Safety Culture

Safety is a visible part of our everyday routines. It is embedded in everything we do. Our people and how they work with equipment, processes and each other form the cornerstone of a safe work environment.


UPM’s Code of Conduct expects and encourages everyone to comply with UPM’s safety requirements. Should any employee witness unsafe work practices, they must speak up and report the incident or unsafe conditions immediately. It is integral to our culture of integrity that employees feel comfortable to voice their concerns and can trust UPM to take appropriate action.

Our safety efforts never stop: we continuously strive to improve our performance. Our ongoing efforts include reporting of safety observations, safety walks and discussions. We promote safe ways of working through regular safety training and global safety standards, and we audit their implementation. Our safety standards cover procedures such as risk assessment, permits to work, safe contractor work, safety reporting, etc. All accidents, near-misses and other incidents are documented and evaluated in our global safety tool. We also document incidents involving contractor employees.

UPM closely monitors EU REACH and other relevant legislation to guarantee 100% compliance. UPM has a list of restricted substances that are banned in the company. All new chemicals are evaluated, and risks are assessed thoroughly before new materials are approved. UPM collaborates closely with its raw material suppliers to verify their compliance with legislation and to find the safest possible raw materials.

Life-saving standards

In 2017 we introduced six life-saving standards that we regard as the most relevant in preventing serious accidents. We are committed to following these six standards carefully and correctly, as all six are related to serious safety hazards. UPM’s Life Saving Standards aim to help both our own employees and contractors comply with company-wide standards covering activities classed in the highest safety risk category. Both serious accidents that occurred at UPM in 2020 involved hazards addressed in our Life Saving Standards. We aim to ingrain these standards and make them second nature to all our employees – the “big six” should be part of their thought processes, their personal values and ultimately their lifestyle. We want to encourage safety at every possible level.