Creating Safety Culture

Safety is a state of absence or freedom from risk of injury, accident, or any dangerous occurrence. Whereas health; is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, merely absence of disease. Safety and health is a part of almost all jobs and everyone is concerned to some degree.

Accidents can very quickly eat away profits, NOT to mention the morale and efficiency of employees. People may believe that insurance is for accidents and will cover any costs, but there are many costs, direct and hidden, incurred from accidents and injuries. With just ONE accident, a direct cost may include the cost of the insurance claim and any payments to the injured; however hidden costs can accumulate from paying a temporary replacement employee, costs to investigate the accident, increased insurance premium, costs of interruptions in production and above all “soft” costs to damaged reputation and customer relations.

Reducing accidents in workplace is an important part of remaining in today’s business climate. Regardless of the size and nature of enterprise safety of each employee is crucial to an organization’s success. Several research outcomes suggest that developing strong safety cultures have the single greatest impact on accident reduction of any process. It is for this single reason that developing these cultures must be top priority for all managers and supervisors.

What is a safety culture? the safety culture of an organization is the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies and patterns of behavior that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organization’s health and safety management.

Typically, attempts to improve workplace safety concentrated on technical issues and individual human failures. Therefore it is essential to create a corporate atmosphere or culture in which safety is understood and is accepted as “the number one priority”. Worker’s perceptions and their reactions to how safety is managed in the workplace, and the likelihood those perceptions and reactions will contribute to a workplace incident. Organizations with a positive safety culture are characterized by communications founded on mutual trust, by shared perceptions of the importance of safety and by confidence in the efficacy of preventive measures.

A safety culture needs strong top-down support, good communication, established processes and built-in accountability. A “good” safety culture may reflect and be promoted by four factors: “senior management commitment to safety”; realistic and flexible customs and practices for handling both well-defined and ill-defined hazards; continuous organizational learning through practices such as feedback systems, monitoring and analyzing; and a care and concern for hazards which is shared across the workforce. Examining worker attitudes towards safety and their perceptions of hazards within the workplace is often used to provide a measure of the organization’s safety climate and ultimately the safety culture which underlies it.

In a strong safety culture, everyone feels responsible for safety & pursues it on a daily basis; employees go beyond “The Call of Duty” to identify unsafe conditions, behaviors and intervene to correct them. For instance, in a strong safety culture any worker would feel comfortable walking up to the plant manager or CEO & reminding him / her to wear safety glasses. This type of behavior would not be viewed as forward or over-zealous but would be valued by the organization & rewarded. Likewise coworkers routinely look out for one another & point out unsafe behaviors to each other.

Ten Steps to Build Safety Culture:

  1. Define safety responsibilities for all levels of the organization, e.g., safety is a line management function.
  2. Develop upstream measures, e.g., number of reports of hazards/suggestions, number of committee projects/successes, etc.
  3. Align management and supervisors through establishing a shared vision of safety and health goals and objectives vs. production.
  4. Implement a process that holds managers and supervisors accountable for visibly being involved, setting the proper example, and leading a positive change for safety and health.
  5. Evaluate and rebuild any incentives & disciplinary systems for safety and health as necessary.
  6. Ensure the safety committee is functioning appropriately, e.g., membership, responsibilities/functions, authority, meeting management skills, etc.
  7. Provide multiple paths for employees to bring suggestions, concerns, or problems forward. One mechanism should use the chain of command and ensure no repercussions. Hold supervisors and middle managers accountable for being responsive.
  8. Develop a system that tracks and ensures the timeliness in hazard correction. Many sites have been successful in building this in with an already existing work order system.
  9. Ensure reporting of injuries, first aids, and near misses. Educate employees on the accident pyramid and importance of reporting minor incidents. Prepare management for initial increase in incidents and rise in rates. This will occur if under-reporting exists in the organization. It will level off, and then decline as the system changes take hold.
  10. Evaluate and rebuild the incident investigation system as necessary to ensure that it is timely, complete, and effective. It should get to the root causes and avoid blaming workers.

Top management support of a safety culture often results in acquiring a safety director, providing resources for accident investigations, and safety training. Further it lead towards a true safety culture uses accountability systems. These systems establish safety goals, measure safety activities, and charge costs back to the units that incur them.

