North Star BlueScope Steel in Delta has again been recognized for safety and innovation.
BlueScope, owner of North Star BlueScope Steel, selected North Star’s Quality Assurance Lab as a shared winner of the 2020 Health and Safety Innovation Award for ergonomic improvements in the mechanical testing laboratory. This recognition is the second consecutive year that North Star has won this award, which recognizes a project that develops plant equipment/engineering and/or infrastructure to enhance health and safety.
Every year, BlueScope reviews nominations from more than 160 operations across 18 countries and chooses winners in six different categories for their Health and Safety Excellence contest. North Star followed up its 2019 awards for Automation in Temperature Measurement at the EAF and Home Safety Teams with the 2020 award for Automated Tensile Testing.
Prior to automation in the lab, team members manually loaded and unloaded test pieces, which included many repetitive movements. With the new testing system, team members can load test pieces in a rack at ground level. Then, a robot grabs the test piece measures and loads the sample into the test frame. The new process is an ergonomic improvement for the team members, reducing their workload for testing, allowing them to address other projects.
QA Lab Team Leader Jackie Bancroft said, “Safety has always been our top value. At the end of the day, we want everyone to go home safe and healthy. With this new automated system, lab team members experience a safer and more balanced workday.