Safety in daily work

​Let’s imagine we are in 2030 and we have achieved our sustainability goal of zero accidents. We have successfully created a safe work environment and a caring safety culture, as well as introduced standardised, safe methods of work. We know how to identify hazards before initiating work, immediately address any shortcomings, and always make the right choices to ensure our own safety and that of others. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

8.4.2022
 

​In reality, our work environment includes numerous hazards and our workdays are full of situations that require us to make choices – whether consciously or subconsciously. I want to believe that none of us compromises on safety, but sometimes our choices increase the chance and likelihood of injury. 

External stimuli such as alarms, a co-worker’s question while you’re working, or something unexpected you see may disturb your concentration and distract you from your work. This happens daily and is quite normal. The action we take in such situations and the impact of external conditions can lead to two outcomes: “Oops, that was close” or, in the worst case, an injury.

Our goal is to make our work environment as safe as possible

Unfortunately, this does not guarantee the elimination of all hazards. We need other measures to manage the remaining risks. Safety standards, such as the permit to work procedure and the lockout/tagout procedure, help us identify risks, as well as prepare for and avoid them. We also need expertise to safely perform our work and must remember to always focus on the task at hand.

If we understand how the choices we make while working affect the result, we are close to the desired outcome in terms of safety.

We must regularly stop to consider the safest way to perform our work. Observing, reporting and instructing others take up time. However, this should serve as an encouragement, demonstrating that safety is important to us and that we work hard to achieve it.

Working safely is a goal for all of us 

Identifying hazards and consciously observing close calls are the first steps towards an accident free work environment. A sense of safety alone is not enough. We must put in effort to reach our goal. We build safety through sustainable choices, and it is only natural that this is one our 2030 sustainability objectives.

We still have a lot to learn about promoting safety. Our goal of zero accidents is a challenge, the achievement of which requires the commitment of every employee. Everyone wants to go home healthy after the workday. 


Sari Pikkarainen 
Director of Safety, Metsä Group

Sami started at Metsä Goup in autumn 2021, and a key part of his work is the definition and development of Metsä Group's safety principles, processes and standards. Prior to this, he has worked in industry for ten years in pre-production and safety positions in the steel and chemical industries. He holds a degree in Industrial Engineering and Management.


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