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Safe working guidance agreed for steel industry

12th May 2020

The steel trade unions and UK Steel have published updated safe working guidance following the Prime Minister’s return to work message to manufacturers. The extensive Code of Practice draws upon the sector’s experience of operating over the past two months, going beyond the government guidelines, to specifically detail the steps that can be taken on steel sites in order to minimise the risk of transmission.

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said: “This guidance sets the standard for safe working that we expect to see across the steel industry. It’s been achieved through extensive consultation between employers and unions. Through our health & safety reps, the unions will ensure that this guidance is implemented and upheld so that people working in steel remain safe as the industry increases production.

“Many steel producers have continued to work through the lockdown, including making steel for essential supply chains, and that experience has informed this guidance. The steel sector is leading the way in benchmarking safe working practices as the wider economy begins to restart. We will be pushing for other employers to follow this lead.”

Gareth Stace, Director General of UK Steel, said: “Throughout this crisis, the steel industry has played an active role in the national effort to defeat coronavirus and keep our economy moving. Owing to our place in medical, food production and other critical supply chains, many steel sites have remained operational and have been implementing new procedures to keep sites safe for some time.

“We are proud of the leading role the steel industry has been in able to take in order to keep steel sites and employees safe, while also continuing to provide the UK economy with the materials it requires. We hope this guidance will also be of some use to those manufacturers returning to operations this week, and looking for ways to adapt their sites to keep employees and site visitors safe.”

UK Steel and the steel unions have agreed to update the safe working guidance as and when new government guidance is published.

Download a copy of the guidance.

Work in the steel industry but not in a union? Join the steelworkers trade union.