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Workplace safety

Striving towards an injury-free workplace

In all its activities, Gränges attempts to improve the working environment and the health and safety awareness and behaviour. Gränges strives towards a workplace that protects the health and fosters the wellbeing of employees and all persons directly or indirectly related to its operations. No individual should be at risk of injury in a Gränges workplace. Safety is integrated into Gränges’ programme for lean operations and a 5S system is implemented in all production facilities to ensure a clean, orderly and safe work environment and to drive safe behaviours, improve workplace efficiency and eliminate waste. In 2020, with the COVID-19 situation, all Gränges’ locations implemented strict measures to avoid interpersonal contact and to apply the appropriate hygiene rules. Also , whenever possible, remote work was applied to limit business travel and replace in-person meetings.

Hazard identification and risk assessment

Gränges’ operations entail specific safety hazards which are continually monitored to eliminate or reduce the risks of injuries. The “critical five” hazard categories have top priority: fall protection, molten metal, mobile equipment, confined spaces, and machine guarding – lockout and tagout, i.e. ensuring machinery is fully switched off and de-energized before maintenance work begins. Gränges also strives to minimize employee exposure to chemicals and performs chemical risk assessments to ensure employees use alternatives that are safe and environmentally sound.

The company’s safety strategy is to prevent workplace injuries through better understanding how work is performed in relation to hazards and the associated risks. Job safety analysis is carried out for repetitive and non-repetitive tasks involving experts and the people who do the job. This involves identifying hazards associated with work tasks, assessing the risk of injuries and developing action plans to manage and mitigate these risks. Actions are coordinated and prioritized by management and safety representatives. To prevent and correct actions, Gränges performs a rootcause analysis for all recordable accidents and injury-free and first-aid events with severe potential consequence.

Safety reporting and key activities

Gränges’ production facilities drive structured employee engagement programmes with measurable and relevant leading indicators, including a walk-observe-communicate programme where employees and senior management observe activities and discuss risk behaviour and improvements. All incidents and accidents are registered and classified by employees in local incident reporting systems. Safety performance is reviewed weekly and monthly, and site-specific safety targets are set as part of the business planning cycle.

Example of activities implemented in 2020 include improved segregation between pedestrians and mobile equipment (forklifts, overhead cranes, loaders etc.) at the Finspång site. The Americas operations implemented a new molten metal safety standard encompassing updated personal protective equipment and a new system of routine cast house audits. The operations in Shanghai introduced a new app which employees can use to register unsafe conditions or behaviours and learn about applicable regulations and rules.

Safety training and health services

Gränges works to improve health and safety awareness and skills. This includes providing regular health checks and training in machine safety, personal protective equipment, fire safety, first aid, and emergency response. All employees are covered by accident and sickness insurance. Comprehensive safety training is carried out for all employees at least once a year, and regular courses are provided for production personnel, management and new employees. Production employees receive specific safety training covering aspects such as hand and finger injury prevention. All new employees attend safety training before starting.

Sharing best practice

Gränges actively communicates safety-related information to spread awareness of incidents and prevent them from happening again. To share best practice and harmonize work processes, the company generally conducts internal safety assessments every six months at the sites, focusing on the “critical five” hazard categories, fire safety and environmental matters. Corrective actions are incorporated into the location’s improvement plans and reported to the regional safety committees. Due to the COVID-19 situation and travel restrictions, Gränges only conducted one such assessment in 2020. Gränges also collaborates and shares knowledge with other companies through industry associations to promote better safety. One such example is the European Aluminium task force for safety.

Note: All numbers exclude Gränges Konin and Gränges Powder Metallurgy.

Improved pedestrian safety at the Finspång site

One of the main safety hazards in Gränges’ production facility in Finspång is the potential interaction between pedestrians and mobile equipment (forklifts, overhead cranes, loaders etc.). Since many years, the site has made continuous efforts to improve ‘pedestrian separation’, and recently a strategic decision was taken to speed up the implementation of improvement activities. The project started with a risk assessment, conducted by the EHS staff, project department, managers and union safety representatives, and resulted in a master plan for ‘pedestrian separation’ both indoors and outdoors. Improvements implemented include the re-routing of walkways and eliminating points where pedestrians could interact with mobile equipment pathways. Where needed, walkways have also been protected with heavy rails and gates and a clear colour marking. Most of the workstations are now connected to a safe walkway.

Targets and target fulfilment

See detailed information about Gränges’ long-term sustainability targets and target fulfilment.

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