Page 1

ISSUE 1 • SPRING 2017

Aiming to further cut accident risk Statistics on the number of days lost each year due to accidents at work show a steady decrease over the years – and last year was just 149. Meanwhile, the number of accidents reported has increased as employees have been urged by the Quality, Environment, Safety and Health (QESH) team to report all incidents, regardless of how trivial or minor they may seem. This enables the safety team to review the root causes of all accidents and identify measures to either stop them from happening again or minimise the risk. QESH Manager Pat Griffin said: “Our next target is to review near miss accidents to further develop preventative measures and make sure we minimise opportunities for injuries or damage to happen. “In relation to lost time working, the trend clearly shows a decrease in days lost to accidents. This is direct evidence that injuries sustained at Steelite are getting more minor each year.” The QESH team now has near miss reporting in its sights to further boost safety at the company’s sites. All team leaders and managers have been given special near miss books to report potential accidents and hazards in their work areas. So far, distribution has the highest number of near misses recorded – but not because that area is more dangerous or needs to do more work. Pat explained: “It shows that there is an active ‘buy in’ to the scheme and that employees are regularly reporting any near misses or hazards.” Examples include potential slips and trips, ware not stacked safely and liquid spills. The book also records what actions were taken. Employees all over the company are also being urged to keep their eyes peeled for any issues which would benefit from inspection by internal auditors. Under the Kamishibai audit system the QESH team make regular inspections and record any issues on a KAMI board. Managers and team leaders find a solution and wait for the next audit, when the safety team will remove the issue from the board. The system works on continuous improvement and in the last three years hundreds of issues have been addressed. Pat added: “Anyone who spots an issue in a department that we should be aware of should point it out.”

Distribution Manager Mike Farr with the Department of the Month safety award for February which was won by the distribution team. It’s a fun inflatable banana – for a very serious achievement.

SAFETY

INJURIES at Steelite International are becoming more minor year on year as the company’s safety culture becomes stronger and stronger.

S T E E L I T E

INSIDE: Comprehensive free screening available during working hours


Free health screening during working hours

Health and Safety Officer Bruce Lavery pictured on fire exit steps which now have a non-slip coating and bright yellow edges.

Raise the alarm in the event of fire COLLEAGUES who discover a fire on the site should raise the alarm by pressing the nearest fire call point and then leave immediately. Call points are on all exit routes – it helps if employees make sure they know where the fire assembly point is too. All this helps with the evacuation of 800 people from a complicated site. The company plan is that this should happen in six minutes and be completed before the fire brigade arrive. Procedures are in place to check everyone is accounted for, and find anyone who is not present. Staff are also on hand to take the fire brigade to the site of the reported fire.

X REMEMBER: Anyone who sees a fire should raise the alarm, and everyone should know where their fire assembly point is.

Lifesaving training to be rolled out LIFESAVING defibrillator training is being rolled out to all first aid trained staff at Steelite International. Currently 13 of the company’s 45 trained first aiders are qualified to use the machines, which can start the heart beating correctly after a cardiac arrest by delivering an electric shock. Staffordshire Ambulance Service, who train Steelite’s first aiders, will include defibrillator training in the usual package, so over the next few years all the company’s first aiders will receive it. Defibrillators are based in the first aid room on the main site and by the coffee machine in the distribution centre.

X REMEMBER: Colleagues should know where their closest trained first aider works.

Call ambulance in an emergency ANYONE who suspects a colleague needs help and may be having a heart attack should shout for help and immediately call an ambulance. Symptoms might include chest pains, collapse and struggling for breath. No-one will ever get into trouble for phoning an ambulance, even if paramedics attend and the symptoms have eased. The company advises any employees who are having difficulties with their health to think about whether work is the best place to be. The company will support colleagues where it can, so anyone unfit to attend work should deal with their health issues first.

X REMEMBER: Raise the alarm if someone appears to be having a heart attack.

