MMK prioritises safety of young workers
The term “young worker” in this context includes MMK employees of all ages and specialisations who have been working at the plant for less than one year.
Every year, the Magnitogorsk plant and MMK Group as a whole welcome hundreds of graduates fr om higher and secondary technical education institutions. In addition, many employees complete additional training and begin working at different subunits with a new specialisation. The Company values such workers and strives to take care of them.
As MMK CEO Pavel Shilyaev noted: “It is very important to us to ensure that young workers become integrated into the plant and are able to fully unlock their professional and creative potential. We see the development of young employees as the cornerstone of the successful development of the entire enterprise, opening up its possibilities and opportunities.”
However, it is precisely these workers who can be most at risk. When starting a new job at a production site with many hazards, many young workers are unfamiliar with the details of the technical processes, the safety rules and regulations, and as a result are not yet able to properly assess the risks around them. This is reflected in workplace injury statistics, which show that the biggest share of workplace injuries are incurred by employees who have been working between one month and one year – this group accounts for 20% of all injuries.
To mitigate these risks, MMK pays special attention to the protection of young workers. The safety of these employees is ensured on a systematic basis across various spheres of the Company’s operations.
Firstly, young employees are made visually identifiable on the production site due to their overalls and green helmets with special markings.
Every newly hired worker is assigned a highly qualified employee to act as a mentor for a year in order to ensure that the new hire acquires the skills necessary to do his or her job safely, masters the demands, rules and guidelines for labour protection, and studies the technical process. The mentor is responsible for educating young workers on how to handle tools, raw and processed materials safely, and, together with the administration, creates favourable working conditions and opportunities to advance the young worker’s professional expertise. The mentors must ensure that young workers perform their tasks correctly and demonstrate a safe and proper approach to performing various production operations. The mentors are given incentives – at the end of the year, a commission in the production subunit determines the best mentors and awards them with a bonus.
Instruction and education in labour protection play an important role in preventing workplace injuries. All employees who start work at MMK must pass an induction session, wh ere they are informed about workplace conditions, statutory and other legislative labour protection measures, and the provision of employees with the means of personal and collective protection from workplace hazards. For illustrative purposes, the induction course is in video form. The safety video combines studio and factory floor footage with 3D-graphics, special effects and animated people and objects, which creates an interactive learning experience.
In addition, in the first month, every young worker receives basic training at their workstation from their immediate supervisor. Employees also receive a basic theoretical education in labour protection regulations that are in force at MMK and in their particular production subunit, as well as learning the specifics and safe techniques of the new job under the guidance of their mentor.
Young workers undergo training at MMK’s Safety School through a specially devised programme called Labour Safety. The Safety School has been in operation at MMK since 2018 and is a unique training ground for the honing of workplace safety skills. Here, employees practice working safely in a gas-contaminated environment, giving first aid, fighting fires, as well as learning the basics of high-elevation work, among other topics. This training ground incorporates best practices from around the world and in many ways has no equal in the region or the country. The training also incorporates virtual reality technologies, which are used to identify safety violations and hazardous activities at various locations.
The purpose of training young workers at the Safety School is to help them hone the basic skills necessary for working safely, preventing mistakes, improving workplace safety and reducing workplace injury rates.
Systematic engagement with young workers to prevent workplace injuries is the key to successfully meeting MMK’s strategic objectives in the spheres of labour protection, and fire and industrial safety. This includes reducing the injury rate to zero, reaching leading positions among metal producers in terms of labour protection and industrial safety (LPIS), improving production standards, and encouraging the personal engagement of employees with the safety requirements.
“Success in meeting our objectives in the labour protection and industrial safety sphere is made possible by the personal involvement of every employee in efforts to reduce injury rates, and their adherence to workplace safety requirements”, noted Pavel Shilyaev.
MMK Press Office