Improving Worker Safety through Collaboration: How Steel Companies and Mill Service Providers Can Work Together

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a contractor workshop with one of our steel customers. The conference topic was safety and group discussions were structured to explore how the steel maker could align with mill service providers to improve worker safety inside the steel mill.   While steel companies have a responsibility to ensure the well-being of their employees, contractors play a crucial role in supporting worker safety. By working together, steel companies and their mill service providers can create a safer work environment for all. Here are some ways in which we can collaborate with steel companies to enhance safety:


Shared Responsibility for Safety

  • Adopt an all-company, all-mills approach to Serious Injury and Fatality (SIF) prevention.
  • Exchange best practices and share safety flashes with all employees at all sites.
  • Engage with the steel mill in communication and investigations of SIFs.

Building Trust and Relationships

  • Foster partnerships at all levels of the organization.  Encourage mill service provider employees to share ideas and ask for help when needed.
  • Get involved in pre-planning and scheduling meetings for all outages and maintenance projects.

Effective Communication

  • Participate in daily pre-shift meetings, weekly or monthly touchpoints, and celebration or recognition events.
  • Share announcements about personnel and process changes to maintain transparency and alignment.

Joint Safety Activities

  • Collaborate on safety walks, process audits, and preparedness drills.
  • Provide mill service providers with access to training and resources.

Performance Evaluation

  • Work together to develop scorecards used to assess contractor safety performance.


By implementing these strategies, steel companies and their mill service providers can create a strong partnership built on trust, collaboration, and a shared commitment to worker safety. Together, they can foster a culture of safety that permeates all levels of the organization, ultimately leading to a safer and more productive work environment for everyone involved.