Ultimately, safety becomes everyone’s responsibility, not just the safety director’s. Safety becomes a value of the organization and is an integral part of operations. Management and employees are committed and involved in preventing losses. Over time the norms and beliefs of the organization shift focus from eliminating hazards to eliminating unsafe behaviors and building systems that proactively improve safety and health conditions. Employee safety and doing something the right way takes preference over short term production pressures. Simultaneously, production does not suffer but is enhanced due to the level of excellence developed within the organization.

Any process that brings all levels within the organization together to work on a common goal that everyone holds in high value will strengthen the organizational culture. The concept of safety culture signifies the importance of how organizations manage health and safety in the workplace.  It is important that organizations consider that any changes made to the operations of a business, will have an impact on workers perceptions of the organization.

Creating a safety culture takes time. It is frequently a multi-year process. A series of continuous process improvement steps can be followed to create and implement a safety culture. Employer and employee commitment are the hallmarks of a true safety culture where safety is an integral part of daily operations. Eventually, PEOPLE LEARN CULTURE.

Advertisements

Memory Bank & Thinking Pattern

It is very pleasant but extremely cold Wednesday evening of December 2013. I witnessed fog through the day & literally it was zero visibility outside my house. I am having a cup of hot tea in my room and recalling the conversations with the people I met during travelling and training program. It is interesting to learn so much from each of them on their individual thoughts and life experiences.
I’m writing this to share my thoughts with all of you about positive and negative thinking patterns based on my life experiences and conversations with multi-cultured people from different areas of the globe. Every one knows this fact that whatever we do is saved in our memory backup and we often access to our memory bank to recall our life experiences. Taking our discussion to the next level I would categorise our memory backup into two parts.
  1. Part A
  2. Part B
The part ‘A’ of our memory backup/bank have all the good things that have happened to us in our life. This may include our success stories, victories, achievements, accomplishments, things that gave us joy, happiness and meanings. I really enjoy talking to the people who are used to access their part A of the memory backup most of the time and I feel the same amount of excitement and emotional positivist during my conversations with them.
The part B of our memory backup is filled with negative things. Some people always tend to access their part B of the memory bank whenever they recall their life experiences. They usually discuss their pains, hurts, disappointments, hatred, defeats, excuses & failures. They are more oriented to the things that has brought them sorrows, frustrations and sadness. When talking to them I can simply feel the negative forces from them on how they complain about their life, how miserable they are and also the criticisms they make either on their friends, colleagues, bosses or family members.
Throughout our life, we are free to choose which part of our memory backup to access. Based on my experience some people repeatedly return to part B of their memory backup and relive the painful things that have happened to them. This creates more stress and anxiety ultimately and they never get around to explore the part A of their memory backup.
I strongly believe that there is no possibility of having only one part of your memory backup. I suggest that if we want to live a healthy & balanced life and we want to get back to normal positive life mode then we should try to always keep our mind focused on the good things we have done in our life.
That is what I am practicing now a day. Yes, there are ups and downs in my life too but I am blessed to have great supportive friends and family members encouraging me to pursue my passion. And most importantly, I have thrown away the key to part B of my memory backup and only have the key to access part A of my memory backup … and that really keeps me moving 🙂
So my dear friends, which part of your memory backup you want to access in your daily life? Remember, your decision will determine what kind of life you want to live…

Is your TIME managing you?

