Starting a dialogue on safety in every team

Apr 27, 2020

Starting a dialogue on safety in every team

Why do you work safely? How important are your hands? What kind of workplace do you want? What are the five biggest risks in your work? What can you do to make it safer? How do you celebrate success?

These are some of the questions being explored by every team in Valmet through the Safety Dialogue training, making it the largest training program Valmet has launched to date. The aim of the training is to actively engage every team in a meaningful dialogue on making Valmet and the industry safer.

“We create a positive safety culture together when we communicate openly and continuously about health and safety issues. The purpose of the safety dialogue is to facilitate these conversations as an ongoing practice in all teams. As many of us are working remotely at the moment, a virtual Safety Dialogue is available and can be completed online,” says Valmet's HSE Director Victoria Larsson.

Valmet's Automation Management Team working with Safety Dialogue. 

“Know it, Believe it and Show it”

Valmet’s managers are responsible for running the safety dialogue by working through a self-facilitating activity map with their teams. All instructions are on the map, and everyone takes turns leading the discussions as the team conducts the safety dialogue.

The activities in the map are grouped into three sections. Know it explores the importance of health and safety, and the kind of workplace the team wants. Believe it explores the impact of our own behavior on health and safety. Show it practices putting safety into action as a team.

Each manager first participates as an employee in the dialogue with their manager. They then lead the dialogue in their own team, cascading it down the organization.

Valmet's Automation Management Team after completing Safety Dialogue.

Reacting to unsafe behavior is important

The safety dialogue was kicked off during the Executive Team’s meeting. When asked for his safety message to the teams about to start the dialogue, Pasi Laine, Valmet’s President and CEO, said “I hope everybody at Valmet takes care of safety personally, ensuring safe work practices and not taking risks, but we should also develop a culture where we have the courage to tell others and intervene if we see unsafe behavior around us. I think this is important.”

The dialogue itself is a method based on peer learning to deepen knowledge and explore beliefs. The materials are designed for maximum interaction between team members. By being actively engaged in meaningful dialogue with colleagues, participants gain confidence and understand better how to put safety into action to make Valmet and the industry safer.

All the teams at Valmet will go through the Safety Dialogue training during 2020.