Rautpohja’s welfare team receives the labor protection award of the Association for Promotion of Occupational Health

Published Oct 25, 2001 14.44.00 +2 GMT

This year the national labor protection award will be presented for the 23rd time. The award will be received by Metso Paper Inc.’s welfare team in Jyväskylä, which successfully combined the roles of occupational healthcare and a labor protection organization. The welfare team’s activity is an excellent example of what can achieved through skill and genuine cooperation. The presentation of the award is designed to focus attention on the importance of multi-professional cooperation and training and to encourage a continuance of this practice. An additional basis for presenting the award has been “commendably effective work” in occupational health and labor protection activities, that has also covered subcontractors.

Occupational healthcare and the labor protection organization have traditionally worked closely together in supporting personnel and the line organization. Since October 1998, occupational healthcare, labor protection and recreational activities supported by the employer have been combined into the personnel unit’s welfare team under the leadership of the chief company physician. The welfare team has two company physicians, one physiotherapist/recreational instructor, a safety officer, a safety technician, the safety delegates of the office personnel, the paper machine production workers and the foundry workers respectively, as well as nurses and receptionists. This multi-professional team is representative of the direction aimed at in the renewal of occupational healthcare legislation.

The Company has traditions in occupational healthcare and labor protection activities that go back decades. Training in occupational health and labor protection has been given to the personnel since 1946. In order to develop working methods and the working environment in a safer and healthier direction, and to advance the personnel’s working capabilities and skills, extensive training has been organized in labor protection, fire safety and disaster management. There has also been special training for departments and groups, attitude and first aid training, fitness courses, sports groups and exercises during breaks.

Labor protection and occupational healthcare have been included in the Company’s quality system which has been certified by Det Norske Veritas. The labor protection personnel has been significantly involved in developing the environmental management system, which led to the presentation of an environmental certificate to Metso Paper Inc. (still called Valmet at that time) in Jyväskylä. Two five-day, basic labor protection courses are held annually. In 1997, labor protection theme weeks were started in all units.

The welfare team has developed its own work capability promotion program for Metso Paper’s Jyväskylä unit. It comprises procedures directed at the individual, working conditions and the working community.

The sick leave figures for Metso Paper Inc.’s Rautpohja personnel have annually been below the metal industry average. In 2000, the sick leave percentage was 2.0 for office personnel and 5.3 for blue collar workers. The annual expenses caused by early retirement pensions and disability pensions have been less than the advance payments. Metso Paper Inc. has a personnel of 1974 people in Jyväskylä, 807 of whom are blue collar workers and 1167 are office personnel.

More information: Suvi Lehtinen, Office Manager, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, tel. +358-9-4747 2344, +358-40-546 2368