Case

Aiming for zero accidents at the Rajamäki plant

Occupational safety at the Rajamäki plant is both seen and heard. Following the plant’s renewal process, Altia has placed increasing emphasis on Rajamäki serving as an example of occupational safety.

Occupational safety is part of the everyday work of every Altia employee. It aims to get every employee actively involved in the development and maintenance of safety.

At Rajamäki, this is visible in the day-to-day work. Every operational meeting starts with a safety review. Safety walk-throughs are also conducted at regular intervals, with the aim of observing possibilities to enhance safety.

“Continuous safety work is important given the large number of people working at the plant. Altia’s employees alone number 230, of whom 160 work in operator or logistics tasks. Subcontractors add to this number, and their employees also go through a separate safety induction,” says Janne Peltoniemi, Plant Manager at Rajamäki.

The Rajamäki plant has been renewed in a variety of ways during the past few years. Among other things, the automation of production lines was increased, the organisational structure was developed and IT systems were renewed. Occupational safety was also developed and maintained, from a number of aspects.

“We want to guarantee our employees the possibility to get home safe after every workday. Every accident is one accident too many, and our goal is to raise the level of occupational safety up to the point of zero accidents. In this respect, we represent openness, because at Rajamäki we classify even accidents which do not necessarily result in sickness absences, but require a visit to the occupational health doctor, as occupational accidents. This facilitates responses to situations and safety development,” says Peltoniemi.

Everyone is responsible for occupational safety

Peltoniemi says that safety thinking aims for a situation in which employees internalise the significance of safety in every aspect of their lives.

“We’ve distributed reflectors to our employees, for one thing, and have organised safety slogan campaigns. Three or four times a year we also organise safety-related events with the goal of reminding our employees of the importance of safety,” says Peltoniemi.

Occupational safety is high on the plant’s agenda: everyone – from the management team to the occupational health and safety committee and from supervisors to employees – has participated in its development. Reporting has been developed in such a way that everything that could improve occupational safety is discussed and processed. This ensures that they can be learned from and facilitates the prevention of hazardous situations.

More than 250 close calls were reported during 2018. These close calls have served as a basis for corrective measures which have lowered the risk level and increased the amount of safety work. The frequency of accidents resulting in absences did indeed decrease by 29.5% during the year.

“I had one of the greatest moments of my career so far this year when the Rajamäki plant achieved the milestone of a hundred days without accidents. I was about to put that figure on the screen in a plant information session, but before I could do that, the employees broke into spontaneous applause for the achievement. That felt pretty good,” says Peltoniemi.