SAFETY

ISSUE 1

SPRING 2017

Glaze Preparation Operative Salava Gunski at work on one of the new gantries in the glaze room.

Investing in measures to make workplace safer Yield Improvement Co-ordinator Magdealena Nowicka in the revamped laboratory which has a number of safety improvements including work surfaces that drain away excess acid.

IMPROVEMENTS have been made around the main factory site to reduce potential hazards and risk to employees, visitors and contractors.They include: ■ Gantries in the main Renovex Ark Room and No5 Ark Room which have eliminated the use of steps and ladders. Gantries have also been put in place to allow easy, safe access to both sides of all three Dish Cells Intermittent Kilns and Glazing Department. ■ Steps and the rear fire exit from the top canteen were suffering from fatigue so a new layout was agreed and installed, complete with a special non-slip plastic coating and bright yellow edges. ■ A safe route of entry was planned for the installation of a fifth spray machine for the Glazing Department. The machine was lifted in by telehandler in large sections through the roller shutter door on the second floor. There was no disruption to the plant as the work was carried out on a Saturday morning. ■ The external contractor, WS Engineering, was presented with a British Ceramic Confederation contractor award after a nomination from the QESH team. ■ A revamp of the laboratory – used to acid test the face of ware – has seen a new acid-resistant, non-slip floor coating installed which is a vast improvement over the old painted concrete finish. A new extraction unit and dispensing area booth have been installed and the old shelves that held plates filled with acid have been replaced by a slosh shelf system which allows the liquid to be tipped off the plate directly on to the shelves, where it is collected in a single sump which can be safely emptied of the waste. ■ A refurbished ginetting machine has been delivered back to the Glost Warehouse, not only looking as good as new, but also with a number of safety-inspired modifications. A stronger case will reduce noise, while panels have all been interlocked so the machine will not run if a panel or guard is missing. All adjusters have been replaced and updated.

FREE health screening services have been launched to help all Steelite employees lead healthier lives. Occupational health specialists Hobson Health visit the site regularly to provide tests and procedures. If any health issues are discovered a report will outline what should be done to address them, including support from the company. Services included in the package, which is delivered during working hours, include: ■ 15-minute hearing tests which are carried out when an employee joins the company and repeated every five years. ■ Annual assessment to make sure anyone working regular night shifts is fit and healthy to do so. ■ Assessment of fork lift truck drivers by a nurse. ■ Skin tests to make sure some substances in the factory, including clay itself, are not having an adverse effect. ■ Chest x-rays start this year for all employees who have had a lung function test. ■ Lung function tests to check for

the effects of silica dust – used to diagnose chronic industrial asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. QESH Manager Pat Griffin said: “These checks are carried out solely to monitor colleagues’ health, and to ensure their wellbeing, not as a tool to manage employees into or out of roles within the business. They make sure any health issues are identified and addressed quickly.” Commercial Accountant Davin Bates said: “Why not take up a free health check? It gives a sense of peace of mind to know everything is fine. It also allows any small concerns which may arise to be further investigated quickly.” The trade union representing employees has been involved in agreeing the programme to look after everyone’s health. GMB rep Steve Charlesworth said the union supported the screening programme as employee health has always been an issue in the ceramics industry. He said: “I think it’s a good idea and totally agree with it.”

Cut-price gym membership DISCOUNTED gym membership has been negotiated by the company to help employees get fit and stay fit. As part of its commitment to promoting healthy living,

Customer Service Advisor Sarah Brookfield works out at the Exercise4Less gym.

Steelite International has struck a deal with Newcastle-under-Lyme based Exercise4Less, who will offer the company’s employees monthly membership of a gym for less than a tenner. ■ To find out more about gym memberships available please contact the HR team.


Free health screening during working hours

Health and Safety Officer Bruce Lavery pictured on fire exit steps which now have a non-slip coating and bright yellow edges.

