Safety First At Montanstahl

PUBLISHED 22 March 2017

During the last years, Montanstahl achieved significant results regarding safety at work. The amount of working accidents dropped by more than fifty percent in the last six years.

Safety first at Montanstahl

New guidelines introduced

In 2011 the management introduced a significant change as far as safety at work is concerned. The old guidelines where anchored within old internal rules. For example, responsibility was delegated to the various production managers. So the safety guidelines were supposed to be enhanced.
Because of this, Montanstahl decided to join the “Integrated Safety” project in collaboration with SUVA, the Swiss insurance against work accidents and diseases.
SUVA’s engineers then started to hold specific seminars about:

  • safety management,
  • “tree of causes” analysis for the systematic research for causes of accidents,
  • prompt response in terms of corrective actions to prevent a recurrence of the same “type” of injury,
  • legal aspects relating to the management of third parties in the company.

In addition, training courses for safe maintenance were held for all mechanical operators and electricians.

Significant investments for safety at the working place

The project “Safety at the Working Place” is an important investment, in both resources and internal training for management and production personnel.
The first step was the institution of an internal safety team. A safety manager was appointed. Both technical staff and management compose his team. This enables to handle the matter in a systematic, qualified and skilled way, also by the use of new tools and procedures.

360 degrees safety training

The safety team identified various areas that needed improved training. Because of this, they held individual and grouped working sessions for making the operators sensible to accident causes. The training courses were about:

  • forklift truck drivers,
  • drivers of mobile elevating work platforms,
  • operators of industrial cranes,
  • correct sling load handling,
  • operators handling oxygen and gas systems (oxygen lance),
  • working at dangerous height and the correct use of personal protective equipment against falling,
  • radiation protection,
  • handling of dangerous substances,
  • checking of the suitability of lifting accessories.

The team organized also a dedicated and specialized training for the R&D department with the title “Designing Safe Machines”.

New safety awareness

Besides the time for training, Montanstahl also invested in modernizing equipment and tools such as forklifts, trucks, elevating platforms, and personal protective equipment.
This allowed reaching the latest safety standards. The result is a new safeness culture throughout all levels in the company. The responsibility for health and safety at the working place has become a meaningful term. It is not anymore delegated, but is present in everybody’s consciousness and it is also part of the working process.

A great success

All personnel, from blue-collar workers to white-collar workers and the management, did attend the training courses with great interest and positive feedback.
The general accident awareness has increased significantly. The drop of accidents and injuries in the various production departments hot rolling, cold rolling and cold drawin as well as laser welding, was rapid and is still ongoing.
This great ongoing success over these years makes Montanstahl a particular example worth to mention in the  case study by Swiss SUVA (only available in German language).

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