Skip to Main Content
(Press Enter)

Achieving Our
Safety Goals

Safety is one of our core values, and accordingly our focus is on ensuring everybody goes home safe and healthy every day. Our approach is to proactively foster a safety culture, with employee engagement and active leadership, as well as risk and hazard identification, management, and, where possible, elimination.

Our teams are dedicated to keeping those who enter our facilities healthy and safe. We implement and constantly refine safety systems, and strive for an injury-free workplace through proactive and continuous improvements to our processes and training.

Fiscal 2021 was the Company’s
safest year on record.

40 facilities have gone
for 3 years,
since fiscal 2019.

74 facilities were
in fiscal 2021.


Avoid serious injuries
and fatalities

Cultivate personal safety

Our Health & Safety policies and programs ensure:

  • Adequate supply and proper use of personal protective equipment.
  • Training and practice on machine, equipment, truck, and operator safety.
  • Emergency preparedness for potential safety incidents and natural disasters.
  • Incident and accident management, procedures, and protocols.
  • Appropriate workplace ergonomics in the field, in the office, and at home.
  • Proper chemical handling, labeling, and storage.
  • Fire prevention and emergency response.

These policies and programs align with leading industry practices and rely on the expertise of our health and safety leaders. Our strong safety culture is continuously improving, as we constantly reinforce safe behaviors and encourage a sense of mutual accountability.

We also track safety performance across a variety of industry standard metrics, including:

  • Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR).

  • Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART).

  • Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR).

  • Fatality Rate.

Celebrating our Safest Year Yet

Over the past 18 months, additional safety measures due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic required our Health and Safety teams to adapt to an evolving situation while continuing to perform normal job tasks. Despite these challenging conditions, we are proud to celebrate 2021 as the safest year in our Company’s history, having recorded a Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) of 1.71, a 10 percent improvement over 2020, our previous best.

We attribute this achievement to our efforts over the past several years to engage leaders and frontline employees to address root causes of safety incidents and implement immediate preventative measures to eliminate risk of future occurrences.

Our Total Case Incident Rate* (# of incidents per 200K working hours)

Bar chart showing Schnitzer's total case incident rate from 2019 through 2021

Our Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred Rate (# of incidents per 200K working hours)

Bar chart showing Schnitzer's days away, restricted, or transferred rate from 2019 through 2021

Our Lost Time Incident Rate* (# of incidents per 200K working hours)

Bar chart showing Schnitzer's lost time incident rate from 2019 through 2021

*COVID-19 cases for which contact tracing could not identify a source of exposure outside of work are included in OHSA reporting in accordance with OHSA reporting requirements using a designated special code for the nature of the illness. These cases are excluded from the TCIR and LTIR metrics shown above.

55 Schnitzer Operations Receive ISRI Circle of safety Excellence (COSE) Awards

Locations across our operation received ISRI’s COSE award for outstanding commitment to employee safety. This award recognizes a location’s ability to instill core safety values and exhibit continuous improvement in safety programs and worker incident reduction.

ISRI: Circle of Safety Excellence. Safely, Or Not At All.

Safe Drivers, Safe Communities

Our team of more than 200 drivers is responsible for safely hauling recycled metals, end-of-life vehicles, and finished steel products across all parts of the country. Our driver safety practices include use of on-vehicle cameras in all trucks with machine vision and artificial intelligence (MV/AI) triggers to identify and signal lane departures, forward collisions, following distance, cell phone usage, seatbelt usage, distracted driving, speeding, harsh cornering, and incomplete stops. Vehicles also employ real-time, in-cab alerts that react to MV/AI triggers to encourage self-correction. We utilize GPS tracking on all trucks and make use of electronic logging devices to manage hours of service and vehicle inspection reports.

We promote safety by offering quarterly bonuses for safe driving behaviors and requiring rigorous training for both new hires and existing drivers. Our environmental training programs offer best practices around spill response, fuel conservation, idling policies to minimize associated air emissions, and other related regulatory compliance practices.