Raise the alarm in the event of fire COLLEAGUES who discover a fire on the site should raise the alarm by pressing the nearest fire call point and then leave immediately. Call points are on all exit routes – it helps if employees make sure they know where the fire assembly point is too. All this helps with the evacuation of 800 people from a complicated site. The company plan is that this should happen in six minutes and be completed before the fire brigade arrive. Procedures are in place to check everyone is accounted for, and find anyone who is not present. Staff are also on hand to take the fire brigade to the site of the reported fire.

X REMEMBER: Anyone who sees a fire should raise the alarm, and everyone should know where their fire assembly point is.

Lifesaving training to be rolled out LIFESAVING defibrillator training is being rolled out to all first aid trained staff at Steelite International. Currently 13 of the company’s 45 trained first aiders are qualified to use the machines, which can start the heart beating correctly after a cardiac arrest by delivering an electric shock. Staffordshire Ambulance Service, who train Steelite’s first aiders, will include defibrillator training in the usual package, so over the next few years all the company’s first aiders will receive it. Defibrillators are based in the first aid room on the main site and by the coffee machine in the distribution centre.

X REMEMBER: Colleagues should know where their closest trained first aider works.

Call ambulance in an emergency ANYONE who suspects a colleague needs help and may be having a heart attack should shout for help and immediately call an ambulance. Symptoms might include chest pains, collapse and struggling for breath. No-one will ever get into trouble for phoning an ambulance, even if paramedics attend and the symptoms have eased. The company advises any employees who are having difficulties with their health to think about whether work is the best place to be. The company will support colleagues where it can, so anyone unfit to attend work should deal with their health issues first.

X REMEMBER: Raise the alarm if someone appears to be having a heart attack.

SAFETY

ISSUE 1

SPRING 2017

Glaze Preparation Operative Salava Gunski at work on one of the new gantries in the glaze room.

Investing in measures to make workplace safer Yield Improvement Co-ordinator Magdealena Nowicka in the revamped laboratory which has a number of safety improvements including work surfaces that drain away excess acid.

IMPROVEMENTS have been made around the main factory site to reduce potential hazards and risk to employees, visitors and contractors.They include: ■ Gantries in the main Renovex Ark Room and No5 Ark Room which have eliminated the use of steps and ladders. Gantries have also been put in place to allow easy, safe access to both sides of all three Dish Cells Intermittent Kilns and Glazing Department. ■ Steps and the rear fire exit from the top canteen were suffering from fatigue so a new layout was agreed and installed, complete with a special non-slip plastic coating and bright yellow edges. ■ A safe route of entry was planned for the installation of a fifth spray machine for the Glazing Department. The machine was lifted in by telehandler in large sections through the roller shutter door on the second floor. There was no disruption to the plant as the work was carried out on a Saturday morning. ■ The external contractor, WS Engineering, was presented with a British Ceramic Confederation contractor award after a nomination from the QESH team. ■ A revamp of the laboratory – used to acid test the face of ware – has seen a new acid-resistant, non-slip floor coating installed which is a vast improvement over the old painted concrete finish. A new extraction unit and dispensing area booth have been installed and the old shelves that held plates filled with acid have been replaced by a slosh shelf system which allows the liquid to be tipped off the plate directly on to the shelves, where it is collected in a single sump which can be safely emptied of the waste. ■ A refurbished ginetting machine has been delivered back to the Glost Warehouse, not only looking as good as new, but also with a number of safety-inspired modifications. A stronger case will reduce noise, while panels have all been interlocked so the machine will not run if a panel or guard is missing. All adjusters have been replaced and updated.