You must have come across sentences like this: I don’t have enough time”, “I am always running late”, “I am frustrated because I feel there must be another way”, “I never find the time to do the things I really love to do”..
As a matter of fact everyone has the same amount of time in each day. Difference is that some people utilize the available time in a better way and make more out of it instead of wasting it like many other people who come up with excuses at the end. I believe that time is the same everywhere – I believe that we cannot manage our time. 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week. Not more and not less, it’s a limited resource. Instead of looking at how you manage that limited resource, what about looking at how you spend time?
We can better call it “Activity-management or Self-management” – this is what we should choose to do in our time. What activities do we want to put in our time and what activities don’t we want to put in our time. This is our choice. To take it a step further: Who decides this? I must say that each and every one of us decides that. We make new appointments and we cancel appointments. We decide how we want to manage our lives. That’s what I call “self-management”
If you ask someone to write down and track how they spend their time for a day, from the moment they wake up until the moment when they go to sleep. Writing down everything they do, from having a shower and breakfast, time they take to travel to their schools or offices, tracking the tasks at work for example meetings, answering phone calls, and e-mails etc., the time they worry about their work, household chores, shopping, cleaning and so on. We will be surprised about the outcomes. Most of the time we are not aware of ‘how we are spending our time and how much time we actually needed for certain things.
Ask yourself at least following questions:
  1. Am I living a happy and balanced life?
  2. Is this exactly how I want to spend my life for the next 10 years?
  3. Are these the priorities in my life I really want to live for?
  4. Am I investing my time on myself too?
  5. What activities make me smile?
  6. Where do I want to spend more time in my life?
  7. What needs more attention in my life?
  8. What makes me stronger?
  9. How can I build the life which I want?
Now the good news is that YOU can change that whatever you are doing if you are not satisfied with your existing life style. You are in-charge and only you can manage yourself better than anybody else. You are the one who has to decide which activities you want to follow and which ones you don’t want to pursue in your life. Remember that it is also possible to say no. You are allowed to cancel an appointment in order to have more time for yourself, because, you will set your priorities in your life.
What activities would you love to do? You will decide what you want to do. For example, you would prefer going for a walk or long drive, taking a breakfast early in the morning or sleeping for late hours, listening music sitting on the coach or having lunch with a wonderful friend or doing absolutely nothing & enjoying your time alone.
What else? You can change your priorities. If you are not happy with how you spend your time, you are allowed to change your activities, and add new ones.
Following questions can help you to set your priorities:
Remember my friend, you might regain your wealth, your health, your popularity but you can never regain your time which you have already spent. So be careful with that because it is the most important asset of your life. It has to be spent wisely.

A Meaningful life?

Whenever I meet successful and happy people I find one common thing in all of them which is one of the reasons of their satisfaction and happiness. They do what they like the most. They love the work they do and they do the work they love. This is always a great inspiration for all of the successful people. For example I do what I truly love then I will not feel like working because I will be having too much fun doing what.

If you ask me, Khurram, don’t you feel tired doing so much of your work?” My reply will be, “Did you ever see a boy getting tired of playing games?”
Specially for those who are starting their career and going to start their practical life soon. We need to find who we are? The journey of success starts from ‘self-realization’. Please try to look deep into your soul and find the answers of the below questions:
  • Why are we sent down to this earth?
  • Why we are given this life to live?
  • What we love to do and what we do with love?
  • What contribution we can make in this world at micro or macro level?
  • Where we want to end this journey of our life?

Of course this is not an easy exercise because we are already trapped into so many difficult scenarios of life. We can not get rid of so many generic problems which are associated to us since our birth. We are willing to change our life but we are not been able to take a step even because of social liabilities.

In this kind of situation some time we have to wait for the right time to take the first step. My suggestion is only that please do not wait too long that you may miss that opportunity to start your own life. Taking the control of your life in your own hands is the most important as well as difficult decision may be. But my friends this is what every successful individual did in his her life.

We know what are our challenges & what stops us to live your life on our own terms and conditions but if we have enough passion for what we like the most in our life, we will create the ways, opportunities, road map to our destiny as the common phrase goes, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’.

