Letter to the Editor: NZ Steel responds

I write to object in the strongest possible terms to disparaging reference to New Zealand Steel in Arnold Kransdorff’s article titled “Decision Making”, beginning on page 35 of the March edition of Management.

The offending passage reads:
“Safety issues recur year after year at Tranz Rail and NZ Steel, resulting in deaths and horrific personal injuries.” I can only conclude that Mr Kransdorff did not bother to research New Zealand Steel’s recent safety performance.

To set the record straight, New Zealand Steel recently set new safety record of 200 days lost time injury (LTI) free. This eclipsed our previous record of 84 days. This equates to 1.7 million hours worked without an injury that required an employee or contractor on our site to be unable to work their next rostered shift. Over the last 12 years our lost time injury frequency rate has dropped as follows – 1994 (25), 1997 (10), 2000 (6), 2003 (<2) including contractors. I contend this is creditable performance by any measure and not characteristic of the type of companies Mr Kransdorff is referring to. The injury that broke our excellent run was splinter in finger that became infected. The employees of New Zealand Steel have worked hard over the past several years at creating safe and healthy workplace for everyone on site, including contractors and visitors, and it is important that these achievements are properly recognised. I would be grateful if Mr Kransdorff and Management would publicly set the record straight.

Cyril J Benjamin, president
New Zealand Steel

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