FREE health screening services have been launched to help all Steelite employees lead healthier lives. Occupational health specialists Hobson Health visit the site regularly to provide tests and procedures. If any health issues are discovered a report will outline what should be done to address them, including support from the company. Services included in the package, which is delivered during working hours, include: ■ 15-minute hearing tests which are carried out when an employee joins the company and repeated every five years. ■ Annual assessment to make sure anyone working regular night shifts is fit and healthy to do so. ■ Assessment of fork lift truck drivers by a nurse. ■ Skin tests to make sure some substances in the factory, including clay itself, are not having an adverse effect. ■ Chest x-rays start this year for all employees who have had a lung function test. ■ Lung function tests to check for

the effects of silica dust – used to diagnose chronic industrial asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. QESH Manager Pat Griffin said: “These checks are carried out solely to monitor colleagues’ health, and to ensure their wellbeing, not as a tool to manage employees into or out of roles within the business. They make sure any health issues are identified and addressed quickly.” Commercial Accountant Davin Bates said: “Why not take up a free health check? It gives a sense of peace of mind to know everything is fine. It also allows any small concerns which may arise to be further investigated quickly.” The trade union representing employees has been involved in agreeing the programme to look after everyone’s health. GMB rep Steve Charlesworth said the union supported the screening programme as employee health has always been an issue in the ceramics industry. He said: “I think it’s a good idea and totally agree with it.”

Cut-price gym membership DISCOUNTED gym membership has been negotiated by the company to help employees get fit and stay fit. As part of its commitment to promoting healthy living,

Customer Service Advisor Sarah Brookfield works out at the Exercise4Less gym.

Steelite International has struck a deal with Newcastle-under-Lyme based Exercise4Less, who will offer the company’s employees monthly membership of a gym for less than a tenner. ■ To find out more about gym memberships available please contact the HR team.


Targets met three years ahead of schedule

Recycling Leader and Standards Assessor Ann White and Yardman Karol Majewski at one of the recycling areas.

Recycling is key to standards status COMMITTED recycling of waste produced by the Steelite plant is one important element helping the company meet strict environmental standards. The company is accredited to ISO 14001 standard which means it has in place an effective environmental management system. Systems are in place to reduce waste as much as possible, but what waste there is should be recycled in many different ways. Leader and Standards Assessor

Ann White is at the frontline of the drive to keep the factory clean and tidy and to recycle as much of the waste it produces as possible. She manages a team of cleaners and yardsmen to make sure skips are filled and emptied properly, that waste is taken away from work areas and disposed of and that anything that possibly can be recycled is recycled. Ann takes a special personal pride in making sure this is done right. She said: “We certainly do our best at what is a huge task.

My job is to keep an eye on things and police the removal of waste from the site. “And we recycle virtually everything – from glass, oil and general waste to clay, glaze, refractories, wood and metal.” Even the waste which is not recyclable in traditional ways is reused. Some is taken away, shredded and burned to generate energy, while pitcher waste (broken or failed ceramic ware) is taken to Marley Eternit’s local plant where it is crushed and pressed into environmentally sound roof tiles.

STEELITE has already met challenging new environmental and quality standards – three years ahead of schedule. Changes in the way the company addresses environmental and quality issues are expected to help it improve its already outstanding performance. For the first time in seven years SO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards have changed, with an extra emphasis on leadership and a move from a continuous improvement approach to one which identifies and deals with the biggest risks to the business. Each year, priority will be given to the biggest risk identified in the business. All efforts will then be made to eradicate it, before moving on to the next biggest risk. Under this system, there will always be a biggest risk that needs addressing. Group QESH Manager Pat Griffin said: “The change to any standards from ISO has a three year transition period during which the company must meet the new standard or lose its accreditation. “During December 2016 Steelite exceeded the requirements for the new standards and is expecting new certificates to be issued in early 2017 – a great result. “Extra emphasis on leadership in the new standards is reassuring for us as the top team and every level down have always backed the quality and environmental standards from the start, and understand what they provide to the business.”

If you have any ideas, concerns or want to raise any issues about health and safety with the QESH team, please telephone Pat Griffin on 829399 or email pgriffin@steelite.com

Steelite Safety – Spring 2017  

Safety publication for the staff at Steelite.

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