At Koskisen, safety issues are continually at the forefront and the company’s objective is clear: zero accidents. The management, the occupational safety organisation and the employees play a key role in improving occupational safety.
Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIF) is a widely used safety indicator
that measures the number of serious injuries per million hours worked.
Serious injuries are those leading to a sick leave of more than four
“Koskisen’s LTIF has been just over 20 during the past few years, whereas the average figure for our sector in 2012 was 28.1“ says Koskisen’s Safety Manager Aarne Virtanen.
“Our ultimate goal for lost time injury frequency is naturally zero, but we have set an intermediate target of 20 injuries per million hours worked.”
LITF, Koskisen Oy:
It is clear that getting injured and being absent from work is neither in the interest of the person in question nor in the interest of the company. Through continuous and systematic efforts, Koskisen has been able to reverse the rising trend in injuries and the resulting sick leave days after 2011, but a lot remains to be done before the zero injuries goal can be reached.
As one lost day costs EUR 500, each serious injury
avoided represents considerable savings. Improving occupational safety
is a profitable investment, which pays itself back in the form of
reduced injuries and a safer work environment.
“To improve occupational safety, we conduct risk assessments and injury investigations and provide training. Both production and contractor meetings always start with a review of safety matters,” says Virtanen.
the summer, major sawmill and chipboard investments were carried out at
Koskisen – extremely safely. The number of injuries at both worksites
“Safety matters were inspected during the weekly safety rounds in which all parties participated, and very few non-conformities were detected,” says Virtanen, describing the worksite practices.
“Our contractors have the right attitude towards safety; they pay attention to these issues beforehand and try to avoid any risks.”
Noise abatement is also part of occupational safety. As the by-products department of the new sawmill was started up, the chip conveyor was found to be an annoying source of noise. This problem was tackled immediately, and within a couple of weeks, the conveyor was silenced.
the timber sector, wood dust is a major fire risk. To avoid this risk,
automatic sprinkler systems are in place in both the production halls
and on the machine lines. That adds up to several kilometres of
sprinkler pipes to be maintained and tested at Koskisen’s mills.
Occasionally the pipes cause erroneous fire alarms, alerting the fire
brigade who then arrive at the scene merely to determine that,
fortunately, there is no fire.
“Erroneous fire alarms fall under the category of predictable risks. We must tolerate them to a certain extent, as they give us the certainty that the sprinklers will operate in the case of an actual fire,” says Virtanen.
In the midst of
the interview, Virtanen’s phone rings. The washing of the boiler will
soon be started at the power plant, and this operation can erroneously
activate the smoke detector system. That is why the power plant operator
asks Aarne to shut the alarms off during the washing operation.
“Ok. I’ll call you when I’ve shut the alarms off and you can start washing,” says Aarne, already on his way to the power plant.
This is what safety is all about: anticipating and taking things into account beforehand to avoid accidents and unnecessary alarms.