Safety is a priority
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.
The aim of Holmen's work on safety is to make the workplace free of injuries for employees. A safe work environment is always high on the agenda and the issue is monitored constantly at management level. All units are certified under OHSAS 18001, which means that the Group now runs joint, systematic health and safety work. In 2016, health and safety work focused on safety behaviours, shared rules and exchanging experiences.
In 2017, the number of industrial accidents per million hours worked amounted to 5.1, which is a clear improvement on 2016 when the number of industrial accidents totalled 8.8. These mainly involve slipping and tripping, as well as pinch injuries. The target is zero accidents and some units have also been at this level for more than a year. By the end of 2018 the interim target is for the number of accidents to be half the 2017 figure.
Incident and accident reporting
All mills have digitalised systems for reporting incidents, observed risks and accidents. This makes 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, which is good in terms of accident prevention.
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 2017, which is on a par with previous years.
Long-term absence (more than 60 days)
Ten years ago the rate of long-term absence was around 4 per cent. In 2017 it stood at 2.0 per cent. 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 2017 was 49 per cent.
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.