5 Life Principles

In a counseling session with one of my students, she asked me a question. “How can we avoid negative thinking in every day life”? My answer was simple. I said every time you say “Thank You” it is a good thought. As you plant better thoughts, the negative thoughts will slowly disappear. You can start appreciating your life such as your family, your health, your career, your home, your friends, your surroundings, your meals, your plants, your pets and the wonderful beauty of the day etc.
Give praise, compliments and thanks to all things that you are having right now. Knowingly thinking good thoughts is exactly like planting seeds. As you think good thoughts you are planting good seeds inside you, and the world will help you to transform those seeds into a garden of beautiful minds.
Life is full of positive and negative events. It is up to us that how much we learn from these events and use that learning experience to avoid negative thoughts. With the help of this concept we can even conver negative thoughts into positive ones.
I am sharing with you what I have learned about life from my day to day activities to overcome negative thoughts. These are 5 life principles I am sharing with you and I hope it will have an impact on your life journey too.
  • Kindness matters the most
Every day we meet different people who hurt us and cause us pain or discomfort, but we must learn to be kind to them. This will help us to forgive them & not hold grudges towards them eventually being not a part of that negativity. Life is very precious gift of God to all of us for sharing and living together. We can only live peacefully if we learn to be kind. When we talk about being kind to others at the same time I must say that we should learn to be kind to ourselves too. We might think that we made the biggest mistake of our life, and if only we didn’t do that we wouldn’t be in pain right now.
Instead of that, we should keep suggesting our-self that we are human beings and we are entitled to make mistakes; everyone does. In fact, we are going to learn from them and use those lessons to improve the quality of our life. Remembering the fact that if we want to feel LOVE again in the future, the first step is to prepare ourselves to give and receive it. We can only do that if we feel love toward ourselves; and that means forgiving & being kind to our-self for the mistakes we have already made in the past.
If we will be kind to others as well as our-self then it will help us to build more positive thoughts every day.
  • Learning from your own mistakes
Everyone make mistakes in his/her life that’s Ok but eventually we should learn from our mistakes because this is the easy way to improve the quality of our life by not repeating them again. We must develop the wisdom and sense to make good decisions and choices in our life which can only be developed if we learn from our mistakes.
I believe we start growing as soon as we identiy our mistakes and learn how to prevent them from happening again. If we will not accept our mistakes we can never learn from them. First step is self-catharsis which will help us to recognize and identify our mistake. We all make mistakes in life, this can be considered normal, but how we learn from them it matters a lot. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we will be making that same error again and again until we are forced to learn.
I must qoute Thomas Edison here who tried two thousand different materials in search of a filament for the light bulb. When none worked satisfactorily, his assistant complained, “All our work is in vain. We have learned nothing.” Edison replied very confidently, “Oh, we have come a long way and we have learned a lot. We know that there are two thousand elements which we cannot use to make a good light bulb.”
There are even mistakes made by some of twenty-five Prophets as mentioned in the Quran were pointed out publicly by Allah so that we can all learn from them. Adam’s error of judgment is well-documented. “Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts appeared to them, and they began to put on themselves leaves from Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray”. (Ta-Ha 20:121)
So moral of all the above discussion is that once we learn from our mistakes then we shine up as a more brighter and positive person who knows that fact that being negative is nothing but being positive and creating positive thoughts may lead him to the SUCCESS.
  • Forget the past not the lessons 
We all have good & bad experiences in our lives. Sometime people are unable to come out of their past and keep recalling their life experiences even if there are bad or good happenings. They try to relive with them. For example, people who had good experiences in their past, they keep on living with those good memories of the past which actually stops them from being progressive in the present time. The same thing happens with the people who have bad experiences. They keep on sharing negative pictures with others and give an impression that there is nothing better in their life now.
In both cases we should learn from the bad or good experiences and move on instead of trying to relive with them. Past is actually gone and we are living in the present. What we are doing in our present time, will create our future. So let’s focus on what we are going to do now. Let’s think, how can we improve ourselves today? How can we help other people who are struggling with different life issues? How can we safe-guard our future in a better way? In life there are regrets we will have to live with them, but we must learn to leave the past behind and realize it is something we can’t change now.
I would like to share a very famous example here to clarify the concept of leaving your past behind & move on. There was a wise man and he once sat in the audience and cracked a joke. Everyone laughed like crazy. A moment later, he cracked the same joke again and a little less people laughed this time. He cracked the same joke again and again, when there was no laughter in the crowd, and then he smiled and said:
“When you can’t laugh on the same joke again and again, then why do you keep crying over the same issue over and over again?” Forget the past and move on. All things in life are temporary. If things are going well enjoy it, they are not going to last forever. If things are going wrong, don’t worry, they can’t last long either. Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles but it takes away today’s peace. Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, Allah smiles from above and says, “Relax, it’s just a bend, not the end! Always have faith in Allah & remember “when Allah is with you, your troubles are in trouble”.
Leaving the past behind and focusing on your present time to make your and others future better is what gives you strength to fight against negative thoughts.
  • Honesty is the best policy
Since childhood we have been told by our elders & teachers that “Honesty is the best policy”. This should be very important aspect of life for all of us. Here a question should rise in our mind that to whom we should be honest. I strongly believe that the journey of being honest starts from our self. We must not only be honest to our-self but to our families, society & everyone around. Being honest to our self may be defined in short as to think positive and to live positive.
The encouraging fact is that that being honest gets a lot easier with practice, especially when we realize that others started to identify our authenticity and our respect grows accordingly. In the same way we will be considered more reliable & balanced personality among every age group.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH once gathered all the people of Mecca and asked them, “O people of Mecca!  If I say that an army is advancing on you from behind the mountains, will you believe me?” All said in one voice, “Yes, because we have never heard you telling a lie.”  All the people, without exception, swore to his truthfulness and honesty because he had lived an extremely pious life among them for forty years.
So being honest makes you become more positive person and it helps you to plant more positive seeds of thoughts in your mind helping to grow a garden of positive minds.
  • Challenge your problems to challenge you
Life is never been an easy journey for any one. There are going to be obstacles at every stage of life that will cause interference, but we must learn to overcome these problems and grow stronger.
First of all change the word “problem” with the word “challenge”. In fact problem is considered a negative word whereas challenge is considered a positive word because it seems like we are going to attempt something new, something big or something great. It gives positive energy to be more motivated and excited to do the difficult tasks even. I personally use a word of “situation” in some cases. For example if I am taking to my team members I would prefer to say “We have got a situation now” instead of saying “we have got a problem now”.
Remember, every problem is an opportunity in fact. If we will be able to handle it we will be successful otherwise we will learn few more ways to avoid failures in future. So whenever we are in any difficult situation we should take it as a challenge and be motivated instead of being depressed and down. There are fears that will hold us back from what we want, but we must learn to fight them with the courage from within us.
Remember my friends, your life is in your hands. You hold the key to your own future. Everything in life happens for a reason. So continue to live a life that is positive, fulfilling and meaningful. Being positive is the only solution we have to creating more positive thoughts and making our life more productive and meaningful.

