat has been used to produce district heating in Luleå, Raahe and Oxelösund. The recovered heat meets about 90% of local district heating needs.
SSAB and Rautaruukki merged in 2014. Since then, the organization has changed shape and been simplified so that SSAB is better equipped to meet market demand. At the end of 2016, the headcount had decreased by over 2,500 compared to the time of the merger.
A high-performing organization provides a structure that helps to align actions, behavior and skills with strategic direction and the competences needed by the business.
There are four main priorities toward achieving a high-performing organization:
SSAB One – our shared management philosophy
SSAB One is our common management philosophy. It encompasses SSAB’s vision, values and principles, which together give a direction and framework for the company. Use of the word ‘’management,’’ does not mean the philosophy is exclusive to managers, but that it is relevant to each and every SSAB employee. Only when all of our employees have a good understanding of our management philosophy can we successfully involve everyone in SSAB’s development efforts. SSAB One provides us with a common framework and language between the different parts of our company.
SSAB One serves as a common denominator for our improvement structure at SSAB. We will succeed by ensuring we have an understanding of SSAB One and the company’s vision as our common purpose, living the values as standards for our convictions and behavior, and using our principles as the rationale to achieve our fundamental goals.
SSAB One has two objectives:
Engaging SSAB employees for performance toward goals
Aligning individual performance with SSAB’s strategic direction is a central element in being a high-performing organization. Clarity concerning objectives and performance expectations, as well as feedback, are key enablers to effectively manage our change journey and to achieve results. In annual performance dialogs, all employees and managers follow up on results, provide mutual feedback, discuss the workplace atmosphere and plan future performance and individual development. SSAB continuously reviews and aligns reward structures to ensure performance management processes are effectively supported. Our employee and manager criteria are important elements to exemplify good performance. Matching potential candidates with development opportunities at different levels in the organization is important for developing a high-performing organization.
SSAB conducts employee engagement surveys to give employees an opportunity to voice their views on topics related to their working situation. The surveys help analyze the drivers of employee engagement and capture improvement opportunities which contribute to leadership, high performance and engagement. The survey results are utilized at all organizational levels, starting with the Group Executive Committee. During 2016, we utilized the survey results to improve the annual performance process. Many production teams have improved how they discuss and manage intra-team conflict based on their own results and continually challenge the way we work. Each manager is responsible for improvement planning, executing and following up with his or her team based on the results of the survey. The results are published in the GRI report.
Our success depends heavily on the competence and engagement of our employees. SSAB operates globally, and has approximately 15,000 employees from diverse demographic backgrounds in more than 50 countries. Leveraging this diversity is a prerequisite to providing a superior customer experience. However, working with diversity in terms of having a diverse workforce will not automatically improve our employee engagement or financial performance. SSAB strives for an inclusive leadership and corporate culture, meaning that employees feel a sense of belonging and have equal opportunities to contribute and succeed.
The steel industry is traditionally male-dominated, and with 19% of our employees being women, SSAB is no exception. We believe that improving gender balance will positively contribute to our performance culture and be more responsive to customer needs. In order to increase the number of women in top management, SSAB launched a diversity target in 2015, aiming to have women in 30% of the top management positions in the company by the end of 2019.
SSAB has a long-term goal of increasing the presence of female employees across the company. Women in top management positions serve as important role models for others, which drives further development. To further accelerate this process, in 2016, we initiated a high-level in-house mentoring program, which proved successful and will be re-launched during 2017. The process is a mutual learning experience for both mentors and mentees, through challenging each other, exchanging experiences, broadening perspectives and building networks across the organization.
SSAB has a number of initiatives and tools to raise awareness and promote diversity and inclusion in the company: