Driven by all of our values, the health and safety of our employees and the protection of the environment are priorities. We are committed to a policy of zero harm and seek to achieve this through leadership, education and collaboration.


Key safety indicators at a glance

  FY16 FY15 FY14 FY13
Fatalities 1
TRIFR 1,18 1,20 1,46 1,87
LTIFR 0,51 0,44 0,34 0,41

We place safety first at all times and believe we should provide an environment free from harm that avoids injury or ill health, and that all employees should be able to return home fit and well at the end of each shift armed with the knowledge to educate their families and communities on SHE issues. To this end we seek to ensure our operations have fundamentally safe, well-designed plant, equipment and infrastructure with risk-based SHE management systems.

SHE principles

  • Zero harm mindset: An acceptance of and responsibility for the premise that all injuries and occupational illnesses are preventable and that the group can avoid, minimise or mitigate environmental impacts arising from our operations.
  • No repeats: All unsafe practices and incidents, environmental incidents and poor environmental practices will be investigated to determine the root causes and the steps necessary to prevent recurrence.
  • Strict rules and standards: Scaw has adopted SHE standards to ensure that minimum standards are maintained throughout the group (see Scaw’s SHE management framework below). Divisional line management at all levels are responsible for implementing and maintaining these.

Our SHE management framework defines the roles and responsibilities of the corporate centre and business units in respect of SHE. SHE performance is a main agenda item in all forums in the group and a KPI at all levels of the organisation.

The group SHE department is based at the Union Junction operation with teams also located at the various operating sites. The SHE department is responsible for ensuring that the SHE management framework is maintained and continuously improved in line with the ISO 14001 environmental and the OHSAS 18001 safety and health accreditations, as well as other policies and procedures to which the group subscribes.

Scaw’s SHE management framework


The corporate centre will define and communicate what is required, including clear, non-negotiable standards. This will require, inter alia, resourcing,
communication, setting of executive KPIs and an overarching safety plan


Scaw vision, principles and policy
Scaw safety management system standards
Scaw Fatal Risk Standards
Scaw Safety Golden Rules

Scaw Metals SA

Scaw Board
Executive Committee
Corporate SHE


Peer review
Third party


The divisions will implement the Scaw corporate policy and add their own business-specific standards and rules to these. This will require resourcing,
communication, setting of business-specific KPIs and operational safety plans


Scaw Metals’ vision and principles
Corporate and divisional policy and standards

Operational locations

(including contractors)





Third party

SHE management standards

These standards form the basis for the group-wide SHE management system and are based on the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 management system standards. For those sites where certification to the latter standards is not pursued, a Scaw safety standard has been created and published in our document The Group Safety Way. We intend to focus on the implementation of the Group Safety Way at these sites before any further new standards are introduced. Gap analyses on compliance with the Group Safety Way have been conducted at the relevant sites and action plans are being rolled out to address any shortcomings. Although restructuring in the group during the prior year delayed the implementation, it will receive renewed focus in the new year.

In addition, Scaw has implemented the Fatal Risks Standards (FRS) which determine requirements for managing specific high risks. These are specific in-house controls associated with identified fatal risks and apply beyond Scaw business units and operations to contractors and visitors involved in controlled activities. To activate the FRS, we retained focus in the year on the implementation of the risk assessment review programme. All baseline risk assessments were reviewed and formally signed off. In addition, the review began of the task-based risk assessments. In the coming year, focus will be on reviewing these task-based risk assessments for high-risk tasks and related procedures. Training on the safety risks management programme will also continue in the year ahead.

In May 2015, Scaw also introduced a new hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA) standard, which determines the minimum requirements for all sites, while allowing each site to add its own improvements or deal with its unique requirements without restriction.

Living our safety principles

In order to entrench a culture of safety, everyone working for and with the group is required to embody our SHE principles. This is facilitated through visible leadership and clear accountability. During the year, we concentrated on the time that managers spend on the shop floor and senior and line managers conducted VFL walkabouts and engaged directly with employees at least once a week. This continues to have a positive impact on safety behaviour, safety awareness and the early identification of potentially unsafe acts.

Regular SHE Committee meetings are held in all plants on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, which include representation from management, labour force via the appointed SHE representatives and the SHE team. SHE box talks are also held at least once a week in the workplace to maintain a high level of awareness on an informal basis, which also allows the team members to raise issues of concern. In addition, safety improvement books are provided for in all the factory workplaces to allow any person to record an incident or issue of concern. This book is then considered during the morning supervision meetings at the plant.

