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AFT (Aikawa Fiber Technologies) among select companies in Finland recognized for improving occupational safety practices

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As a member of the Zero Accident Forum, AFT’s manufacturing plant in Varkaus, Finland was awarded a Level I occupational safety classification by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health for being an accident-free workplace in 2016.

The Zero Accident Forum comprises a network of close to 370 workplaces from all over Finland. Its aim is to promote the continuous development of occupational safety and well-being at work as well as the dissemination of good practices. The Forum has been in operation since 2003 and is coordinated by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Each year, the Zero Accident Forum awards safety level classifications to member workplaces that have successfully promoted occupational safety and have systems in place for investigating occupational accidents and reporting dangerous situations. Level I is the highest of three levels and signifies that a company is in the world’s forefront when it comes to workplace safety. This is the second time AFT Varkaus has achieved Level I status.

To work safely and retire in good health is one of the main values at the Varkaus plant. Management has promoted this value and strengthened the culture of reporting dangerous situations in order to prevent work accidents from taking place. Says Kari Ikäheimonen : "This kind of honor is very important for us. It gives us the opportunity to be an example to others who work hard to succeed by training staff and promoting their skills and competencies."

There are in the order of 100,000 occupational accidents reported every year in Finland. With proper attention given to workplace safety, the majority of these incidents could be avoided. 

“Zero thinking is a mindset that requires genuine commitment and practical actions in everyday work. It is about caring, and genuine collaboration. It brings about inevitable results, as these excellent achievements once gain show,” says Jari Haijanen, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Zero Accident Forum, and Safety Manager at Sappi Ltd.

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