The UN World Day for Safety and Health at Work is celebrated worldwide on 28 April. The day reminds us of the dangers people face daily around the world when doing their jobs. Every company can and should continuously take steps to better evaluate and improve the wellbeing and safety of their employees.
The theme of the day this year is “Workplace stress: a collective challenge”. One of the causes for many common injuries at work is lack of focus and not concentrating on the situation at hand. This in turn is often related to a challenging or stressful environment or situation at work. The theme of the year reminds us to take note of stress as a factor in injuries at work.
Safety and health at work has been one of UPM’s focal points of development during the past five years. The three year Step Change in Safety initiative (2011 – 2014) managed to cut down work-related injuries leading to an absence by 70 percent. Now we are working hard to further lower the number of injuries.
UPM’s safety principles are safety first, safety starts with me and we can prevent all accidents. The principles emphasize the fact that we should all keep our own and our colleagues’ safety in mind every day and that safety is never secondary to anything else.
During the safety week a number of safety events and safety walks have been organized at UPM sites. Every year UPM rewards Safety Awards to sites in all business units for reaching company safety goals. Safety awards are given in two categories: Frontrunner and Best improver. 20 units made the grade to be included in the UPM Frontrunner club where the Lost Time accident Frequency (LTAF) is below the target level of 3 and where there are no serious injuries in the past three years. The Best Improver awards were given to units that have developed their safety results the most. A company-wide drive to make a change for the better has been evident during the week.
Now is a good time to take a minute to think about your safety at work. Is the working environment safe and in good order? Are your colleagues wearing all the right equipment? Is there a way to make the day a little less stressful? If you notice anything make sure to talk about it with your colleagues and make the workplace a little safer.
Have a great, safe, day!