Corporate Health & Safety

Russel Metals continually strives to create a work environment that is free from accidents and injury.  Our health and safety standards are enforced throughout the organization from the shop floor to the offices of the Board of Directors.

We are committed to a safe and injury free work environment for all our employees, contractors, customers, vendors and visitors.  We have implemented policies and procedures to aid in the prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses and accidents, such as:

  • A comprehensive health and safety policy setting out standard operating procedures geared toward hazards present in our specific operation;
  • Extensive in person pre-employment training and continued ongoing training, both in person and through our health and safety portal;
  • Prompt reporting of lost time accidents and other leading indicators, to the management team;
  • Corporate, regional and local health and safety professionals who have advanced health and safety training;
  • Benchmarking of our performance versus industry and competitor data;
  • Engaging independent third-party experts to advise on health and safety matters where appropriate; and
  • Engaging with governmental agencies to review our program.

Management continuously monitors our health and safety performance.  We focus on monitoring and reducing the number of loss time accidents and their severity.

We also carefully monitor leading indicators such as first aids and medical aids and dedicate additional resources and attention to any operation with above average incident rates or indicators.

The table below shows our primary health and safety metrics and the number of employees over the last three years.

Number of Employees3,4003,4203,150
Number of Lost Time Accidents213149
Number of Lost Time Days5929621,250
Frequency (1)0.610.891.42
Severity (2)17.4027.7337.02
Medical Aids (3)163208170
First Aids (4)236244160

1 Frequency is calculated using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z16.4 Code, Method of Recording and Measuring Work Injury Experience.  The calculation is an industrial standard and is obtained by multiplying the number of lost time injury cases in such year by 200,000, and then dividing that number by the number of hours worked by employees of the company in such year.

2 Severity is calculated using the ANSI standard as is obtained by multiplying the number of lost time days arising from lost time injury cases in such year by 200,000, and then dividing that number by the number of hours worked by employees in such year.

3 Medical Aid is defined as treatment by a medical professional for illness or injury.

4 First Aid is defined as any assistance given to any person for illness or injury, where professional assistance is not required

Our health and safety program is overseen and directed by our President and Chief Executive Officer and Vice President, Service Center Operations who, along with our Canadian and US Health and Safety Managers report on health and safety directly to the Environmental Management and Health & Safety Committee of our Board.  Senior management and Directors have received specific health and safety training to support their oversight of our Health and Safety Program.  In addition, each operation and health and safety managers has had extensive training and all employees have a responsibility for a safe workplace and to report any items which may lead to an unsafe environment.

Our health and safety performance is reviewed quarterly by our Environmental Management and Health & Safety Committee.  Once per year our Board meeting is held at one of our locations to provide our directors with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the potential hazards of our workplace environment.

Our legislated occupational health and safety requirements fall under provincial jurisdiction in Canada and federal jurisdiction in the U.S.  We believe that we are in compliance with all legislated occupational health and safety reporting requirements.  Management assurance that these requirements are met, is accomplished by internal audits of our facilities on a rotational basis.  Our facilities are required to achieve a minimum score of 80% on the audit, failing which a remediation plan is developed and they are re-audited within 60 days.  Any deficiencies identified, pass or fail, are followed up until the items are closed.  In 2018, our corporate health and safety team completed 28 audits, with an average score of 93%.  Our internal auditors also conduct a high-level compliance audit to identify open matters that have not been resolved.  In 2019, we anticipate auditing approximately 45 locations.