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45 (140) 2020
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The Responsible Rebound

ArcelorMittal Poland response to COVID

By Anna Bochenek, chief specialist, ArcelorMittal Poland
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Health & safety has always been the highest priority at ArcelorMittal

The health, safety and well-being of our employees has been ArcelorMittal’s number one priority since its creation. Given the unprecedented global health crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, that priority has never been more important than today.

In the area of H&S we did a tremendous job and we are still working on it at ArcelorMittal Poland, to make our employees aware and comply with all the H&S rules. It definitely helped us in the fight against Covid as employees at our company treat H&S procedures very seriously. Below are a few examples of our regular activities in the area of H&S.

  • There are special programmes and training implemented in our company to increase the H&S awareness and make everyone vigilant to obeying procedures. In 2019 we delivered 366 periodic H&S training sessions for 7,575 people. Apart from this, ArcelorMittal Poland implemented a special programme entitled Take Care to shape responsible attitudes of employees and encourage them to be committed to safety and to react to all situations endangering lives or health. The first stage of the project, which focused on shaping responsible attitudes, was completed in 2016-2018 with 10,000 employees of ArcelorMittal and its subsidiaries successfully trained. The second part, which started in 2019, focused on  practical training of skills related to one of four safety standards introduced by ArcelorMittal.  

  • For 13 years the company has been celebrating Health and Safety Day. The theme of the 2019 edition was “We always choose the safest way” and it was to emphasise the importance of even the smallest decisions we take every day and their impact on our safety, and the safety of our relatives and colleagues.

  • At ArcelorMittal Poland there are Health Care Foundations in Dąbrowa Górnicza and Kraków which provide support for employees of ArcelorMittal Poland, in making a doctor’s appointment, providing rehabilitation treatment or obtaining financial help for treatment. In 2019 the Foundation in Dabrowa Górnicza continued the programme of refunding costs of purchasing medications, equipment and rehabilitation treatment, as well as specific medical examinations, allocating 400,000 zlotys for that purpose. The Health Care Foundation and the Steel Health Care and Social Support Foundation from Kraków are also involved in preventive health care initiatives addressed to employees, their families and citizens of both cities. Last year, the Health Care Foundation organised ten series of preventive check-ups and three diet workshops for children attending the company kindergarten which covered almost 2,000 people. It was an opportunity to undergo complex cardiac examinations, hormonal tests for women, cancer tests for men or screening for osteoporosis, to name just a few. These are only some examples illustrating a wide range of initiatives taken by both foundations.

  • Health Week is an initiative to encourage employees to take care of their health and well-being. During the whole week various initiatives are organised,  medical check-ups, workshops on healthy diet and various sport activities: tennis tournaments, competition for runners,  and even a Charity Walk’n’Run event in Kraków, Dąbrowa Górnicza and Zdzieszowice during which 1,176 participants covered 6,904 kilometres. Each kilometre is important as it translates onto money. Thanks to this initiative we were able to donate 34,520 zlotys for the treatment of children of our employees.

  • Each year our employees and members of their families are given the opportunity to get vaccinated against flu.

Prevention is better than cure

Given the unprecedented global health crisis, health and safety has never been more important than it is today. The challenge and responsibility we therefore have, to ensure the safety and well-being of our 11,000=strong workforce, is paramount. The values and priorities which the company has introduced and followed for many years are of great help in this unprecedented situation.

We are of course rigorously adhering to guidelines and recommendations from the government and the World Health Organisation. And we have implemented many measures at our sites to proactively address health concerns and limit the possibility of the virus spreading. These include ensuring we have sufficient supplies of sanitation products and essential personal protective equipment, strictly following social distancing procedures, conducting enhanced and regular cleaning operations and monitoring the health of our employees when they enter work premises. We have also temporarily closed offices, with people working from home.  This loss of social contact and the pandemic situation creates new challenges, and we are taking the time to listen to and understand the concerns of our employees and provide them with the support, advice and guidance they need as they adjust to the new and unusual working conditions. Our employees have the possibility to contact Fundacja Droga in case they need psychological help in this difficult period. We communicate with our employees in an open manner, informing them about the current situation, so that they are aware of actions taken and can feel safe.

To be supportive

It is our ambition to contribute to the well-being of our neighbours – communities in the regions in which we operate. In 2019 we implemented 71 social projects for residents and together with them. Over the past five years we spent 6m zloty on community initiatives. We support projects in the area of safety, health, environment, amateur sport, education.  We value dialogue and open communication with our stakeholders. Cooperating with local authorities, NGOs, schools and universities, healthcare units or cultural centres we have an opportunity to respond to the needs of our neighbours. We want to care about them in the same manner in which we care about our employees.  We live close to each other and a large part of local communities are the families of our employees. We should be supportive for each other and this is how we try to function. Every year we endeavour to support important medical centres in our region with provision of equipment, which allows them to take appropriate medical care of local residents. In 2019, thanks to our support, the Stefan Żeromski Specialist Hospital in Kraków bought a modern ultrasound scanner, which provides significant assistance in efficient diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. We have also helped the Endoscopic Laboratory of the Digestive Tract at the provincial hospital in Sosnowiec with the purchase of a modern device for cleaning and disinfecting endoscopes. We were aware of the needs of health care institutions when the Covid-19 outbreak occurred, we supported 12 hospitals in the locations in which we operate, providing them with PPE and disinfection equipment.

Industry 4.0 solutions helps in addressing the challenges related to pandemic

At ArcelorMittal Poland we understand that digitisation is the future of our industry and that it will allow us to fulfil customer expectations in a better way. This is how we streamline our processes, ensure high quality of our products and improve safety of our staff. We try to make smart use of the new technologies which let us take full advantage of our company’s potential. We have been adopting Industry 4.0 solutions for years, with an objective to bring digital innovation and transformation to our company. Mobile inspections, drones that let us, inspect inaccessible areas, or remote systems for measurements and data collection. Our pursuit to adopt Industry 4.0 solutions makes it possible to be more effective and efficient in addressing daily work challenges in such big plants as ours in the situation of the current epidemic.

The challenge we all face today is unprecedented.  Over the past few months, countries, companies and individuals around the world have grappled with the complexity of how best to manage Covid-19, a pandemic on a scale no one alive today has experienced. Often there have been more questions than answers, and more needs than resources. It is a tough lesson for the world and we need to come out of this crisis wiser and stronger as societies and companies.  

You can read more on ArcelorMittal Poland activities in the Sustainability Development report for 2019. This is our seventh report published conforming to the GRI standard and the tenth in the history of ArcelorMittal Poland. The link to the report:

https://poland.arcelormittal.com/fileadmin/Content/raporty/Sustainability_Report_2019.pdf

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