Published: March 31, 2023

Safety is part of Tapojärvi’s daily operations. Each employee is also responsible for promoting safety.

A strong safety culture guides the company’s operations. In addition to occupational safety, it includes the practices that ensure everyone gets to go home healthy after a day’s work. It also encompasses the way in which the work community and individuals identify and prepare for work-related risks and improve safety on a daily basis.

“Safety is a team effort which is developed together. Safety is based on good training, systematic prevention of risks and compliance with instructions,” says Juho Pesonen, who works as an Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator at Tapojärvi.

Each Tapojärvi production site has a designated occupational health and safety coordinator. The main responsibility of occupational health and safety coordinators is to promote proactive safety measures and ensure that information flows both within and between the work sites.

“Proactive safety measures include the daily use of the work card model, work community meetings, safety walks and safety observation reports. Employees make observations of incidents that could have resulted in an accident, hazardous situation, deterioration in health or negative environmental impact. Employees are also encouraged to report their observations of positive achievements,” Pesonen says.

Employees have been instructed to pause and think before acting and to anticipate potential risks in their daily work.

Tapojärvi’s Chief Operations Officer, Martti Kaikkonen, emphasises the responsibility of each employee in safety issues.

“We all have an opportunity to choose the correct protective equipment, tools and machinery equipment and perform our duties in accordance with the safety instructions. Safety must be considered in everything we do and at all times,” Kaikkonen points out.

Results are reflected in daily work

When looking at the safety statistics, there is a clear variation between the years. In the long run, Tapojärvi has improved occupational safety with measures such as safety observations.

“We have been able to eliminate many risks by creating safety instructions based on the observations,” says Tomi Unhola, who works as a Production Manager and Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator at Tapojärvi’s Tornio site.

Today, the staff is committed to following safety instructions and using protective equipment.

“For instance, the use of eye protectors is much better today than it was before. We tend to learn from our mistakes. Now, we have much fewer eye injuries than previously,” Unhola says.

Identified failures and mistakes are opportunities to learn.

“We could still improve many things. They say progress stops upon satisfaction. We work on occupational health and safety each day, and there are no days off,” says Juho Pesonen.