MENTAL WELL-BEING

According to the dictionary, “mental health” is defined as “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being”. And according to World Health Organization “mental health” is not just the absence of mental disorder but it is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

I would like to define the term “mental health” as a state of mind when you are fully aware of your own potential, talent, and you are capable of utilizing it in the best interest of yourself as well as others having complete control on your emotional stability.

On the World Mental Health Day 2014 I would like to discuss about three important aspects related to mental health and mental well-being of the people. These three areas are mentioned as below:

  • Challenges of mental well-being
  • How to improve your mental health
  • How to behave with mentally challenged people
  • Inherited traits
  • Environmental exposure before birth
  • Brain Chemistry

Major mental health issues may include Addiction, Anxiety, Behavioral Disorders, Depression, Eating disorders, Emotional Stability Issues & Violence. I believe that these all have major impact on our daily life as well as performance at the end of the day. There a question comes into my mind that how can someone know that he or she is having any mental health issues and what causes them. According to my observation, if you are facing extreme mood changes, extreme sadness, excessive fear of failure, drugs addiction, extreme stress levels or suicidal thinking then you must immediately discuss with your closed ones or directly go & visit a doctor. Because there is a possibility that in most of the cases it does not cure itself.

We all know that we are going through a technologically advanced era in 2014 and when we look around every one is extremely busy in fulfilling their personal, professional and social commitments. It has become very challenging to survive at single earning source in most of the developing countries therefore people are working for extra hours. There are many reasons of stress like having no idea of choosing your academic programs and then you find it difficult when you practically start working in the field. There is a possibility that social issues, family matters, financial concerns and political scenarios may be the reason of stress to someone creating mental health challenges. But according to MAYO Clinic there are three reasons which may create mental health problems and these are:

“There are more chances of mental illness in people whose biological (blood) relatives also have a mental illness. Before birth if exposure to viruses, toxins and alcohol or drugs is observed while in the womb it also can sometimes be linked to mental illness. And lastly if there is any hormonal imbalance or biochemical changes in the brain these can also affect mood and other aspects of mental health”.

If the problem is not of sever nature a few simple tips may help to overcome or reduce the severity of the mental health issues. We have discussed above the mental health issues and causes. One of the major causes is stress and if we follow simple stress releasing activity on daily basis it might help at larger scale. Daily morning walk, book reading, proper healthy diet, caring attitude of the family, exercise, gardening, music therapy and getting organized in your life may be the basic activities which can surely be helpful.

