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Health and safety in the workplace - positive effects for employees and business

Hello Hanna Alsén, Director of Labour Relations and Labour Law at ÅF. Today, we are celebrating World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Tell us, what is ÅF’s approach to Health and Safety in the workplace?

-      Since ÅF is an international company, we promote these issues corporate-wide as well as locally, in each country. We are OHSAS18001-certified and carry out risk assessments for the company as a whole as well as in all our projects. All employees have a responsibility to keep updated about our routines and processes regarding work environment, but our managers have a particular responsibility to be aware of the work situation of their employees and any risks they are being exposed to, and they must act quickly if they notice that something is wrong.

In May we will start using a new system to prevent accidents and illness at work. The system will enable ÅF employees to report potential risks, incidents and accidents. Reported matters will be investigated and followed up.

Why is it important to work actively with workplace health and safety?

-      The most important aspect of it is obvious – no employee should have an unhealthy work environment, or be subject to physical risks or harassment. Many of our employees are involved in projects entailing risk, within sectors such as infrastructure or industry, in worldwide locations. It is vital that they feel safe.

Also, it is important to emphasize that in general, healthy employees experience more job satisfaction and perform better. This is reflected in the performance of the organization as a whole, which then, in turn, will attract clients and potential employees. In other words – a focus on health and safety in the workplace brings positive effects for the business.

The merger between ÅF and Pöyry has been official for two months now – how do you see the new company moving forward in terms of work environment?

We have similar approaches, both companies have been working actively with these issues for a long time and I believe we can learn a great deal from each other.