Occupational safety and well-being
On the path toward an accident-free workplace
Posti invests in the well-being of its employees. Posti aims to promote well-being for its personnel and their ability to cope with work to ensure that employees are motivated and healthy. Putting well-being at work into practice is part of the daily work of supervisors. Every Posti employee is also responsible for their own well-being and for promoting psychological well-being in the working community.
Posti’s goal is to provide healthy and safe work and a healthy and safe working environment for its employees. In promoting safety at work, Posti’s focus is on proactive measures. Accident prevention is a shared responsibility.
Mail is delivered five days a week, regardless of the weather. The frequency of occupational accidents remains regrettably high. A total of 1,845 accidents were recorded in 2016 (2015: 2,072). These figures include occupational accidents at workplace and commuting accidents which led to an absence.
Improving and promoting occupational safety are important development areas for Posti. This work is done consistently in three areas:
- A systematic approach to the management of occupational safety
- Increasing competence and awareness
- Procedures, working methods and tools
Posti’s goal is to be a healthy and accident-free workplace. The management of occupational safety is a precondition for achieving safety objectives. Increasing competence and awareness helps enforce best practices and develop the company culture. Appropriate tools also ensure a smooth workflow. Posti has committed to the following five safety principles:
- Safety comes first
- Responsibility for safety management belongs to Posti’s leadership and managers
- Safety starts with me
- Posti is committed to working together throughout the organization to develop our safety
- Workplace safety improvement in Posti is consistent and systematic
Developing procedures and competencies
Managing safety risks lays the foundation for a safe operating environment. Workplace surveys and risk assessments are ongoing activities at Posti.
Posti has implemented company-level minimum requirements for adopting systematic approaches and harmonizing working methods. Compliance with these requirements is evaluated by internal assessment processes.
In 2015, Posti partnered with the Institute of Marketing to launch a Specialist Qualification in Management focused on occupational safety management. The first batch completed the program in fall 2016 and the second batch will start in spring 2017. The training program is aimed at managers and supervisors in production operations. The advantages of the program include the opportunity for participants to obtain a vocational qualification as well as results that are reflected throughout the work community.
The results of the program can be seen in the work community as a whole. By promoting and strengthening occupational safety procedures, the participants in the program help build a culture of safety at work.
Occupational safety training tailored to Posti’s requirements was also introduced in 2016, with more than 200 Posti employees participating.
The two-year project of the Finnish Meteorological Institute focused on reducing commuting accidents through the development road condition warnings and supported by the Finnish Work Environment Fund concluded in 2016. The project made use of, among other things, Posti’s accident records and the observations of Helsinki-based postal workers, who are on the move every day, regardless of the weather. The project’s participants were the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Vaisala and Posti. Its results will be published in the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s publications for 2017 (FMI publications). Posti has also participated in the "Stay Upright" campaign since 2012.
Posti monitors the frequency of workplace accidents that lead to absences (LTA1; occupational accidents per million working hours). In 2016, the LTA1 figure was 41. This figure includes occupational accidents that occurred during working hours and led to an absence of at least one day (excluding OpusCapita). Taking commuting accidents into account, the total number of occupational accidents in 2016 was 1,845, which is 11 percent lower than in 2015.
Large part (55 percent) of the accidents lead to a short-term absence from work. In 2016, the number of accidents that led to more than a month-long absence from work was 107 (2015: 131). This means that 6 percent of the accidents that occurred in 2016 led to a long-term absence from work.
Maintaining health and work ability
Posti introduced the OmaTyöterveys telephone service in the fall to harmonize practices and help employees maintain their health and work ability. A corresponding service was previously piloted for one year. Following positive feedback from both employees and supervisors, a corresponding common practice was implemented for all of the personnel. The telephone service involves health care professionals assessing the employee’s situation, providing health-related counseling, granting short-term sick leave and, if necessary, referring the employee to occupational health care. The new service means that employees do not need to travel while sick to visit occupational health care.
In order to harmonize procedures, the EsimiesKompassi (Supervisor Compass) system was made available to all Posti's supervisors in fall 2016 to support the management of absences and work ability. A corresponding system was previously piloted for one year. The feedback was positive and the work ability management system has provided concrete support in the day-to-day management of work ability.
In addition to occupational health care services, Posti provides a diverse range of well-being services to employees. They include various sports and fitness services, support for independent physical exercise as well as support for workplace meals. Since 2006, Posti has also had its own Foundation for Well-being at Work that is tasked with promoting the psychological and physical health of employees. The Foundation’s operations are divided into measures improving well-being at work and research activities. The Foundation organizes various sporting events, fitness overhaul campaigns and active family vacations.
Posti is currently implementing changes to managerial work, taking work ergonomics into consideration. For Posti, the best way to influence the strain of mail delivery work is to develop mail delivery tools and to instruct employees to use appropriate and varied working methods.
Posti continued to produce ergonomics guidelines and videos in 2016. Posti has also commissioned studies to evaluate work ergonomics and measure the strain arising from work.
For example, the various ways of using the Ergo bag and their effects on the physical strain of work were studied in cooperation with the TTS Work Efficiency Institute. The study applied methods including heart rate measurements, analyses of the position and movements of the head and upper limbs, assessing the exertion associated with work by means of the Borg RPE scale, time measurements and electromyography (EMG). The results will be used directly by employees and they will also be utilized in cooperation with Posti’s occupational health care professionals.