Coming to the last point of the discussion that if someone is having some sort of severe mental health issues because of any reason and needs proper medication and medical treatment, how should we behave with them. And we know that there are millions of people around the globe who are going through tough times, having some sort of mental health challenges and here it becomes our prime responsibility to be the light of hope for all of them by not rejecting them as a part of our society. They are a part of us, part of our families and our society as anyone else.

If you really want to give a special gift to someone, give the gift of good health to yourself. – Khurram Shehzad

Look around yourself in your family, society and social circles and you will find so many innocent people who are having some sort of mental health challenges. They are not responsible for whatever situation they are going through and I strongly believe that God has not made any mistake because my concept of God’s perfection is that He has never made any one imperfect but If someone is having any disability then it is our responsibility to be the right support for him to make it as a perfect combination.

We must understand that they deserve the same level of affection, love, care, respect & attention. We must become their support and help them to live their life with the same dignity. We must share their pain with us and our happiness with them not only on the world mental health day but throughout the year.

Please at least spend some special time with somebody who is going through any mental health challenges on the World Mental Health Day 2014 and make it a perfect day for them. I wish we all should be the reason of happiness for all of them.

Strengthening Iron and Steel Industry

119.jpg

The significance of Iron and Steel Industry can’t be denied in the modern age. It is considered as ‘Steel Age’, where economic progress and development of a country depends to a greater extent on Iron and Steel Industry. Iron and steel is indispensable to use for making various goods for industry and daily life such as right from manufacturing a sewing needle to aircraft all the goods require iron and steel to come into being.

In Pakistan, steel industry exists since it came into being (1947). As after independence Pakistan had a single plant as “Pakistan Railway Steel Mills Lahore” (PRSML). The requirement of Engineering Plant as well as Steel Plant was the need of that time. Therefore in 1951, Batala Engineering Company (BECO) privately integrated plant was established to cater the requirements of engineering developments in the country. After take over by the Government in the year 1972 under the economic reforms, it was renamed as Pakistan Engineering Company (PECO). The areas focused after take over were Steel Making where three Electric Are Furnaces of 10 tons each, Steel Rolling Mills to roll bigger size steel angles were added in line with future trends.

PRSML served a valuable source of training for the establishment of private steel industry of Pakistan in 1960’s. Later in 1960’s foundation stone were laid by Ittefaq foundry. In private sector steel industry, Ittefaq Foundry particularly played very important role in the development of Pakistan at that time.

Steel consumption increases when economy grows as a result governments invest in: Infrastructure, transport, constructing new factories and plants. During 1970s, large government investments established Pakistan’s first only Public owned Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM), aimed at providing basic raw material to local high-tech industries in Pakistan with an annual production capacity of 1.1 million tons. The main products of Pakistan Steel are pig iron, billets, blooms, slabs, hot rolled coils / sheets, galvanized sheets etc.

Now days re-structuring of Pakistan Steel is under active consideration. While addressing a recently held seminar on Steel Mills deficit in Karachi press club, Mir Hazar Khan Bajrani (Minister for Industry and Production) strongly hopes that the present government is capable to pull PSM out of deficit and will not allow privatizing of PSM.

Though PSM is the only venture in public sector steel industry and nominal production capacity of Public Steel Sector in country includes People Steel Mills, Heavy Mechanical Complex Texila, Shipyard Engineering Karachi, Wah Ordinance and PECO which is less than 1 Million Tons per annum. The main products of Public and private steel industry include reinforcement bars, I-BEAMS, CHANNEL, Billets, Spring Steel and Steel Castings.

On the other hand production capacity of Private Steel Sector embraces hundreds of steel melting units is approximately 4 million tons (2010) excluding last one year or so. However demand of steel in Pakistan is more than 8 million tons. Due to the after affects of global recession, shortfall of gas, electricity and other influencing factors private steel sector of Pakistan has produced around 1.6 – 1.8 MT of crude steel in the last year. Both private and public sector conjointly produces less than what is required and creating a large gap between demand and supply.