The group human resources department manages the roll out of training, while a training matrix and schedule are maintained in the individual operations of any SHE training courses required. During the year, group-wide specialised competency-based training included:
  • Gas safety (shop floor and classroom)
  • Slinging and safe lifting practices training (basic level, shop floor and classroom)
  • Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) accredited pendant and overhead crane training
  • TETA-accredited forklift training
  • Vienna testing for all mobile equipment operators
  • HIRA training for shop floor level
  • SHE representative training
  • First aid training
  • Confined spaces training
  • Lock out and isolation training

Contractor induction training is provided by an external service provider. Advances were made in the year when the visitor’s induction was upgraded and rolled out. The main employee induction training video is currently being reviewed.

Safety audits and reviews
External safety compliance audits continue to be regularly conducted for OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001-accredited sites. During prior audits, certain non-compliances were identified and have now been addressed.

The types of reviews conducted internally are determined primarily by the perceived risk profile of the respective business units. They comprise:
Annual reviews
  • Scaw’s Exco reviews the group’s SHE objectives, targets, standards and policies annually to ensure that they remain current and valid.
  • Occupational hygiene surveys are conducted every two years to measure workplace exposure.
  • During the year, 96% of employees scheduled for medical surveillance attended the consultations.
Peer review programme (PRP) and internal audits
  • The PRP and internal audits provide some assurance that fundamentally sound, risk-based management systems are in place at all operations, but also work to build core competence and act as a mechanism for learning and sharing across Scaw. The PRP uses the SHE personnel in certain plants to cross-audit other plants. This will be expanded to more sites in the coming years.
Self-assessment and safety plans
  • Conducting self-assessments of the implementation of FRS is key to continuous improvement. The gaps between the self-assessments and full compliance provide a basis for safety improvement plans and reporting on self-assessments forms part of the assurance process required by Exco.

Our employees’ well-being

Health objectives

Objective Target
Employee participation in VCT (including previously tested) 85% 67% 80% (including previously positively tested)
Enrolment of known HIV positive cases on a recognised wellness programme 90% 94% 90%
Uptake of employees for risk-based medical surveillance 100% 96% 100%
Reduction in South Africa of level 3 and level 4 NIHL cases 40% reduction No cases <10 cases
Group health improvement plan To be maintained Has been maintained To be maintained

We aim to proactively protect the well-being of employees, providing primary and acute healthcare services, lifestyle and chronic disease assistance and facilities and trained staff to manage medical emergencies at work.

Health clinics

Scaw provides employees access to occupational health clinics or medical centres equipped with professional medical staff and equipment. These clinics provide care for employee disease and injury and are responsible for monitoring treatment until recovery.

At the two largest sites, Union Junction and Steel Wire Rope, the clinics are open 24/7. Medical personnel treat injury-on-duty cases, manage a wellness HIV/Aids clinic and will arrange for the evacuation of South African employees who are injured on duty overseas. The Union Junction medical facility is staffed by 17 medical and associated professionals with an on-site ambulance. Access is provided to advanced medical emergency vehicles including a helicopter. The site’s X-ray facility is available to other medical centres within the group.

Scaw’s HIV/Aids programme continues the battle against the pandemic in the workplace with ongoing education on prevention, treatment (including nutrition), family and social impacts, and destigmatisation of the disease. Specifically the programme includes:

  • Monthly testing targets are set to achieve an annual testing target of 80%. Although this target was not achieved in the year, many employees who had never been tested came forward to be tested.
Wellness programmes
  • When an employee has been diagnosed with HIV, he or she is enrolled in a wellness programme unless he or she refuses. Testing of the CD4 count is repeated at set intervals. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) is commenced when the CD4 count reaches a certain level. In addition, the employee is counselled and his or her general health is monitored.
  • The provision of ART has proven to be greatly successful, with the result that nearly all employees who have been treated are performing their normal duties. The critical importance of adhering to therapy requirements and the continuance of treatment form the thrust of ART counselling.
  • To improve employee understanding of the impact of HIV on individuals and society, Scaw conducts HIV/Aids awareness campaigns and training on an ongoing basis. One of these programmes is peer education facilitated by HIV-positive employees as trainers/speakers, who encourage participants to get tested and use Scaw’s wellness programme.
HIV committees
  • A number of employees have joined Scaw’s volunteer HIV/Aids education programme as peer educators. HIV committees formed by the peer educators at most of the large sites are integral to the HIV/Aids management programme. Committee members and other employees participate in the annual World Aids Day activities.

Occupational disease
The principal occupational health risks in Scaw are NIHL, illness due to dust exposure, and dermatitis or asthma due to chemical exposure. During the year, two incidents of occupational disease were reported.

