Main content

1. Safe, healthy, quality working lives for our people

We are committed to promoting and protecting the safety and well-being of our people, yet we still face challenges in creating a zero accident workplace. We need to ensure our workplaces are safe. We also want to create a great place to work by supporting the general health of our employees. We additionally believe in the importance of strong labor relations in order to create a positive working environment. 

Why is this important to us?

The safety and health of our employees is one of the most important issues impacting ArcelorMittal. We strive to implement best in class labor and safety standards in all facilities for all employees and anyone working at or visiting our facilities. For this reason, safety, health and labor relations are key issues in sustainable development. Employers wanting to attract, develop and retain the brightest talent must ensure they address these issues and create a positive working culture.  

The commercial imperative:

What kind of challenges do we face?

ArcelorMittal is dedicated to ensuring the safest environment for our more than 18,000 employees across the U.S. When accidents happen, there are enormous consequences for the person involved, his or her family and colleagues. We also have a responsibility to support the general health and well-being of our employees, especially given the reality of an aging workforce.  

What do we need to do?

Safety has been and will continue to be our number one priority. To produce steel and extract minerals without either fatalities or injuries, everyone must take responsibility for ensuring a safe environment, not just for themselves but also for their colleagues, including contractors. We strive to provide all of our employees with the training, protective equipment, and tools necessary to complete their jobs in the safest way possible. To ensure our employees are safe at work, ArcelorMittal has a company-wide commitment to achieve zero accidents and fatalities in the workplace. We have also made employee health a priority through the implementation of several preventive health initiatives. In addition, we are committed to engaging in regular and transparent labor relations.   

What is the potential to create value?

It is in everyone’s interest to aim for a workplace entirely free of any safety incident. We want to go one step further and actively promote well-being and positive relationships with our employees, because we know this makes our people happier and more productive in their work.

2016 Highlights

ArcelorMittal’s U.S. lost time injury rate for 2016 (1.24) improved 7 percent over 2015 and is our best on record. 

13 ArcelorMittal USA facilities, as well as our Research and Development center, maintained their Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001 certification.

In 2016, over 7,000 represented and salaried employees received wellness/preventative exams or biometric screenings.

Case studies: Health and safety

Using technology to enhance safety

Close the case study

Ensuring the safety of our employees is our top priority. Therefore, we are consistently on a quest to discover new tools and programs to improve our safety performance.

Sometimes the best solutions to safety issues can come from unlikely sources. For Chuck Boguski, a process manager in mechanical maintenance, a safety device on a bicycle inspired him to develop a safety improvement at ArcelorMittal Cleveland’s No. 2 steel producing facility.

“Red zones” are special areas in the facility that have unique hazards, such as areas where molten metal is handled. An employee may have to wear specific PPE in a red zone or follow certain safety protocols. So making sure employees can clearly see the boundaries of a red zone is absolutely critical.
Boguski explained that red zones in the facility have traditionally been marked by a yellow line painted on the floor. The problem is that painted lines don’t last long in the harsh environment of a steel mill. As the paint fades or gets covered by dirt, the red zone becomes less clear.

“I always thought that we could project a line with a light on the ground instead of painting it,” Boguski said. He noticed a small LED light on his bicycle that would project two red lines on either side of the bike, creating a virtual bike lane with light. “So I knew we should be able to do it, and I did some more research and found this company that did sell lights like that in a bigger version.”

In fact, the lights Boguski found worked just like the bicycle lights did but were designed for forklifts. They throw out lines in red light on either side of a forklift. He combined this with a bigger, bright spotlight from above, and the red zone is clearly visible. 

“It definitely catches your eye… and you know if you shouldn’t be on the other side of the red line. With a dirty yellow line on the floor before, you really wouldn’t notice it as much.”

Plus, powered by long-lasting LED technology, the lights require far less maintenance than the ongoing re-painting of red zone lines.

The use of drones at a number of our plants is another example of adopting technology to minimize safety hazards.  AM/NS Calvert has begun using a drone, also knows as a sUAS (small unmanned aircraft system) for aerial video and photography in order to minimize costs, lead time and most importantly, safety-related risks, during scheduled and unscheduled inspections of plant infrastructure. 
A drone was used to capture video and pictures of repairs needed on the spray roaster, saving approximately $2,115 and one day of work. The job was performed from a safe distance with two people approximately 300 feet from the structure. By using this method, the normal operation of the spray roaster was unaffected and all employees were out of harm’s way. 

