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Vesuvius Skawina sets an example at Safety Days


On 12-13 June, all of Vesuvius globally celebrated Safety Days. As every year, the team in Skawina used this opportunity to reinforce the massage that safety is our main priority and that as a team members we must take care of each other. Both days were filled with activities for employees to reinforce their habits of sticking to health and safety rules and working safely.

12 June

The first day of the event saw a trial evacuation of the administration building, which went very well – 90 people left the building during 3 minutes and 5 seconds, where any time under 5 minutes is considered very good. After the evacuation, employees took part in a practical exercise using handheld firefighting equipment.

This was followed by ergonomics exercises for willing employees whose daily tasks involve working at a computer. Around 20 people took part in the workshop. During the workshop, the trainers discussed the dangers of computer work and also demonstrated stretching exercises for back pain and exercises to reduce muscle tension.

In the second part of the day, a Town Hall for employees was held, featuring Richard Sykes – President Advanced Refractories, Piotr Sperka – Site Director Skawina, Maja Bertocchi – EMEA Region HS Manager Flow Control and Marcin Drabczyk – HSE Manager Skawina. During the meeting, the participants watched a film of Patrick Andre’s power speech, and listened to the very moving stories of Richard and Maja, whose personal experiences guided their career path and safety principles at Vesuvius. We were also reminded of the 8 basic safety rules and saw the safety results both globally and for the Skawina location. During the meeting, as many as 3 competitions that were held for employees last month were settled: the LTT competition, the Health and Safety Audit in 10 steps and the children’s poetry competition “Safe Home, Happy Family”.

At the end of the meeting, the introduction of a new policy in our company was announced, which includes a head protection requirement across the plant. All employees will soon be issued with hats in line with the current head protection standards.


13 June

The second day of Health and Safety Days began with the evacuation of the Slide Gates plant. 40 people left the building in 3 minutes 10 seconds. Compared to the previous year, this is a very good result. The time was improved by almost 2 minutes due to the improvements made.

First aid drills were also held throughout the day. They took place every 2h in two groups of 5 people. During the practical exercises, issues such as first aid for emergencies such as cardiac arrest, heart attack, fractures and burns were covered.

In the afternoon, they held a workshop on working in a confined space at the Slide Gates plant – to remind them of the rules of what documents to complete for such work, what equipment employees should have with them. They also practised the correct completion of documents, entering a confined space, or locking a machine to work in such a space. The workshop was attended by Maintenance staff from all departments and Project Engineers. They took place on a shut-down tunnel furnace.

As part of looking after our safety, a Fire Brigade unit also came to visit us. The purpose of the visit was to get to know the plant better (e.g. locating areas where there are fire hazards or explosion danger zones).

A “Cross Audit” action also took place that day. Each department delegated groups of three people to conduct safety audits in other departments. With this procedure and a fresh perspective, it is easier for employees to identify hazards on site.

In an effort to keep us all healthy, a healthy snack awaited each employee at the staff canteen.

We celebrated Safety Days for two days, but at Vesuvius we care about our safety at all times and every day we remind our employees that it is a priority.

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