Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational safety is foremost preparation and concrete actions

The most important objective regarding safety at Westenergy is to prevent occupational accidents and determined work has been carried out to reach that goal. There is an objective for the number of the staff’s near-miss reports and safety observations (120 annually), and altogether 161 such situations were reported in 2018. It is inevitable that different near-miss situations take place, and it is of key importance to create an open atmosphere that will make it easy for the staff to report dangerous situations at work. Only when they are reported, will we be able to address the issues and prevent accidents from happening. It is remarkable that no occupational accidents have taken place at Westenergy in three years.

Westenergy’s staff is committed to promoting safety at work. The 0 accidents forum granted Westenergy the highest categorisation of On top of the world I for the second time in a row. The 0 accidents forum is a network of companies that aims at developing occupational health and safety and shares good practices between member organisations.

Westenergy is one of the first companies in Finland whose management system has been certified in accordance with the new ISO 45001:2018 standard. The new standard emphasises the role of safety management as well as detecting the primary reasons and analysing the effectiveness of the procedures that have been carried out.

Foremost, occupational safety is preparation and concrete actions. The service stops of the plant create special challenges for occupational safety as there are dozens of employees from different companies working at the plant at the same time during the service stop, and most of the work carried out differs significantly from routine tasks. Therefore, everyone working at the plant site goes through safety orientation material. The material is online so the employee can read the safety instructions thoroughly before arriving at the plant site.

Occupational safety is being promoted also with the help of so-called safety minutes that are short discussions with the management and employees regarding current safety topics. Last year the topics of safety minutes were, for instance, using gas meters and lifting objects in the boiler hall. Westenergy’s cooperation partners have also had safety discussions regarding special work carried out during the service stops.

During the service stop last year, special safety inspections were also carried out to make sure that safety instructions are being followed. In addition, emergency exit rehearsal in dark was carried out last year, and it went well. Audible communication system was also installed in the plant which can be used to inform everyone working at the plant site of a possible dangerous situation more efficiently than with radiotelephones.

In 2018, an electrical hot work permit system was also taken into use. The program checks automatically that an employer carrying out hot work has a valid hot work card. The permits are saved electronically so they can also be checked later if necessary.

Education and well-being at work are considered important

Well-being at work and good work motivation inspire the staff to work actively to achieve the goals, and therefore, Westenergy considers education and developing the work atmosphere important. In 2018, a thorough study on the work atmosphere was carried out. The study consisted of an electronic survey, personal interviews and sessions where the results of the study and possible corrective actions were discussed. The work atmosphere was considered positive and Westenergy was regarded as an equal place to work. The study revealed, however, that there is room for improvement, for instance, in the flow of information. To improve the information flow, for example, the intranet and document control system are being improved.

Education of the staff is being invested in, and a personal education plan is outlined for every employee on the basis of development discussions. In outlining the plan, the needs of the company as well as those areas where the employee would like to develop and learn more are recognised.

During the service stop in 2018, the staff’s exposure to heavy metals was analysed. The findings were good as the levels of heavy metals remained very low.

To improve well-being at work, the staff is offered a possibility to participate in different health promoting campaigns every year. In 2018 the staff was offered a possibility to participate in Motivire well-being course where personal programs for, for instance, adding exercise and improving eating habits were laid out. In addition to the well-being course, a sports day was organised for the staff in the spring, and the employees could choose to cycle or to play ice-hockey. Westenergy’s staff was also represented at BotniaRun where the employees run 100 laps as relay race in Botniahalli sports hall. Westenergy is a well-knit work community, and the employees do a lot of sports together also in their leisure time.

The absence due to sickness rate of the employees was relatively low (2,11 %) as in previous years, and there were a lot of employees that didn’t have any such absences in 2018.