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May 11, 2022

MSCI Announces Annual Safety Innovation and Culture Improvement Award Winners

Contact MSCI: Kerrie Rushton, 202-365-6338 or 847-485-3000

Rolling Meadows, Ill., May 11, 2022—At a ceremony today, MSCI presented its 2021 Safety Innovation and Culture Improvement awards, which recognize metals organizations that develop innovative approaches to drive safety improvement towards a zero-harm environment.

The Safety Innovation Award recognizes a single company that has implemented new tools or processes that keep workers out of harm’s way. Winners must demonstrate dramatically reduced occupational risk or exposure. The Culture Improvement Award recognizes companies that implemented a company-wide initiative to increase employee interest and engagement in worker safety or educate teams about the importance of safety. The 2021 recipients are:

  • Safety Innovation Award: Infra-Metals Co. and Delta Steel Inc. Group, a member of the Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. family of companies. The company’s Infra-Metals Trailer Rail Safety System is a fall prevention device that eliminates the fall hazard that would normally require a fall protection device. It is lightweight, portable, durable, and can be installed quickly by attaching the safety device to the trailers existing rub rail.
  • Safety Culture Improvement Award (less than 150 full-time employees): Leeco Steel, an O’Neal Industries affiliate company. Leeco implemented an enhanced company-wide safety communications program across its 11 distribution centers to educate and empower employees. The program includes monthly safety meetings for all warehouse employees, weekly safety reminder meetings at each location, and the encouragement of open, continuous feedback between team members.
  • Safety Culture Improvement Award (150-1,000 employees): Chatham Steel Corporation, a member of the Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. family of companies. Chatham transitioned to an online safety observation reporting tool, which improved participation and resulted in robust conversations about employee safety. The company also developed a course with a behavioral psychologist to help leaders develop tools to change behavior and help employees be more aware of, and solve for, risks.
  • Safety Culture Improvement Award (more than 1,000 employees): SSAB Americas. SSAB Americas requires all employees participate in SafeStart, a training program that develops awareness of how personal states like rushing or fatigue lead to critical errors. The program, which even invites family members to participate, drives safety awareness both on and off the job and is one reason the company has hit historic lows for recordable injuries.

“People matter, and MSCI is committed to ensuring the safety of every person in the industrial metals community. Our goal is to inspire, support, and enable companies to continuously improve performance and achieve excellence in safety and health,” said MSCI President and CEO M. Robert Weidner, III. “Building a safety culture takes resources, perseverance, leadership, and employee buy-in. The innovations put forward by Chatham Steel, Infra-Metals and Delta Steel Group, Leeco Steel, and SSAB Americas demonstrate these companies’ commitment to their workers and their families. We’re extremely proud to stand with them in the drive toward safer, healthier workplaces.”

Judges considered several factors during the application process, including uniqueness of approach; whether the innovation was employee- or management-driven; evidence of employee training in sustaining benefits; and the degree to which the innovation was integrated into the whole organization through a “culture based” approach. Awardees also each met the following minimum qualifications:

  • Zero fatal workplace injuries between December 1, 2019 and May 31, 2021.
  • A zero percent workplace fatality rating between May 31, 2018 and May 31, 2021
  • No record of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Willful Citation or the equivalent from Canada’s Ministry of Labour.

Quotations from the 2021 Safety Innovation and Culture Improvement Award Winners:

  • Jerry Rooney, President, Chatham Steel Corporation: “The Chatham team is grateful to the MSCI for recognizing the progress we have made across all segments of our workforce since beginning our observation program. The important conversations generated from these submissions have helped to create a strong culture of communication that will allow us to continue to make progress on our safety journey.”
  • Mark Haight, President, Infra-Metals Co.: “Several years ago, after experiencing injuries due to falls from trailers, the Reliance Safety Team challenged us to eliminate those accidents. Determined to come up with a solution, trailer fall protection became a primary brainstorming topic among our entire operational group. We reviewed many commercially available products but were not fully satisfied with any of them–so we created our own. Our Trailer Rail Safety System is the result of our collective efforts, having encouraged suggestions from all colleagues and highlighting the brightest individual ideas. We are honored to receive the Safety Innovation Award from MSCI.”
  • Denton Nordhues, President and CEO, Leeco Steel: “We are honored to receive MSCI’s 2021 Safety Culture Improvement Award and to be recognized alongside of so many great organizations. Safety is our top priority at Leeco, and each and every employee plays a significant role in our safety program. Without their efforts, we would not be able to make such tremendous strides in enhancing our safety communications.”
  • Chuck Schmitt, President, SSAB Americas: “Everyone at SSAB Americas maintains a dedicated commitment to their safety and the safety of their co-workers. We remain focused on enhancing our solid safety and sustainability culture and expect more successes in the future. On behalf of all SSAB Americas employees, thank you to MSCI for presenting us with this award.”

About MSCI

Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute is a nonprofit association based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., serving the industrial metals supply chain. It represents more than 250 businesses with almost 2,300 locations in North America and around the globe. Visit www.MSCI.org for more information and follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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