29 May, 2015
Scandinavia’s largest remanufacturer of transmissions – STS – makes a major investment in occupational health safety
On Friday 22 May, STS shut down its entire production in Sweden for a full day, to allow the staff to focus on occupational health and safety and work environment issues. The focus day was a step in a major investment in occupational health and safety made by the company as part of its lean production efforts.
“We want our employees to feel personally committed to our shared work environment and inspire them to identify areas of improvement in the immediate areas where they work. Even if those of us who are involved in the management always consider occupational health and safety and the work environment in our decision process, the individual employee has better knowledge of his or her particular workstation. Each individual is therefore best suited to identify potential risks,” says Ola Stålebo, CEO.
On the day, each production team received coloured post-it notes that they were instructed to affix every time a potential risk was identified in their work area. The notes were then collected and compiled into a list by each team. Issues identified included high thresholds, sharp edges, broken shelves in the stock room and heavy items at a risk of falling over.
“I must confess that I felt rather nervous at first when I saw all the post-it notes that had been put up in our workshop, but after reviewing the list, I felt that the effort had really resulted in something useful and that we had met the day’s objective. More or less all of the risks identified were actually relevant, and in most cases, they were relatively easy to remedy,” Ola Stålebo continued.
What remains now is dealing with the more complex issues that emerged during the focus day.
“STS’ lean efforts are based on finding good long-term solutions. As long as there is no immediate risk of injury, solutions to complex work environment issues must be allowed some time to mature. While we have been spared from serious incidents in the past, we feel that we have now created the awareness needed to continue the work on health and safety as a natural part of our improvement efforts. We have an absolute zero vision for accidents in the workplace,” Ola Stålebo concludes.
For comments and additional information, please contact:
Ola Stålebo, CEO