Safety is an aspect that can’t possibly be undermined in the process industry. The industry and its several processes contain many hazards and health risks, and safety must be considered and highlighted in all company functions.
This is why the letters ESG play an essential role in Altum’s daily business. The letters stand for Environmental, Social and Governance and are a framework used to assess an organization’s business practices and performance on various sustainability and ethical issues. It also provides a way to measure business risks and opportunities in those areas.
We have previously addressed the first letter, meaning environmental aspects, and today we will give the spotlight to the next letter, S. It stands for the social aspects and focuses on a company’s treatment of its employees, suppliers, customers, and community.
Safety and well-being – the core of Altum’s operations
In this article, we want to focus primarily on Altum’s commitment to employee well-being and safety. This plays a significant role in all our operations and endeavours: safety here at Altum encompasses both physical and psychological dimensions. Therefore, we at Altum Technologies have our very own team member specializing in ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees. Beda Arponen, our ESG & HR Director, previously responsible for customer relations in our pulp and paper business, is now in charge of Altum’s commitment to employee well-being and safety.
“The safety and well-being of our whole team is one of my main priorities and we are continuously improving our system to ensure everything runs smoothly in that department,” Beda says.
There are numerous different things to consider when ensuring the safety of the employees. “At the very beginning, safety training is mandatory for all employees when starting at Altum. For our employees working in production or laboratory facilities a separate safety certificate is also mandatory, and we offer others the opportunity to complete the certificate as well to emphasize the importance of a safe working environment.”
One of the most important ways to promote a safe working environment is the prevention of any safety hazards. Altum’s employees are, for example, encouraged to inform the team if they notice even the smallest of issues at the workplace that could lead to a potential safety risk. “We want to make sure that there’s a low threshold for open communication”, Beda explains.
To prevent safety risks in advance, Altum has many measures. “We conduct a survey on well-being at work twice a year and have regular equality surveys and personal development interviews. We want to ensure that the dialogue with the employer and employees is ongoing”, Beda says.
Enhancing safety in cooperation with our customers – It’s a win-win situation
But it’s not just the safety of Altum’s own employees we want to ensure; it’s also the safety of the employees of Altum’s customers. “There are plenty of risks involved in the operations and processes of our customer companies”, Beda explains. “Safety risks are always involved when you need to dismantle the process equipment to clean it. There are also hazards involved when using a pressure washer and working with strong chemicals, as many companies in the process industry do on a daily basis.”
Altum’s unique ZPD system is created to minimize the need to use any chemicals in fouling prevention and removal while reducing the need to dismantle the industrial equipment. With the help of Altum’s solution, the customer’s processes are therefore made safer as well.
“Next to environmental reasons, safety is one of the big reasons why our customers have opted to work with our solution”, Beda points out.
Open communication – Altum’s strive for a safe and happy work environment
While physical safety is very important, it’s also crucial to take care of psychological safety and the general well-being of the whole team. “We want every team member to feel good about working here.”
Altum cares for its employees’ well-being in various ways. “We offer comprehensive occupational health care and support services early on. We also want to highlight the importance of free time. Everyone needs to have time to rewind as well. It’s not just about work; there needs to be a balance”, Beda points out. For example, Beda likes to work out and exercise. “But everyone has different ways of relaxing and recovering from work”, she emphasizes. “Generally, it is important to look after your health and manage your own work, asking for help when needed. That is the responsibility of the employee.”
That said, Beda also wants to point out the social responsibility of companies. “It’s not just about creating jobs. Companies also need to provide a safe environment for their employees, both physically and psychologically.”
As a workplace environment, Altum wants to nurture and promote an open environment and honest discussions between the employer and the employees. “We want communication to be open and honest both ways,” Beda explains. “Everything needs to be fair, flexible, and transparent. That’s the core of our communication culture”.
But, as Beda points out, the work for a safe and happy work environment is ongoing. “We need to continue developing our way of working all the time to ensure that we are on top of our game”, Beda explains. “For instance, we want to work even more closely with our customers to improve the safety of their operations.”
If you want to find out how Altum can help you improve the safety of your operations, don’t hesitate to contact us.
To learn more about what ESG stands for in Altum’s operations, read our article, Harnessing the Power of ESG for Climate and Sustainability Goals.