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Our Steadfast Commitment to Safety in Steelmaking

November 20, 2023

People are our greatest strength—we say that often because it’s true. Without our employees and their talent, passion, dedication and skills, there would be no Charter Steel. We believe that the well-being of our people is paramount to our culture, and that’s why safety is ingrained into everything we do.  

When it comes to safety in steelmaking, we’re raising the bar in inventive ways to control the most significant exposures to our employees while also empowering them.  

Working Toward Injury-Free   

Our goal is to send everyone home at the end of the day in the same condition in which they arrived at work that morning. To accomplish this, Charter Steel is focused on achieving an injury-free workplace and has invested heavily in building behaviors and capabilities to recognize and control exposures.  

We continue to invest in technologies like safer machines, air quality improvements, automation, robotics and engineering controls to prevent illness and injuries, specifically the most serious injuries and fatality (SIF). PPE is a must, with employees required to wear equipment like aluminized coats and jackets, safety glasses, face shields, ear plugs and gloves.  

Controlling exposure is an active aspect of every moment of each day.   

Safety Spotlight

Safety isn’t just something that we preach here at Charter, it is something that we practice daily. An example of this comes from our Cleveland warehouse and shipping crew earlier in the year.  

On a rainy night at the plant in Cleveland, the warehouse and shipping supervisor noticed there was a high-traffic area for forklifts that was rapidly becoming slick due to the wet conditions. Realizing the gravity of the situation, he didn't hesitate to act. The supervisor swiftly directed the workers to review and discuss the situation. Open dialogue was encouraged, inviting employees to share their suggestions and feedback regarding how to safely continue work.       

As a result, efforts were made by the team to sweep away the standing water. The supervisor continued his commitment to safety by making routine checks on the area, and employees operated in a more cautious manner with an awareness of the conditions.  

While the entire team played a vital role in ensuring safety, it was the crew supervisor's dedication to the "STOP work" philosophy that helped make a difference. His quick thinking, leadership and commitment to the well-being of his team ensured that a potential disaster was averted, and everyone returned home safely. 

Charter Leading With Safety Program

Because we wanted to empower our employees to evolve safety practices and help create workspaces in which they feel supported, heard and protected, we have implemented the Charter Leading with Safety Program. 

This initiative establishes the key building blocks for understanding the concepts of exposure, behavior and culture and, specifically, how leadership behavior shapes the culture and influences the level of exposure experienced. Once the concepts are understood, this is followed by workshops on how to provide feedback to redirect or reinforce behaviors to effectively control exposures. Our leaders then go out on the shop floor to observe behavior and coach employees on how to improve their ability to recognize and control exposures.  

And in addition to reducing the number of injuries, this system leads to improved team collaboration and strengthened relationships. 

First Responder Program

Though we do our best to prevent them, injuries happen, and when they do, a team of Charter volunteers responds immediately. Our first responders are emergency response team (ERT) certified and trained to support and rescue team members. Any Charter employee can join the first responder team, and all new members receive extensive training in lifesaving skills and high-level rescue techniques at no fee or charge.

Care Management Program

There are many aspects to injury prevention and response, which led the Charter team to develop a Care Management Program. This team focuses on compassionate injury response practices to ensure employees receive the physical and emotional support they need in difficult moments. All Operations Leaders are trained through our Care Management Program and work to perfect their objective cause analysis skills, so they are equipped to evaluate and respond to each occurrence with an open-minded, impartial perspective.  

Injury Reporting 

Our people and their safety are much more than numbers on a screen, of course, but we look closely at data to ensure we stay on track toward achieving an injury-free workplace. Charter reports any injury or near-injury to analyze data, identify trends and measure the efficacy of response plans and policies. 

Safety By The Numbers

Stellar Safety Records and Industry-Leading Steel Go Hand in Hand 

We live to make steel, but people are the heart of our business. Kevin Burg, Director of Safety at Charter Steel, agrees. 

“We have made tremendous progress on our safety journey to reduce and eliminate our SIF (serious injuries and fatalities) exposures through engineering controls, training and the use of technology, which has reduced our days away from work a fourth compared to what it was just a few years ago. The programs we have implemented in SIF prevention and coaching employees have been a paradigm shift in how we approach safety to send employees home to their families without serious injury.” 

If you’re looking for a steelmaking partner that can provide full-service offerings and capabilities backed by superior safety practices, look to Charter Steel. Get in touch with us today to discover how we can create high-quality, dependable, cutting-edge steel products together.  

Looking for a new opportunity? Come be part of a team that truly cares about the holistic health and safety of its people. We’re hiring!