“It was recognized by the EPIS members that a harmonized approach to HSE on projects can bring many benefits to both contractors and customers,” says d'Amelj. “Working and operating under common HSE standards, from mill to mill, will facilitate the learning process of the work forces and faster consolidate the defined and created safe behaviors, resulting in a safer working environment and more efficient performance.” The improvement project was launched at the end of May 2022, putting together the different EPIS members, ANDRITZ, and other relevant main contractors; all were fully motivated to define the most suitable HSE standards for future projects. The team decided to start from the preparation of a common HSE induction training to be used in all mills, during new projects or shutdowns. The target was achieved in December 2022 and the training material is currently available in English, Finnish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Swedish.
Anna Maija Wessman, Secretary General of EPIS, says, “The improvement of Health & Safety on pulp mill projects is a regular topic of discussion at EPIS. We see many benefits with the harmonized, common standards approach, which provides less confusion, more awareness, and more understanding when working on pulp mill projects. It's a very helpful tool in aiming for the ultimate, overall goal of improved safety for all.”
One of the members of EPIS is Ahlstrom, which has around 40 manufacturing sites operating in 13 countries. The company’s Global Vice President, Health & Safety Manager, Rune Årnes, confirms, “I think the HSE Harmonized Standards for Contractors approach is a great way of bringing the contractors in and making sure they understand completely what is expected from them on site. Workplace safety has no boundaries; there is no competition in this area. Everyone should be safe not only in our company, but in all companies. Harmonization of standards and transparency across Health, Safety & Environment issues will help to achieve the main pay off, which is fewer incidents and accidents.”
Due to the positive response from pulp producers regarding the harmonization of standards, the ANDRITZ improvement project team decided to continue with the preparation of a common HSE manual, covering all contractual HSE requirements for all future pulp projects. The manual, including all relevant appendices, has been prepared and distributed to all EPIS members.