Effective Contractor Safety Solutions for Tata Steel
Construction industry jobs have traditionally been considered hazardous ones. Every day, Tata Steel manages more than 15,000 contractors at the company’s Jamshedpur site. With such a large contractor workforce, Tata Steel has had a significant and constant challenge maintaining the highest safety standards among its contractors. Despite their efforts Tata Steel has seen contractor injury rates continue to rise.
Safety was the sole responsibility of the safety department at Tata Steel. While there were safety procedures for the employees. There was no systematic approach to managing contractors. Other than this, resistance to change, high turnover demand, low literacy rate and a casual attitude added to the safety woes.
Tata Steel partnered with DuPont to provide effective contractor safety solutions for the safety of contractors while instilling a culture change and a safety mindset. DuPont offered its proven model to achieve world class performance through behavioral change and reduction in injuries. The employees and contractors worked alongside DuPont to create and implement an effective contractor safety solution in a joint effort that maximized each of their strengths.
DuPont applied six-step contractor safety management system that helped defined a clear roadmap for Tata Steel’s contractor safety improvement journey. DuPont identified key safety improvement issues and barriers in pursuit of greater safety performance. DuPont started the safety programme by influencing behavior and changing mindsets of the contractors and employees, followed by establishing systems and processes to make safety culture a way of life. Ongoing strengthening of policies, procedures, training and motivation helped changed the safety culture and measures were taken to ensure the effectiveness of the safety systems at every step.
In 2005, Tata Steel joined a diverse list of global industry leaders and multi-national companies that have come together to make a public commitment to improving workplace safety. Tata Steel received the World Steel Association Excellence Recognition in Safety and Health award in 2009. Tata Steel’s contract workforce programme provided comprehensive training of effective safety systems prior to the construction of a new blast furnace. The new plant was built and commissioned, recording 35 million injury free hours during construction.
For any vision to be realized, a robust process and action plan is required. We used the DuPont techniques to drive the plan. To change behavior and mindset, it requires consistency and passion, we also stressed on training employees and contractors equally; involving them in the process; hearing their feedback and giving them opportunity to improve.
Mr. R.P. Singh
Advisor to the Managing Director
Tata Steel Limited