Five months with no LTI – the result of extensive and diligent workFagersta, November 2021 – In September 2021, Seco achieved a milestone in its efforts with workplace safety. Five months passed with no LTI (Lost Time Injury) within Seco globally. Behind this lays hard work, which is crucial to keep up.
Fagersta, November 2021 – An LTI is an injury that occurs at the workplace, and which results in an employee being unable to work. It pertains to work-related emergency incidents, either at one of Seco’s facilities or while on a visit to a customer’s location. However, this excludes travel to and from work, or accidents at home while performing distance work. “LTIs are linked to risks at the workplace and to circumstances within Seco’s control. If you are working from home and spill hot coffee on yourself or trip on the staircase, it doesn’t count as an LTI. Neither do repetitive strain injuries, as there are other ways of measuring these,” explains Maria Blomqvist, Head of Sustainability at Seco.
Given the above, it’s probably of no great surprise that the greatest risks are within production. This is where crush injuries and cuts to fingers and hands are heavily overrepresented. “It is not unusual for accidents to happen when someone reaches into tight spaces with their hands,” explains Seco’s EHS Coordinator, Bénédicte Lindblom.
It is quite unusual for five months to pass without any LTIs occurring anywhere within Seco. Maria Blomqvist has been an employee of the company since 2012 and has never experienced this before. Neither does she believe that this is a common achievement at any other units within the Sandvik Group. Nevertheless, she is of the opinion that the results must be taken for what they are. “We’ve had a stringent focus on safety for several years, due to our previous negative trend. What we are now seeing is the result of several years of hard work, where we gave top priority to these issues. Unfortunately, the record is now broken, but we are extremely proud and satisfied how long we succeeded without any LTIs. We are also just as happy over the open culture within the company, where it is natural to report risks and incidents even if it means that a record is broken. This is key to prevent future accidents,” she explains.
The continuous reporting and supply of information are important to Seco’s efforts to be proactive and prevent workplace accidents. Such information is also shared with other units within the Sandvik Group, so that everyone can be aware of what has happened and, in the long term, prevent it from happening again. “We also provide information about the importance of using protective equipment correctly and help our employees to adapt and prepare the equipment for those who will be using it,” Maria continues. “Conducting safety inspections and performing risk analyses are also crucial components of our safety work,” Bénédicte adds.
However, the ultimate key to achieve and maintain a proficient level of safety is to create a safety culture and workplace climate where everyone assumes their share of the overall responsibility.” To be able to prevent accidents, there cannot be any fear of reporting risks and incidents. We encourage reporting, as it prevents accidents,” emphasizes Bénédicte, with the confirmation of Maria. “One LTI means that we have failed. It is commonly said that every ten to fifteen incidents result in one LTI. Therefore, it is important to report all incidents, including the ones that turned out well,” she says, emphasizing that it is also important that everyone give consideration to their own safety. “It’s about adhering to the guidelines and not taking any shortcuts, and instead using the right protective equipment, proper shoes in winter and so forth. At Seco, it’s about creating a climate where everyone is involved and feels responsible for our collective safety. Although the ultimate responsibility lies with the managers, they cannot be everywhere or see everything. At a basic level, this is about caring for each other.”