At UPM, safety is anchored in the commitment of every employee who prioritises safe practices in their day-to-day work. It is one thing to build and follow the correct safety procedures in everything we do; but when employees are proactively making observations (positive and negative) and are bringing forward suggestions for improvement, safety becomes part of the culture.
The benefits of this are felt by the teams when suggestions are implemented – whether it’s buying a new piece of lifting equipment or wearing extra protective gear than standard regulations require – and it can also be seen in the production.
It is these positive aspects of safety that UPM chooses to focus on. One way to do it is recognising the contribution of our employees who go above and beyond in ensuring and developing best practice across our sites. The safety awards are handed to employees nominated at sites for their contribution to the positive safety culture. One of the recipients of this year’s Safety Award, Davie Thomson, reflects on how safety manifests in his role as a Works Method Technician at UPM Caledonian. Thomson received the award for his contribution in shaping up the statutory systems, taking lead and making the systems work better.
How does it feel to be recognised for your contribution to safety?
It feels very good! I think it’s always nice to be recognised for demonstrating good behaviours or making a change that impacts the business positively.
What are the benefits of a strong safety culture that you see in your job?
A positive safety culture not only reduces the risk of accidents and incidents occurring, but it also increases productivity and quality as well. So, a good safety culture not only benefits everybody that works here at UPM Caledonian, it benefits the business as a whole.
How does UPM Caledonian go above and beyond to ensure the safety and well-being of those who work there?
I won’t go into the detail, but one example I can give is that cranes and forklifts have to be inspected at a twelve-month frequency – here at UPM Caledonian we actually inspect them on a six-month frequency. So, we inspect them twice as much as we're required to. By doing that it really reduces the chances of equipment failure, which is obviously good for production purposes, but the main thing is it significantly reduces the chance of an injury to that person.
What’s next for you?
I'm excited to keep gaining experience and knowledge in order to progress my career further within UPM because it’s a great company to work for, and the prospect of working here for several more years is something that really excites me.