Safety is more than a priority at Schnitzer, it is one of our core values. By continuously working to improve our programs and policies, we ensure that our teams operate responsibly in our communities and return home safely at the end of each day.”

– Melissa Frangiosa, Fleet Safety Director

Launching the Serious Injury and Fatality Prevention Program

In 2021 we launched our Serious Injury and Fatality (SIF) prevention program, targeting nearly 400 managers and supervisors across the organization. The development of this program began in 2020 with the identification of critical workplace risks that pose the greatest threat to employee safety.

The SIF program creates a foundation for safe work practices by defining controls for each of the critical risks. Site leaders perform frequent field-based observations to verify that controls are in place and functioning properly. Gaps or inconsistencies found during these observations are addressed immediately. Beyond reducing individual injuries and fatalities, the SIF program promotes a collaborative learning environment that supports safety improvements throughout the Company.

Our Lost Time-Free Facilities

Bar chart showing Schnitzer's lost time-free facilities from 2019 through 2021

Our Injury-Free Facilities

Bar chart showing Schnitzer's injury-free facilities from 2019 through 2021

Leveraging Today’s Success for Future Safety Improvement

When it comes to safety, our work is never truly finished. Building a safe work environment requires perseverance, attention to detail, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

Our safety success can be credited, in part, to Layered Safety Observations (LSOs)—a dedicated time for a manager to observe an employee perform a work task. After the task is complete, the pair discusses potential hazards and existing controls. Managers may offer constructive feedback, and employees share concerns or suggestions for process improvement.

Through an analysis of our Lost Time Injuries, we also understand that nearly 54 percent of workplace injuries are associated with handling, lifting, or other activities that result in muscle strains or overexertion. Enhanced training programs focused on incorporating proper work techniques—safe lifting, twisting motion avoidance, warmup and stretching exercises to prepare for the workday—have proven successful in reducing injuries and incidents.

In 2021 routine LSOs and enhanced training practices for frontline supervisors supported our overall performance resulting in 70 percent of our facilities operating without a recordable injury and 93 percent posting no lost time for the year.

To reinforce our engagement and training efforts we perform daily safety huddles, morning stretch and flex exercises, Field-Level Risk Assessments (FLRA), and monthly Environmental Health and Safety town hall meetings.

Maintaining a safe work environment also requires adopting a holistic view of occupational health—extending beyond physical health to include mental well-being and environmental factors. We incorporate daily informal interactions and conversations to assess mental work readiness. If an employee appears to be in distress or unfit for work, we offer a 24-hour medical line to facilitate engagement with a healthcare professional. When employees face specific risks due to extreme weather, our teams adopt appropriate measures to accommodate work conditions.

We keep safety and environmental stewardship at the forefront of everything we do at our steel mill. We pride ourselves in the quality of our products, our customer service, and the conscientious and innovative individuals who make up our team.”

– Matt Ruckwardt, Chief of Steel Operations & Business Performance Administration

Safety in Steelmaking

In 2021 we installed and implemented several new systems and controls to achieve improved safety results at our steel mill.

A remote-control trackmobile system now facilitates the daily transportation of nearly 3,000 tons of material handled at the steel mill, reducing the number of employees involved in material transportation.

Additional improvements to walking paths along rail lines have reduced risks associated with ankle, knee, and other walking-related injuries for conductors. The installation of rail crossing barriers, an upgrade that allows operators to take control of an intersection while moving railcars, reduces the risk of train or vehicle collision.

Together these technology and process improvements support our ongoing effort to reduce risk and improve efficiency across the facility.

Our Total Case Incident Rate* (# of incidents per 200K working hours)

Our Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred Rate (# of incidents per 200K working hours)

Our Lost Time Incident Rate* (# of incidents per 200K working hours)

Our Lost Time-Free Facilities

Our Injury-Free Facilities