Wellbeing and safety at work



At Metsä Group, promoting and maintaining wellbeing at work and working capacity are based on preventive action. Our goal is to identify factors that threaten to compromise our employees’ working capacity as early as possible, take systematic measures in a timely manner and maintain good health throughout their careers.

Our wellbeing-at-work services are provided in collaboration with the management, HR and supervisors.

A good place to work

Wellbeing at work is the foundation for success, both for individual employees and the company as a whole. Wellbeing is always a personal experience consisting of many things: meaningful tasks, smoothly running working days, and feeling eager to come to work. Wellbeing is affected not only by your physical condition, but also by the fact that you have the necessary skills and competences to carry out your tasks. In this you are supported by good management, supervisors and colleagues. We also consider occupational safety matters. At a personal level, wellbeing is affected by illness, ageing and life changes. We feel that every one of us is responsible for attending to our personal wellbeing.

When all these elements are in place and the basic rules are clear, you can enjoy and succeed in your work. This is what we mean by promoting wellbeing. Our goal is that all Metsä Group employees are able to do their work well and be productive.

Heathy at work

We believe that healthy, motivated and satisfied employees are one of our success factors. We use a shared, Group-wide model to support our employees' working capacity. This model includes early support, assessments and personal working capacity plans. We want to create a caring work communities and ensure that we treat our employees equally.

We provide our supervisors with tools and training to identify situations that potentially compromise wellbeing at work. We also encourage our employees to proactively take care of their health by providing information, among other things, about how to improve recovery, the effects of shift work and ergonomics. Our occupational healthcare services are harmonised and comprehensive, enabling extensive preventive services and effective and quick examination of diseases. We also support free-time activities, such as exercise and culture.

We monitor absences and accidents through Group-wide goals and reporting. Local labour protection committees play an important role in providing training and promoting safety at work. Our local labour protection committees cover our employees in our key countries of operation.

We target at keeping the sickness absence rate below 3 per cent, which is the lowest level in Europe.

The purpose of the actions supporting working capacity is to:
• Secure health and prevent sickness absences
• Proactively identify work disability risks
• Enhance early support at the workplace and establish our operating model
• Carry out effective, correctly targeted measures based on proactive identification
• Effectively reduce costs related to work disability and sickness absences

Personal working capacity plan

If we detect that an employee is exposed to a health risk that is known to cause sickness absences and reduced working capacity and if the risk is realised, we will prepare a personal health programme for the employee to mitigate or even eliminate the risk. Reduced working capacity or work disability can be assessed and predicted up to 10 years in advance. A personal working capacity plan can include training, work arrangements and medical measures, for example.

The plan is prepared in cooperation with the employee. As a result of our proactive, performance-based operating model, sickness absences have decreased by more than half, which is also reflected in sickness absence costs.


Safety at work


All Metsä Group employees have the right to return safely home from work

At Metsä Group, safety at work is an integral part of daily operational management. Our focus is on preventive work that allows us to avoid dangerous situations.  Everyone is responsible for following safety instructions, making observations about defects and shortcomings, and eliminating hazards.
Safety at work is managed and monitored Group-wide. Our goals and occupational safety indicators encourage us to continuously develop our operations. One of our goals is to reduce accidents by 10% every year.

Targeting zero accidents at work

Our performance in 2016 was excellent: accidents decreased by 22% from previous year. We provide all of our employees and subcontractors working at our mills with induction training in safe ways of working. Our long-term goal is zero accidents.

At the Metsä Fibre mill in Joutseno and Metsä Board mill in Tampere, for example, no accidents occurred in 2016. The Mänttä mill warehouse has also excelled in safety work: no accidents in two years.

Continuous improvement

We are continuously seeking new ways to improve safety at work. We believe that with transparency and changes in attitudes, we will reach better performance and safety at work.

For example, Metsä Board and Metsä Tissue have speeded up positive development in safety at work. At Metsä Board’s mills, the use of personal protective equipment was harmonised and standards were defined for personal protective equipment during 2016. On the other hand, Metsä Tissue arranges occupational training in all countries where the company operates. The focus of the training is on enhancing occupational safety culture and preventive work.

Safety and well-being data​2016​2015​2014​2013​2012
​Sickness absenteeism %1)​3.9​3.9​3.7​3.8​3.9
​Work accident absenteeism%1)0.14​0.20​0.22​0.25​0.22
​Accident rate%2)7.4​9.5​11.2​13.2​15.7
​Registered occupational diseases, no. of cases6​6​7​3​3
​Work related fatalities, no. of cases​1 3)​0​1​1

​1) Per cent of theoretical working time.
2)Lost time accident 1 frequency rate. Accidents at work resulting to at least one day sickleave per million worked hours.
3)External employee.

Learn more from our sustainability report.