The Finnish chemical industry’s Safety Award highlighted goal-oriented operations, new initiative and safety skills among young people | Trade Union Pro
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The Finnish chemical industry’s Safety Award highlighted goal-oriented operations, new initiative and safety skills among young people

16.4.2019 15:01
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On 16 April 2019, the chemical industry’s Safety Award was granted to Nalco Finland Manufacturing, Kraton Chemical and Neste. The prize for educational institutions was awarded to the Chemical Engineering programme of Centria University of Applied Sciences. Borealis Polymers and Nokian Tyres received an honorary mention.

The Safety Award granted by the Finnish chemical industry is aimed at promoting safety in companies and educational institutions operating in the field of the chemical industry. In the category for educational institutions, the role of these facilities in developing safety skills and thinking among young people is emphasised.

Nalco Finland Manufacturing was the winner of the category for small companies. The company’s entire personnel is actively engaged in safety work. The company arranges extensive training to strengthen employees’ safety expertise and its safety observations also highlight safe conduct. The company’s activities and results demonstrate that small businesses can also take significant steps forward in safety matters.

Kraton Chemical came first in the category for medium-sized businesses. Over the past four years, the company has come on in leaps and bounds in safety matters, with the help of its entire staff.  It actively implements new safety initiatives and collaborates closely with other operators. One example of such activities is the company’s engagement in the Yrityskylä learning environment, which includes a miniature factory that introduces safety matters to schoolchildren.

Neste, the winner of the category for large companies, launched its comprehensive, company-wide Way Forward to Safety development programme in 2015. Safety culture, management systems, contractor management and process safety were all improved on the programme. All of the company’s employees participated strongly on initiating the programme, for example by giving their safety promises in teams and by developing their safety knowledge. The initiative resulted in significant improvements in the standard of safety within the company. It also gave rise to a new management model for continuous improvement implemented in early 2019.

The prize in the category for educational institutions was awarded to the Process and Material Technics, Chemical Engineering programme of Centria University of Applied Sciences. Its study entity TalenttiTehdas featured safety as one of the main themes. As the culmination of this course section, the students participated in a multidisciplinary accident simulation and prepared training videos related to the companies’ facilities. The course was realised in close collaboration with local industry, utilising methods that were similar to real-life situations.

The jury also awarded honorary mentions. Borealis Polymers has adopted methods based on social psychology as a new approach to the development of safety culture. Nokian Tyres has taken a huge leap forward in safety matters over the past two years.

In the category for educational institutions, the jury also wanted to highlight institutions that received a special mention: The Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering, the Department of Chemistry of the University of Helsinki and the Viikki Teacher Training School of the University of Helsinki. All these institutions have developed new courses and teaching materials in the area of chemical and laboratory safety that will also benefit other institutions.

‘Being on the jury was such a joy. The applications demonstrated strong interest and involvement in the development of safety. Both companies and educational institutions have implemented new initiatives that will bring benefits to safety in the future too. We particularly encourage the sharing and utilisation of the good practices that emerged in this competition,’ says Merja Vuori from the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, who acted as the competition coordinator.

The awards were presented at the Chemical Industry Federation event Kemiat kohtaavat in Helsinki on 16 April 2019. The prize has been awarded three times previously, in 2010, 2014 and 2017. This was the second time that the category for educational institutions was included. The competition was arranged as collaboration between the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, the Industrial Union, Trade Union Pro and the Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff. This was the first year that the Finnish National Agency for Education participated in the jury.  The chemical industry’s Safety Award is part of the Responsible Care programme and the Turvallisuuskumppani (Safety Partner) collaboration initiative.

 

Further information:

Nalco Finland Manufacturing, Karin Vuojärvi, +358 40 754 9397, kvuojarvi@ecolab.com
Kraton Chemical, Elisa Tuhkanen, +358 40 341 3358, elisa.tuhkanen@kraton.com
Neste, Simo Kolehmainen, +358 50 458 3164, simo.kolehmainen@neste.com
Centria University of Applied Sciences, Niina Grönqvist, + 358 40 704 0848, niina.gronqvist@centria.fi
Borealis Polymers, Tarja Olander, + 358 50 379 4068, tarja.olander@borealisgroup.com
Nokian Tyres, +358 10 401 7681, matti.luoto@nokiantyres.com

 

Competition jury:

The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, Merja Vuori, Senior Advisor, tel. +358 40 730 1932, merja.vuori@kemianteollisuus.fi and Anni Siltanen, Specialist, tel. +358 44 562 5991, anni.siltanen@kemianteollisuus.fi
Industrial Union, Jenni Uljas, Work Environment Expert, tel. +358 44 568 2658, jenni.uljas@teollisuusliitto.fi
Trade Union Pro, Taru Reinikainen, National Officer for Collective Bargaining Department, tel. +358 50 581 4371, taru.reinikainen@proliitto.fi 
Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff, Mia Adolfsson, Officer, tel. +358 40 574 6668, mia.adofsson@ytn.fi
Finnish National Agency for Education, Arto Pekkala, Chief Technologist, tel. +358 29 533 1166, arto.pekkala@oph.fi

Pictures of the event (link)

Video of the chemical industry’s Safety Award