Wärtsilä Norway’s excellence in safety

Sustainability assured 2011Wärtsilä has been actively promoting a Zero Injury approach since 2008. This has resulted in a constant downward trend in corporate injury frequencies. Wärtsilä Norway has been a safety pioneer in reducing work related injuries, and in 2011, Wärtsilä Norway achieved a lost-time injury frequency of 0.7, which is a world-class result.

In reaching this exceptional safety performance, Wärtsilä Norway has exhibited leadership commitment, employee participation, and practical safety programmes. These combined efforts have created a safety culture, which does not allow accidents to happen. Furthermore, Wärtsilä Norway provides services to offshore industry customers that require a high level of safety in all contractor operations. This has been a contributing factor in increasing the importance of safety within the company.

Leadership commitment

In Norway, top management has adopted safety as a regular topic for discussion in high-level meetings. Management has established targets for reducing the frequency of injuries, as well as initiating preventive measures, such as reporting unsafe practices and conditions, in order to maintain a safe workplace. Besides occupational injuries, management also monitors sick leave within the company, as this is an indicator of the overall “health” of the organisation. The significance of safety in the workplace has also been communicated in a positive way to employees.

Safety programmes

Wärtsilä Norway's safety management system is certified according to OHSAS 18001. As part of safety management, Wärtsilä Norway has identified some key programmes that have improved safety performance during recent years:

  • Reporting of unwanted incidents, such as unsafe activities or conditions, defining corrective actions and following up on their implementation
  • Communicating lessons learned through safety bulletins
  • Regular safety inspections of the workplace to verify safe conditions and work practices
  • Regular training of employees

Employee participation

Wärtsilä Norway has a motivated Safety Delegate organisation and Working Environment committees, which guarantee effective employee participation and practical solutions to prevailing problems.

A good indication of the effectiveness of employee participation is that a total of 605 unwanted incident reports were completed in 2011.

To go forward

Improving safety is a continuous process and Wärtsilä Norway considers that there are still things to learn in order to be even more proactive in reducing injuries. The company is implementing a new campaign called “Stop and Care”, which is based on the approach of taking care of your colleagues. As an example, the company has prepared video clips of unsafe and safe work practices, demonstrating how to react in these situations. The message is communicated in an upbeat manner, and includes elements of humour to remove the barriers to intervening in unsafe actions.

“The work towards occupational health and safety never ends and it demands continuous attention by all of us,” Wärtsilä Norway.

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