UPM Blandin receives two UPM awards in recognition of exceptional safety performance

UPM Blandin recently received two UPM Step Change in Safety awards.  Blandin won a UPM Safety Frontrunner Award and a Best Improver Award.

“These awards are part of a UPM global initiative to achieve world class safety throughout the company,” said Joe Maher, UPM, Blandin General Manager. “Safety has been the highest priority at Blandin for many years because we want our employees to return home each day after work unhurt.”

UPM Blandin received a UPM Frontrunner award which is awarded to production units who have reached the target of a Lost Time Accident Frequency (LTAF) rate below five per year. 

UPM Blandin was also recognized as one of three production units named as “The Best Improved” in safety.  “This award was given to Blandin for showing significant improvement in safety results and our continued commitment to safety development.  We are celebrating these achievements with a week of safety events and activities,” said Mike Engen, UPM, Blandin Safety Manager. Blandin had previously won the UPM Occupational and Health Safety Award in 2011.

This week Blandin is also recognizing the Automation Maintenance Department for achieving four years without a lost time accident.   “This is a significant achievement and a reflection of the automation team’s dedication to safety,” said Tom Peluso, UPM Blandin Maintenance Manager.  Automation employees maintain all electrical and process control systems for the paper mill.

The UPM corporate safety initiative is called “Step Change in Safety” and was started by CEO Jussi Pesonen’s strong message to all employees to always put safety first. This led to a leadership change as well as new, safer ways of working in all levels of the organization. Change is achieved with shared corporate standards and company-wide safety key performance indicators, which include leading indicators such as reporting near-misses, safety observations and safety walks. Safety awards and incentives have been introduced to reward success and improvement in safety performance.

For UPM overall, the results of the initiative after the first year are encouraging. In the first year UPM’s global Lost Time Accident Frequency (LTAF) decreased by 40 percent.

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