Highlights of 08/2008

Highlights of 08/2008

Potential savings exist, we have to find them

On Tuesday of last week, February 12th, the planning meeting took place in the main lecture room in the Admin Building for this year's Costs-saving Program (CCIP) at U. S. Steel Kosice. The managers of individual divisions and plants in Primary, Finishing, Production Support and USSK subsidiaries evaluated last year's results in this field, and presented their plans for reducing costs during 2008. We can be relatively happy with last year's balance of results which we achieved at the steelworks in this area. What the individual costs-saving teams committed themselves to, they achieved. Thanks to good-quality projects, we not only fulfilled the plan, but even exceeded it. But it's necessary to go still further. "There's a lot of work ahead of us if we want to reach the targets we've set for ourselves this year," remarked Vice-president Operations Matthew B. Perkins in this respect, opening the working discussions. "Our search for potential savings has to go further and get more intensive."

Sketches that make us laugh, but also teach us a lesson

According to European statistics, the rate of injuries at work among young people aged between 18 and 24 is fifty per cent higher than for any other age group. Thousands of young Europeans suffer injuries at work every year. The tragedy is that some of them lose their lives in accidents, and some do not survive even their first day at work. According to statistical records for Slovakia, between 1996 and 2005 there were 162 159 injuries in the age group 18 to 30 years, 1111 of which were fatal. An alarming figure! A special category of accidents is made up of those which happen in schools. These happen above all during breaks, but also in laboratories and technical classrooms, and at school-organized events. While lessons in occupational safety and health protection are naturally included in the school curriculum and organization, in many cases these are just formal lectures which the pupils endure as a necessary evil.
Nevertheless, prevention is still the most important thing of all, as each of us has just one lot of health after all. It was precisely this fact which motivated the students and teachers at the Film School in Kosice to join in the project named "Professionals work safely", conceived by U. S. Steel Kosice, and later also the "Safer schools" grant program. With the grant they received, they filmed a teaching DVD for second-stage elementary and secondary school students, using the humorous form of silent-movie-style sketches to point out dangerous situations and especially behaviors, and relating these to specific safety signs. Their ambition was to say something to young people using a modern art-form that they relate to, about a topic seen through the eyes of their peers. The world of digital technology, computers and films appeals to young people above all. They understand it, and if an important message is communicated in an unforced way, and with comic detachment, they are willing to accept it. Last Tuesday, February 12th, saw the premi?re showing of the interactive DVD with an occupational safety theme, which all the students of the school worked on in some way, at the Cinefil Film Club premises on Dominican Square in Kosice.
The grand atmosphere was reinforced by the following official opening of an exhibition of artistic posters on the same topics as the individual chapters of the interactive DVD with the tell-tale name "Safe School, or No Entry for Irresponsible People", accompanied by photographs taken during the shooting of the film sketches.

Tradition of rewards for best employees continues

"Our people know how to do good-quality work safely, and we can see proof of that every day in our workplaces. But this evening we've come together for the sole purpose of having good fun," was the comment, brief and to the point, on the 14th Steelmakers' Ball, which was held on Saturday, February 2nd, by Steel Plants divisional trades union chairman Juraj Varga. The steelmakers now talk about their continuing tradition with regard to the rewarding of the best employees. "For the second time we've used the occasion of the Ball to show our appreciation of the excellent results achieved last year in the work of four colleagues, one from each of our operations," explained Steel Plants Division Director Marcel Borgon. "In Steel Production it was Jozef Balog, in Machine Maintenance Jozef Kohut, Electrical Maintenance Jan Zrak, and Slabs Production Richard Sabol."

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