Excellent safety results for UPM Specialty Papers

28 April 2017

Safety is the basis of all operations at UPM, and the safety results of 2016 were especially good in UPM Specialty Papers. Safety culture has been determinedly developed in the business area. How is the great safety evolution visible at the paper mills of Changshu, Jämsä River and Tervasaari?

UPM Changshu’s lost-time accident frequency (the number of lost-time work accidents per one million hours of work) was 0.4 last year. The great result exceeded UPM’s target (3) once again.

At Changshu mill, safety standards are visible on every level. A safety committee leads all safety practices. Reference groups have been created under the safety committee, and they include directors, managers, employees, and representatives of functions. It is up to the reference groups to think how the safety plans are implemented in practice.

”The reference groups have a very important role in furthering the development of our safety culture. With the help of the groups, the universal commitment in safety is improved and our implementations are sensible”, says Pentti Putkinen, General Manager, UPM Changshu.

The managers share the best practices with the whole mill in safety talks. All meetings start with discussions about safety issues, and the mill’s own weekly, Changshu Weekly News, covers safety on a regular basis.

“We even have healthy competition between departments. We follow ten different KPI meters monthly, and every year, the three best-performing departments are rewarded at our Annual Dinner”, Putkinen says.

Personnel reports diligently

Year 2016 was also exceptionally good for the Specialty Papers mills of Jämsä River and Tervasaari, which managed to halve all industrial accidents compared to last year, thus reaching UPM’s short-term target.

There were altogether five accidents requiring medical care, absence, or modified duty at the mills. Each accident is too much, reminds Harri Hiltunen, Manager of Environment and Responsibility at UPM Specialty Papers. He regards proactive indicators as a very important part of safety culture.

“Our personnel are very active in making observations about safety and dangerous situations in our One Safety reporting system. Over half of our people have reported on safety issues over 5 times. All reports are promptly discussed in the next morning’s meeting, and the necessary measures are taken right away”, Hiltunen says.

“Manufacturing label face and base papers for pressure sensitive materials requires constant attention in quality and product safety. We believe that this expertise also shows in the attitudes in managing safety issues. We encourage our personnel to be meticulous in their work.”

Sharing information reciprocally

UPM Tervasaari Mill manufactures the same adhesive label material as UPM Changshu, and the mills have carried out working culture exchange and cross-auditing. Chinese employees visited Finland and studied the Finnish manufacturing process and quality requirements, after which Finnish employees visited China to give support in the commissioning of a new paper machine.

“The collaboration between our mills was productive and fruitful. We got excellent feedback concerning the personnel’s commitment both ways. We learned from each other”, Harri Hiltunen says.
According to Pentti Putkinen, work safety can’t be bought.

“Safety is a mindset, and it starts with every one of us. We can never be in such a hurry that we wouldn’t do things in a safe way. In the end, each person is the only decision-maker.”

Saara Pakarinen

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