“Safety has always been one of our priorities, but we found it challenging to reduce the number of reportable accidents. We therefore chose to intensify our focus on safety even further and that has truly had the desired effect”, says Hans Jørgensen, Head of Operations Steel Service Center at Ib Andresen Industri.
The positive effect of the increased focus on safety furthermore results in the company aiming higher in relation to the number of reportable accidents:
“Our original strategic goal was max. two reportable accidents per 100,000 working hours. With the positive improvement, we venture to lower the goal to max. one and a half, and that is a goal that we wish to lower even further during the next couple of years”.
Already from 2022-2023, the goal is max. one reportable accident per 100,000 working hours.
Risk assessment is the common denominator
In order to lower the number of reportable accidents, Ib Andresen Industri has launched several initiatives. The common denominator is risk assessment.
“The most important – and something that recur in almost all our communication [regarding safety] – is the risk assessment. That is, to risk assess the work task before beginning the work”, says Karsten Andersen, HSE Coordinator:
“We bring attention to this all the time face to face, on posters, in internal videos, etc. and it has without a doubt had a positive impact on our approach on safety”.
Risk assessment is “to find the safety-related pitfalls of the work task and to size up in which regards we must be careful in order to avoid, e.g., trapping or cutting ourselves”, Karsten Andersen elaborates.
“This may sound trivial, but we must not forget that we during a busy workday experience many inputs that briefly may disrupt our focus. It is important that we as good colleagues remind each other of not being too busy to think about safety. We have become good at that – and everybody deserves credit for that”.
Introduction of helmet requirement
One of the initiatives that have been launched is introduction of a helmet requirement. “Earlier, we only wore helmets when operating cranes or when being in a crane area. Now we must wear helmets in all production areas as wells as in the loading areas, which more or less covers our entire outside area”, Karsten Andersen explains.
This initiative has overall eliminated all head injuries. “Serious head injuries have always been a rare thing, but one head injury is one too many. It is important to us that all employees come home to their families in the same condition as they arrived at work in”.
Registration of near-accidents
In addition to the great focus on risk assessment, a great effort is given in relation to registration of near-accidents. “The best we can be is to be at the forefront, and to be this, we registrate near-accidents, which are situations that potentially can cause an accident”, Karsten Andersen explains.
“So when we come across a such situation, we register it and we handle it as far as possible – either by solving the challenge right away or by making it clear that we must be aware of this situation. When choosing the last-mentioned scenario, we of course send one or more colleagues out to solve the challenge as soon as possible”.
*A reportable accident is an accident that results in minimum one day of sickness absence in continuation of the day of the actual accident.
Image / Karsten Andersen (left) and Hans Jørgensen (right).