Working together for safety

Published 8 November 2019
At Stora Enso, we want everybody to get home safely from work every day. To do this, we need to continuously improve our ways of working and adjust how we think about safety. In 2019, the importance of safety is reinforced throughout the company during a company-wide Safety Week.

“Our ambitious but reachable goal is zero accidents in all operations,” says Noel Morrin, Executive Vice President of Sustainability at Stora Enso. “We have come far by halving our total accident rate in the past five years – and compared to a few decades ago, the improvement is tremendous. Recently, our Consumer Board division went 65 days without an accident – that’s over one million safe working hours and proof that a zero-accident workplace is achievable. But we still have a lot of work to do.”

At Stora Enso, we believe that safety starts at the top but that we are all responsible for working safely.

“Being safe at work is about simple things done well: common sense, taking personal responsibility for what you do, looking out for your co-workers,” Morrin says. “When taking on a task for the first time or something we have done before, do we take time to evaluate the risks? Do we plan the task well? These are some of the questions we need to ask when building a safety culture in the company.”

Certified safety

Safety at Stora Enso units is a top priority. It’s a visible theme through countless warning and reminder signs that help make safety a part of our daily routines. International standards such as the OHSAS 18001 further ensure that we apply a systematic approach to occupational safety. In 2019, Stora Enso’s Wood Supply Sweden received an ISO 45001 certificate for occupational health and safety, a new standard set to replace the OHSAS 18001.

“The ISO 45001 directs organisations to also focus on the opportunities of health and safety work rather than just risks,” says Mikael Eriksson, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist at Wood Supply Sweden. “It gives more weight to leadership commitment and the dialogue between leaders and the workforce in improving safety. Employees are seen as contributors to the results, not subordinates, which is how we feel about our workforce as well.”

Sharing safety know-how

The ISO 45001 standard also highlights the importance of involving contractors in safety improvements and urges companies to consider health and safety aspects in the sourcing of goods. Our Sourcing and Logistics function will run two webinars for our suppliers during the company-wide safety week.

“The goal is to share Stora Enso’s safety journey, key elements for safe operations and the ‘8 life-saving rules’ that we endorse at all our units,” says Johanna Pirinen, Senior Vice President of Sustainable Sourcing and Logistics at Stora Enso. “This is a great opportunity for us to start sharing our safety thinking and values in a new way. It is important that our suppliers have the same goals and values as us, also for safety.”

“Stora Enso’s goal is to get everybody home safe every day – our own employees, our suppliers and contractors, and anyone visiting our units,” Noel Morrin concludes.

Examples of safety activities at Stora Enso units and divisions during Safety Week 2019

• Consumer Board division will distribute a safety newsletter at all mill gates and conduct a safety culture survey for division employees.

• Paper division will present an award to one contractor at each paper mill based on their safety performance and commitment to Stora Enso’s safety requirements.

• Enocell Mill and Uimaharju Sawmill in Finland will distribute reflectors to local schools and organize wellbeing information sessions at the mill.

• Langerbrugge Mill in Belgium will focus on traffic safety by providing virtual reality tools for testing driving skills with a simulator that mimics being intoxicated.

• Wood Supply Sweden will launch new safety signs and develop communications materials of the function’s most important safety risks, to be discussed in team meetings.

• Murow sawmill in Poland and Nebolchi sawmill in Russia will organize a drawing competition for local children, with Nebolchi sawmill focusing on environmental safety.