Health and safety continues to be an issue of priority for Holmen. Group management has appointed a working party consisting of the site managers of the respective business areas. This team initiates activities and procedures, sets targets and key indicators, and follows these up on an ongoing basis, reporting back to Group management.
Holmen has seen a good trend in recent years, with the number of accidents falling. Unfortunately this downward trend was broken in 2015. The figure was thus 8.8 industrial accidents per 1 million hours worked (2014: 6.5). An interim target of max. 4.0 has been set for the end of 2016 (base year 2012: 11.6). The aim is to ensure injury-free operations for employees by offering a healthy, inspiring and safe work environment in physical, psychological and social terms. Safer work environments are always high on the agenda and the issue is monitored constantly at management level. As a result of the extensive work carried out in 2015, all the production facilities will have certified management systems in place for health and safety work in accordance with OHSAS 18001 during the first half of 2016. The certifications mean that the Group now runs joint, systematic health and safety work. Over the next two years, this work will be focused on safety behaviours, common rules and exchange of experiences.
Incident and accident reporting
All mills now have digitalised systems for reporting incidents, observed risks and accidents. This has made reporting easier, while at the same time improving oversight and follow-up. As a result of the new systems, the number of reported incidents and observed risks has risen.
Training in working environment issues
All new employees at the mills undergo training in what defines a safe working environment. All managers and union safety representatives receive training.
Rate of sickness absence
Sickness absence was 4.2 per cent in 2015, which was somewhat higher than in the industry as a whole.
Long-term absence (more than 60 days)
Ten years ago the rate of long-term absence was around 4 per cent. In 2015 it stood at 1.8 per cent. The large workforce reductions in recent years have been accomplished in many cases through early retirement, which has also contributed to the lower rate of long-term absence. Researchers claim that people who are fit for work need a rate of absence of 1–2 per cent to recover from serious illnesses. Holmen is within this range.
Holmen annually measures what is known as the good-health index. This is a measure of the proportion of employees who have not had a day of sick leave during a calendar year. The good-health index for 2015 was 48 per cent. The Group offers its employees a range of preventive healthcare activity options.
Company health service
All employees have access to health-promoting activities and a company health service that provides rehabilitation and supports return to work. A fitness grant is also offered in Sweden. The company is convinced that good dietary habits and exercise are an important part of ensuring that an individual can cope with working life until retirement age. Work-life balance is a further piece of the puzzle that the company is working actively to encourage. Regular health checks are also offered to the employees so that they can detect early onset of disease.
The wastewater treatment plants at several Swedish forest industry mills contain legionella bacteria. An industry-wide method of analysis of health and safety-related risks has been introduced and has been applied at Holmen units. Maintenance procedures and water handling have been improved. Affected individuals and at-risk groups are offered health assessments.