Occupational safety & health beyond factory walls

thyssenkrupp worldwide | Work safety | About two years ago, Acciai Speciali Terni Production Managers team were honoured for their successful campaign to promote occupational safety at the thyssenkrupp stainless steel mill Acciai Speciali Terni (AST). In times of increasing corona infections in Italy, the team now donated its prize money of 25,000 euros to the Santa Maria Hospital in the city of Terni, in southern Umbria. The donation enabled the purchase of a portable ultrasound machine for faster diagnosis of corona patients.

We spoke with Giovanni Scordo, Welfare Manager at thyssenkrupp stainless steel mill Acciai Speciali Terni (AST) and his colleagues about occupational safety and the motivation to donate.

“We asked the doctors and the nursing staff of the Santa Maria Hospital what they needed especially for their work in the Corona pandemic. The answer was clear: protective masks and a portable ultrasound device that can be used to examine COVID-19 patients faster and better,” tells us Scordo. The team quickly agreed: in order to help, they would forgot their prize money from the internal occupational safety competition.

Portable ultrasound unit for COVID-19 patients at Santa Maria Hospital in Terni.

Occupational safety & health at thyssenkrupp

Safety and health in the workplace are top priorities at thyssenkrupp: By Occupational safety and health (OSH) we mean creating safe and healthy working conditions in order to prevent accidents, work-related illnesses and physical and mental illness caused by work.

In order to raise awareness of this topic within the organization, thyssenkrupp organizes an annual OSH competition that awards prizes for creative projects and campaigns aimed at increasing occupational safety within the thyssenkrupp group. In 2018, AST Production Managers team won this competition – with the “Leadership in Health & Safety” program. This is a transformation project which has been strongly backed by Massimiliano Burelli CEO of AST and Massimo Calderini AST Plant Director and which aims to create in AST “Safety Leaders” in order to promote a cultural change starting with everyday tasks, helping the company to achieve the “Zero Accident” goal.

“Based on the fact that around 90% of accidents and fatalities in the workplace are behavior related, in this project we focused on conveying the great importance of occupational safety in an emotional and media-based way”. The campaign mainly used short films, but also more unusual forms of presentation such as theatre performances on the subject of occupational safety. “We wanted to convey on getting people to approach their everyday  tasks from a different perspective and attitude and that is our own life that is at risk if we disregard occupational safety measures,” says Scordo, summarizing the project’s approach.

The idea paid off. In addition to the increased awareness of the topic of occupational safety at their location, AST Production Managers  team was also able to secure the prize money, which they now donated to the Santa Maria Hospital in their city.

1,000 respiratory masks for doctors and nursing staff

During the Corona pandemic, occupational safety in hospitals and the protection of doctors and nursing staff against infection also play an important role. To prevent local heroes from infecting themselves with the dangerous virus while treating COVID-19 patients, AST donated protective masks for the Santa Maria Hospital in Terni.

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In order to contain the corona pandemic, the protection of nursing staff is mandatory.

As in many other places, the coveted protective masks were quickly in short supply in Terni after the outbreak of the pandemic, the Welfare Manager tells us: “Just a few days after the whole thing started with Corona, it was extremely difficult to get enough masks for our own employees,” Giovanni Scordo remembers. “Once we had enough masks for our teams, AST placed an order for the local hospital.”

On 25 March, the protective masks finally arrived at Santa Maria Hospital. “The medical staff are the real heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Scordo. “Helping them and showing solidarity is something we do on behalf of our staff, but also on behalf of the people of Italy to express our deepest gratitude”.

No sooner said than done – fast help for the hospital in Terni

But the masks are only part of the donation. The prize money  was invested by the dedicated staff in a portable ultrasound machine for the local hospital. Important equipment to quickly and reliably detect an infection with the Corona virus. Just one day after the ultrasound machine was delivered, Giovanni Scordo received a Whatsapp message from one of the doctors in Terni: “He thanked us on behalf of his colleagues, but most of all on behalf of the patients, for the machine because it had helped him detect increased thrombosis in a corona patient,” Scordo proudly tells us. “This important information would have eluded them without the proper equipment.”

With their donation, the team from Terni (Massimilano Burelli, Massimo Calderini, Menecali Dimitri, Camponi Fernando, Cardinali Stefano, Carpinelli Ambro, Di Pietro Costantino,  Marricchi Roberto, Menecali Dimitri, Onofri Luca, Ricci Matteo Giacomo, Salamone Gianvincenzo, Santoro Raffaele, Scappiti Andrea, Sguigna Daniele, Siano Rocco)

was able to make a difference in their region – an important contribution of which they are proud. “We were pleased and proud that we were able to make a difference in the daily lives of our doctors and COVID-19 patients in the fight against Corona,” said Scordo.

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The donation of 1,000 respirators will help the nursing staff in Terni to protect themselves against infections in the near future.

On the eve of the World Day for Health and Safety at Work, the team from Terni proved with their selfless donation that their campaign has been fruitful, and that occupational safety is an integral part of their corporate culture. We would like to thank them for their special commitment in times of Corona – even beyond the plant boundaries!

More impressive aid campaigns by thyssenkrupp employees from around the world: #strongertogether in the fight against COVID-19: thyssenkrupp sites demonstrate solidarity in times of Corona.

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