Introduction

Author:International Labour Organization
Pages:1-2
 
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MEISI05-R-2005-02-0159-1-En.doc
1
Introduction
In accordance with the decision taken by the Governing Body of the ILO at its
288th Session in November 2003, a Meeting of Experts on Safety and Health in the Iron
and Steel Industry was convened in Geneva from 1 to 9 February 2005 to draw up and
adopt a revised code of practice on safety and health in the iron and steel industry. The
Meeting was composed of seven experts appointed following consultations with
Governments, eight experts appointed following consultations with the Employers’ group
and eight experts appointed following consultations with the Workers’ group of the
Governing Body.
The original code of practice on safety and health in the iron and steel industry was
adopted at a meeting of experts in 1981. This new code, which reflects the many changes
in the industry, its workforce, the roles of the competent authorities, employers, workers
and their organizations, and on the development of new ILO instruments on occupational
safety and health, focuses on the production of iron and steel and basic iron and steel
products, such as rolled and coated steel, including from recycled material. It does not deal
with the mining of raw materials for iron and steel production, which is covered by the
Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176), and by codes of practice on
safety and health in coal mines (1986) and safety and health in opencast mines (1991), nor
does it deal with the fabrication of commercial steel products.
This code of practice is based on principles established in international instruments
relevant to the protection of workers’ safety and health. The first two chapters deal with
the objectives and application of the code. The next two chapters address, within a national
framework, the responsibilities, duties and rights of the competent authority, the labour
inspectorate, employers, workers and their organizations, suppliers, manufacturers and
designers, and contractors, and occupational safety and health (OSH) management systems
and services and OSH reporting.
Part II of the code addresses different operations commonly used in the production of
iron and steel – from coke ovens to steel furnaces and foundries, to rolling mills, coating
lines and recycling. It also covers transport, competence and training, personal protective
equipment, emergency preparedness, and special protection and hygiene issues. Each
section describes hazards, assesses risk and provides guidance on eliminating or
controlling risk.
Where appropriate, the code draws on relevant parts of existing ILO instruments,
including: Occupational safety and health in the iron and steel industry (Geneva, 1983);
Safety in the use of chemicals at work (Geneva, 1993); Management of alcohol- and drug-
related issues in the workplace (Geneva, 1996); Technical and ethical guidelines for
workers’ health surveillance (Geneva, 1998); Guidelines on occupational safety and health
management systems (Geneva, 2001); Safety in the use of synthetic vitreous fibre
insulation wools (glass wool, rock wool, slag wool) (Geneva, 2001); Ambient factors in the
workplace (Geneva, 2001); HIV/AIDS and the world of work (Geneva, 2001); and Safety
and health in the non-ferrous metals industries (Geneva, 2003). The annexes include
information on hazard identification, risk assessment and control and, drawn from relevant
ILO instruments, information on workers’ health surveillance, surveillance of the working
environment and on establishing an OSH management system. As these instruments are
updated, the references to them in electronic versions of this code will be adjusted
accordingly. There is also information on exposure limits and on chemicals used in the iron
and steel industry.
The practical recommendations of ILO codes of practice are intended for the use of
all those, both in the public and private sectors, who have responsibility for safety and

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