Tony Faith, team manager, safety, at AM/NS Calvert, explains that, “In addition to efficiency, use of the drone technology is proving to be a great tool in reducing risk exposure. Recently when surveying a spray roaster roof for an upcoming project, a drone was used, eliminating the need for employees to climb and actually access the roof, thus completely eliminating the potential fall hazard in this phase of the project. In addition, the drones have been used to access other areas where elevated risk exists such as coil fields, slab yards and stack inspections. In the future, I see even more opportunities to utilize this technology to reduce our employees’ exposure to potential risk.” 

In addition to AM/NS Calvert, our Indiana Harbor, Coatesville and Burns Harbor facilities all have drones that are used for similar projects.  Not only do inspections via drones save time and money, but they also eliminate safety risks for our employees.

VIDEO: Seeing red for safety

Real life superheroes

Close the case study

ArcelorMittal’s sustainable development outcome one emphasizes safe, healthy, quality working lives for our people. To that end, we offer numerous health and wellness programs in the United States. With an aging workforce and rising healthcare costs, it is critical to equip our employees with information and tools required to lead a healthy lifestyle. In 2016, our health and safety programs proved effective in many ways.  not only for our workforce, but for their families and local communities.  

Bob Stoner, a process manager in the shipping department at ArcelorMittal Coatesville in Pennsylvania, was driving near our facility one day when he saw traffic backed up at an intersection. He heard screaming and ran to the scene to find a man who had collapsed.  He immediately went to the man and checked his pulse. The man had no pulse and his eyes were rolled back in his head. Stoner decided to take action right away. He performed CPR for almost ten minutes until EMTs and ambulances arrived to the scene. 

Stoner received CPR training at ArcelorMittal during Health and Safety Day. He explains, “When I took this training years ago, I never ever thought that I would be somebody that would be required to use it.”  Because of that wellness training, Bob saved a life. 

At ArcelorMittal, it is key that our employees and contractors are safe on the job. This includes everyone being aware of their surroundings and looking out for one another. This notion of shared vigilance is equally as vital when our people are away from work. Brian Sadowski is another example of shared vigilance in action.

Sadowski, an ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor iron producing MTE (maintenance technician electrical) was enjoying a walk on the beach with his wife at the Michigan City, Indiana, Lighthouse Pier this summer. His wife noticed a young boy, about 10 years old, struggling in the water. As they got closer, they noticed another boy. Without hesitation, Brian sprang into action and dove into the turbulent waters, swimming over 30 feet to rescue the boys. Fighting exhaustion, Brian noticed a different couple in the water fighting the undertows after trying to rescue the two boys. Brian managed to save these adults as well, serving as a human life preserver. Strong swimming and practicing shared vigilance saved the lives of four strangers. 

We asked Brian how our company could prevent and protect individuals from downing in our lakefront. Sadowski mentioned the need for life-saving equipment on the lakefront, and we agreed to assist. “At ArcelorMittal, safety is paramount in everything we do, including shared vigilance which is watching out for the safety of others,” said John Mengel, vice president and general manager, ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor. “When learning of Brian’s involvement in saving the lives of those four people, I wasn’t surprised that he quickly took action. He is a great example of a caring individual who risked his own life, by heroically stepping in to save those in need. 

Following Brian’s input, our company met with the Michigan City Lakefront safety committee and asked the group to develop a list of what was needed to quickly get this equipment purchased and installed. Within a month, the committee made its recommendations. ArcelorMittal agreed to purchase and pay the installation costs for 25 Coast Guard-approved ring buoys and cabinets, each with 100 feet of rope and a theft stopper. The equipment would be installed at three sites: Washington Park, Millennium Park and Department of Natural Resources lakefront property locations.

In the grant proposal, the safety committee stated: “ArcelorMittal and the Lakefront Safety Committee pride themselves on the focus on safety. Since 2014, 25 people have been victims of water accidents off and around these areas and six drowned. In several cases, bystanders had no equipment to attempt a rescue.”

With the purchase of this life-saving equipment, ArcelorMittal hopes to set an example of shared vigilance in Northwest Indiana. 

VIDEO: A hero at Burns Harbor


VIDEO:A real lifesaver at Coatesville