The environment

One of our strategic KPIs is acting responsibly and this includes ensuring the protection of the environment. Steel is the most recyclable material on the planet, which means that as a manufacturer of value-added steel products from steel scrap and directly reduced iron, we are active in one of the world’s most sustainable industries. Recycled steel is used in every new steel product with some countries achieving a recycle rate of 85%. We procure and process our own steel scrap requirements and recycle significant volumes of scrap steel in our steelmaking operations.

Our approach to general environmental management is based on international best practice and legal compliance. Most of our operations are ISO 14001:2004 certified. Responsibility for environmental management extends to every employee and a comprehensive environmental management framework and Scaw assurance programme are in place.

Environmental objectives, targets and standards are reviewed annually by Exco. These include objectives for energy consumption, water consumption and waste reduction. As a result of our efforts, energy consumption and water use per steel tonne produced are being continually reduced year-on-year throughout the group.

Another of Scaw’s key environmental objectives is finalising closure of historic legal non-conformances. To date, 93% have been closed out. The remaining items require either substantial capital investment or are dependent on completion of the authorisation process. The former includes the R210 million secondary emission extraction system for the Union Junction foundry which is in progress and expected to be completed in FY16. Construction of the fume extraction project – which is set to reduce dust emissions at Meltshop 1 and 2 at the Cast Products division – progressed to 80% completion with final commissioning expected by July 2016.

The non-compliances that require authorisations include the issuing of a waste disposal site permit at the decommissioned Dimbaza site. It is hoped that all the required authorisations will be finalised during the next financial year.

There were no significant spills at any of the group’s operations during the year. Scaw did not receive any significant fines for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations.

Interested and affected parties
In line with our approach to stakeholder engagement and our core value of care and respect, we engage regularly with our environmental stakeholders to ensure we keep open lines of communication. The Union Junction site hosts an annual environmental stakeholder forum meeting. Stakeholders in this instance include local residents, national, provincial and local government authorities such as the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), as well as the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality.

Complaints from the communities in which we operate are recorded as and when they are received and addressed. Feedback is then provided to complainants. Each site maintains a register of complaints received and the status quo.

The group is focused on improved energy management and has been tracking improvements on a central database since 2005. Over this time, Scaw has achieved a reduction of more than 10%.

The group has a number of short and long-term initiatives under way in this regard which include:
  • Variable speed drives for arc furnace regulation
  • Energy-efficient motor survey
  • Energy-efficient lights for various plants at Union Junction and the Benoni foundry.
Scaw is committed to conserving water where possible as well as ensuring its responsible discharge. The primary source of water consumption at Scaw is municipal or Rand Water Board. Within our operations water was withdrawn from the following sources during the year:
  • Groundwater (Union Junction and Steel Wire Rope): 12 823 kilolitres
  • Rainwater, stormwater and dams (Union Junction): 109 454 kilolitres
  • Purchased (SA operations): 1 041 864 kilolitres

Scaw has participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project for the past two years and intends continuing. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, specifically of carbon dioxide, are managed as part of the programme. Furthermore, particulate emissions are continuously monitored at certain stacks at Union Junction and a dust fallout sampling programme is also in place at the site. This consists of dust buckets placed in strategic locations on the boundary of the site and in the surrounding communities. In addition, external consultants undertake annual emission surveys. Scaw does not implement any initiatives specifically to reduce GHG emissions. However, the energy-saving initiatives already in place to reduce electricity usage or natural gas consumption automatically result in reductions in GHG emissions.

Scaw’s CO2 emissions are set out below:

Scope 1 116 475
Scope 2 610 253
(Note: These values have not been formally verified.)  

At present, the group does not measure scope 3 emissions.

The upgrade of the fume extraction system at the Union Junction foundry, which is expected to reduce emissions, was approved at a capital cost of R210 million. The project was anticipated to conclude by end-FY15, but will only be finally commissioned during the first half of FY16.

All provisional air emission licences, except for one, have been converted to final licences.

Scaw ultimately aims to recycle as much waste produced on site as possible and therefore reduce the need for a separate disposal site, while at the same time aiding in not overburdening an already disturbed footprint. Scaw is appropriately licensed to recover metal for recycling as far as possible. To cater for the remaining instances, two sites have been secured for waste disposal.

Currently, the Union Junction site is the largest producer of process waste in the group. A phased approach has been adopted. All slag from the furnaces is recycled and the metal extracted and reused in the furnaces, together with additional recovery from one of the older waste disposal sites. With the drop in production due to market conditions, the waste disposal to the landfill site at Union Junction reduced significantly, extending the life of the existing facility. It is hoped that financial circumstances will allow the continuation of the R&D of a recycling option for the fumex waste.

All of the group’s properties are industrial brownfield sites and none are adjacent to areas of sensitive ecosystems.