Proactive observation prevents accidents

26 April 2017

In spring 2016, UPM launched the global One Safety system and tool for managing issues related to the environment, occupational health and safety and security. The tool is used at most UPM units.

“According to studies, proactive observation is the best way to prevent and reduce accidents. With the new global way of working, we want to encourage employees to pay attention to their working environment, record potential deficiencies and report incidents through the system,” says Merja Partio, UPM’s Head of Occupational Health and Safety.

Partio explains that there has been a positive response to the new system. During 2016, approximately 44,000 safety observations were recorded throughout the group.

“All information related to occupational safety is entered into the system. Accidents are also recorded. Thanks to the system, we will have a comprehensive data bank of information that we can analyse in order to further improve occupational safety.”

Proactive observation is also promoted during regular safety walks.

“The aim is that people in certain positions will be active and discuss safety-related matters with the employees. By the end of the year, there were 38,400 safety walks and discussions throughout the group,” says Partio.

External contractors are included

Juha Viitala, occupational safety and health representative for the Rauma mill, adds that external contractors working at UPM premises can also record their observations to the One Safety system.

” Contractors are able to observe our operations as outsiders and raise issues that we may not notice because of our own routines. I therefore hope that external contractors will take a more active role in reporting.”

Viitala says that One Safety covers all the different areas of safety.  The system also includes risk assessments related to work permits and various tasks as well as preventive measures required to guarantee safety.

“For example, the risk assessments for the groundwood mill of UPM Rauma were added as a favourite on the One Safety homepage at the shared computers in the control room. When an employee opens One Safety on the computer, the workplace related risks are immediately visible on the screen.”

An increase in environmental observations

“Thanks to One Safety, there has also been an increase in observations related to environmental risks, which is very positive in my opinion,” adds Hanna Eklund, Environmental and Safety Manager at UPM Kymi paper mill.

Whereas previously environmental issues were mainly reported by those working with environmental matters, now all employees can record their environmental observations in the system. “The system helps us increase environmental awareness in a comprehensive manner,” she says.

“Observations are reviewed in the machine lines’ morning meetings, and after that we determine what we can do about them. The notification is updated with the necessary measures. When the task has been completed, a message is sent to the person who filed the observation, informing of the corrective measures.”

Read more:

At UPM employee safety comes first every day of the year

Staying healthy with WASH

Safe working environment

Vesa Puoskari

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