Zero: it is without a doubt the single
most important performance goal
ArcelorMittal Dofasco has ever had. Zero
accidents. Zero incidents. Zero injuries.
In the company’s early days Arthur G.
Wright, the oft lauded financial man and
eventual president and CEO, was known
to make his way through the plant with
purpose looking for housekeeping flaws
that might contribute to an accident.
Later, the company safety inspector
brought more discipline to the task with
training, inspections and warnings in an
effort to ensure the safety of the men
and women.
Eventually, the almighty inspector
position evolved into health and safety
coordinators, working within the plant
as part of business unit teams to further
develop a mindset that nothing is more
important than health and safety.
By the new millennium safety results
were good, comparable to local
competitors and the steel industry at
large. But they were far from great and
with the slightest hint of complacency
in the system they would certainly
not improve.
Management wanted better. They
wanted to know which manufacturing
companies were performing well and
how they achieved the results. In
Dofasco’s Lost Time Injury (LTI)
rate, which measures the frequency
of accidents that cause an employee
enough injury that he isn’t able to work,
was 11.7 per 1 million hours worked.
When their search found other companies
with rates less than 1, the challenge
was on.
Fresh eyes from the outside were
brought in for an objective assessment
and to build a plan to move forward.
An expert from the consulting arm
of Dupont would lead the journey,
first engaging the hearts and minds
of leadership in the notion that zero
is indeed possible, then all employees
by launching a program to make
significant and sustainable health and
safety improvements.
The results would not come overnight.
But a positive trend did emerge. From
to 2004 the numbers crept down.
11.7. 10.5. 7.81. 5.89.
By 2006 it was
And by 2010, 1.
The difference? Creating accountability
at every level. Zeroing in on hazard
identification and risk assessment.
Bringing procedures to life and executing
with precision.
So successful had the Journey to Zero
become that in January 2011, the
ArcelorMittal Group Management
Board, Management Committee and
select CEOs convened in Hamilton for
a Health and Safety Summit. The local
team shared their experiences and their
vigilance for safety. The global team took
the message worldwide.
A great distance has been covered on the
journey. The ArcelorMittal Dofasco team
is down to the final steps inching ever so
close to zero. But the irony is when the
goal of zero is reached, the single most
important target in the company’s history
will remain and the journey will continue.
The Journey to Zero
The symbol for ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s Journey to Zero accidents is the Inukshuk,
meaning “image of man.” This Inukshuk is located at Gate 10 and stands as
a reminder of the company’s safety Journey to Zero. Inukshuks are unique to
the Canadian Arctic and act as a compass or guide for journeys, helping guide
trackers. The symbol was chosen to represent the company’s health and safety
efforts as it conveys the importance of personal contribution and reinforces
employees’ collective effort to commit to a common goal.