Safety ambitions for the next decade

Published 14 December 2020

Safety had always been a priority, but as of 2001, the industry set about developing common metrics and sharing of safety best practice. This led to demonstrable yearly improvement in safety performance across the globe. In 2009 a comparison with other industry sectors identified that the cement industry could potentially further improve its safety performance by a factor of 10. A decade later, in 2020, a highly-laudable seven- to eight-fold improvement has actually been achieved. However, a plateau in recent years hints at the need for fresh thinking on safety strategy in the coming decade. By Jim O’Brien, CSR Consulting, Ireland.

Safety in action

Back in 2001, at the invitation of Cemex, a group of safety aficionados from Lafarge, Holcim, Italcementi (as they then were), Siam Cement Group and CRH agreed to form a Cement Safety Task Force (CSTF). Though companies had long worked to improve safety performance, there was recognition that common industry safety metrics could facilitate performance benchmarking and thereby promote improvement through sharing of safety best practice. Other companies enthusiastically joined the CSTF in 2002, unanimously agreeing on the safety imperative. In 2003, the CSTF became Task Force 3 (TF3) within the Cement Sustainability Initiative, and in 2004 the key safety metrics were agreed and adopted by all then CSI members.

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