Globally, in recent past year’s production of crude steel has risen astoundingly at the production rate of 1.2 million metric tons annually. In Asia China is recognized as a global steel leader, producing 538 MT of crude steel which is the one third of the total world steel production. With 118 MT production rate along this Japan has also achieved competitive market structure in steel industry. Certainly today, it is difficult to imagine a world without steel.

However in terms of purchasing power the economy of Pakistan is the 27th largest economy in the world. It is estimated that per ca-pita consumption of steel in Pakistan is only 38 kg compared to the global average of 175 kg. On the basis of existing structure of steel industry in Pakistan even a modest increase in per ca-pita steel consumption could be achieved to 80 kg in the next 10 years. According to the statistics for 2009, the world crude steel production stood at 1.2 billion tonnes, wherein Pakistan’s share is merely about 0.24 percent. This is an indicative of immense growth opportunities and investment potentials in the steel sector of Pakistan.

During last couple of years global economical crunch has also affected Steel Industry of Pakistan when our local industry is already struggling with overwhelmed constrains like poor supply of electric power, insufficient & none permanent supply of gas, higher percentage of taxes on imports of raw material, scarcity of modern technologies and techniques. As a matter of fact any industry cannot grow until it adopts the modern techniques and technology, trained their employees, consulting to professional experts and fostering engineering culture.

Steel is no more a labor-intensive industry it used to be. It has changed dramatically into modern steel plants where very few people are employed. Additionally rapid growth, innovation and technology have put immense pressure on companies all over the world. Companies are investing in state of the art steel making systems and practices to enhance their operations and yield. By adopting modern technologies and equipments companies enhance their production capacity as well as to minimize the product cost. Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) one of the most demanded output of steel industry and prime quality of liquid steel, companies prefer electrical arc furnace rather than Induction Furnace. This is preferred and the foremost adopted technology since it maximizes the percentage of DRI melting.

Adoption of technology has also emerged challenges for human resource management.  Such as In South Korea, POSCO employed 10,000 people to produce 28 million tonnes of crude steel. As a rule of thumb, one can put the direct employment potential at 1,000 per million tonnes of crude steel. Therefore, the steel industry has reduced the manpower around the world by more than 1,500,000 in last 25 years. According to some estimates one person-year of employment in the steel industry generates 3.5 person-years of employment elsewhere.

Today, Pakistan needs a number of quality steel manufacturing projects so that it does not only become self-reliant in the steel sector but also can enhance its share in the global engineering arena, certainly which is a multi-billion dollar market.

The large Iron Ore and coal reserves of Pakistan together with some liberal investment policies could provide good opportunities to investors in steel industry. Such as, Al-Tuwairqi Holding Saudi Arabia has put a huge investment in Pakistan to establish state of the art DRI plant in Karachi and this will start production of 1.28 MT of DRI by the Q4 of 2010.

The leading Steel Mills Manufactures, Industry Champions, Pakistan Steel Melters Association, Pakistan Steel re-rolling mills association, Pakistan Foundry Association, investors and technical experts should rigorously evaluate investment potentials in the steel sector of Pakistan. To strengthen steel industry and setting up new plants in Pakistan following are essential to take into account:

  1. Locations of Iron Ore Deposits of Pakistan
    1. Pakistan having promising reserves of Iron Ore is an ideal country for establishing a steel producing plant.
    2. Need of the time that government should also play its vital role to explore the ore mines to support private as well as public sector of steel industry.
  2. Production practices, technologies and process in vogue
    1. Companies should adopt modern technologies and should prefer to go for latest developed plants instead of traditional low cost projects producing steel at a low rate with product cost.
  3. Trends of Steel Production & Consumption
    1. Modern trends like usage of DRI in EAF / IF to produce better quality of steel as a quality conscious organization should be taken into accounts.
  4. Steel Demand and supply exploration for next decade
    1. As a matter of fact there is a huge gap between the demand and supply of steel in Pakistan. So this is a multi-billion dollars market for investors in the steel industry.
  5. Technology suitable for use of indigenous raw material
    1. Before putting a steel plant a thorough and detailed study of the market as well as resources is important to select the technology as well as the process to produce steel in Pakistan.
  6. Investment opportunities in Steel Sector
    1. Being an ideal place in terms of available resources and other opportunities

This is not the last never the least, though we are not producing as per the requirement but we are hopeful that we will InshAllah become self-reliant very soon.