Feb 21, 2020 Corporate blog

Taking care of safety is our common mission

Pirjo Virtanen
Pirjo Virtanen
VP, Safety and Sustainability
Hard work pays off. Looking back ten years ago, safety was not a top priority for Metso, and our global average LTIF was 17. We followed the local legislation of each country, in which we operated, but that was not enough. Our industries expected better performance of us. We needed change.
People at the factory with safety gear on.

Since then, safety has become an essential part of our operation and way of thinking. We have set ambitious improvement targets, started to measure safety and made safety reporting transparent. We began to audit our manufacturing and service operations as well as offices and exchange best practices and learn from each other.

Metso has made a significant investment in training every year since. We have measured progress and attitudes and created house rules. The focus has changed from lagging indicators to leading ones and behaviors in daily safety conversations. People in management positions understand the importance of safety, and they are consistent in their messages: if we cannot complete a task safely, we will not do it. There must be a way to do the same job safely.

For our customers, the improved safety shows in Metso’s equipment. Safety is one of Metso’s R&D innovation target areas. In customer processes, we want to ensure safety in all phases of installation, operation, servicing and maintenance.

We have extended safety to concern also not only our own employees but also the operators and maintenance crews working on the equipment and parts we supply. We require commitment to safety from our suppliers: they need to follow the Supplier Code of Conduct, and we audit our suppliers on safety. Contractors working with us follow our safety standards.

Focus on safety has had an influence also on the family members of the employees as well as the communities around Metso sites. Once you open your eyes to safety, you cannot close them again. You take safe behavior, such as increased awareness of personal protection and safety risks, also home with you.

In 2019, Metso Group LTIF was 1.7, we reported 39,000 risk observations and 11,000 safety conversations carried out by managers or supervisors with their employees.

Graph of Metso's LTIF development.
Metso’s LTIF dropped from 2.9 to 1.7 in 2019

While we are not yet at LTIF level 1 or below like some of our customers, the level is remarkably better than before, and it is improving. We are not nearly at our target, there are still risks we need to remove or mitigate. However, when we continue our efforts, the eventual goal of zero harm starts to seem achievable. It took years of hard work to get here, and it will take years of hard work to get to zero harm, but we are committed to achieving it.