Occupational health and safety

Safety is a high priority for Wärtsilä, and we are committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for our employees and partners, wherever we operate. This is emphasised in our drive towards zero injuries by applying high standards of occupational health and safety, and by implementing action-orientated safety programmes and practices.

Environmental, Health and Safety Management

Wärtsilä’s occupational health and safety principles are defined in the company’s Code of Conduct, Quality, Environmental, Health and Safety (QEHS) Policy, and in the directive on environment, health, and safety (EHS). Wärtsilä’s subsidiaries are required to have a management system in place that conforms to both the QEHS Policy and the EHS directive. The main aspects of the management system relate to compliance with legislation, identifying and minimising occupational health and safety risks, personnel training, implementing effective health and safety programmes and instructions, recording and investigating occurred incidents, and the continual improvement of occupational health and safety performance. At the end of 2020, 55 Wärtsilä companies, representing roughly 88% of Wärtsilä’s total workforce, were operating with a certified occupational health and safety management system in place.

In addition to the management system, Wärtsilä companies also apply occupational health and safety programmes as required by local legislation. These are normally developed by occupational health and safety committees made up of company management and personnel representatives. Altogether, 80% of all Wärtsilä companies currently have an occupational health and safety committee.

The indicators used to measure occupational health and safety performance include the number of accidents, the time of absence due to sickness, the frequency of accidents, and the number of near miss / hazard observation reports. Wärtsilä has set a corporate level target of achieving zero injuries. This target is a long-term commitment from the company to strengthen the safety culture, and it requires actions from all Wärtsilä companies and employees. The safety performance of each company is monitored on a monthly basis, and the results are reviewed by Wärtsilä’s Board of Management.

Wärtsilä sustainability charts 2020 - Safety evolution

Safety measures in 2020

2020 was an exceptional year in terms of health and safety measures, as the highest priority was to protect our employees against COVID-19. Wärtsilä established global and local crisis management teams to prepare and implement pandemic prevention actions and control plans to safeguard our personnel. Meanwhile, our organization also continued applying traditional protective safety measures. As a highlight, the number of management safety walks increased by 4%, and near miss / hazard reporting was up by 20% compared to 2020. The majority of the management safety walks were carried out ‘virtually’ due to restrictions regarding physical presence at the workplaces. In 2020, the corporate lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIF) was 2.03. It was above the annual target of 1.60, but nevertheless represents a 10% improvement compared to 2019 (2.25).