Occupational health and safety

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  • An occupational health and safety (OHS) culture that supports the ambition of Telia Company as the place to work
2017 progress
  • LTIF: 0.30 (0.36)
  • SAR: 2.4 percent (2.4)
  • No fatal accidents (0)
  • Operations in Azerbaijan, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway and Uzbekistan OHSAS 18001 certified
  • Engagement index: 81 percent (80)
2018 goals
  • Lost-Time Injury Frequency1 (LTIF) maximum 0.52
  • Sickness Absence Rate2 (SAR) maximum 1.9 percent
  • No fatal accidents
  • OHSAS 18001 implemented in all major companies
  • Engagement index3: 83 percent
2018 planned activities
  • Telia in Sweden and Geocell in Georgia working to become certified
  • Transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 starts
  • Implement group-level supplier incident reporting
  • Continued focus on well-being as an employee engagement driver

1) Total number of lost-time injuries per million possible working hours.
2) Total number of hours of sickness absence per possible working hours (full-year average).
3) Engagement index (employee commitment, team engagement and customer orientation) score from the annual Purple Voice employee survey.
For more information, see the GRI Index, G4-LA6.

Our approach

This focus area is governed by the Group policy – ­Occupational health and safety.

Our approach consists of promoting good health, identifying and reducing or preventing risks and rapidly reacting to ill health. Our policies and instructions include safety measures and requirements for our employees, contractors and sub-contractors regardless of work environment.

The major OHS risks – road safety, working at heights and electrical work – relate to network construction and maintenance, work that is generally carried out by contractors. Our aim is to have the Supplier code of conduct included in all construction, installation and maintenance agreements. OHS processes are reviewed during on-site audits of the contractors.

Telia Company employees work mainly in offices or retail environments where risks relate mainly to psychosocial well-being and ergonomics.

All local companies are required to implement the OHSAS 18001 management system. Implementation work is coordinated by the Group OHS manager. Each local company has one or several OHS coordinators who meet regularly to share best practices.

Work during the year

OHSAS 18001 certification

OHSAS 18001 certification was obtained at Telia in Denmark and Lithuania and at Moldcell in Moldova. Telia in Estonia, Finland, Norway and Azercell in Azerbaijan received certification during 2016, while Ucell in Uzbekistan and Kcell in Kazakhstan have been certified since 2015.

Focus on well-being in core markets

Providing a workplace where physical and psycho-social risks are minimized is essential for increasing engagement. To reduce the sickness absence in core markets, where we in some cases don’t meet the group target, the “Well-being@Work” concept was launched during 2016 and now several elements of the concept have been implemented in most countries including Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. The concept promotes health in various forms and addresses the need for the right resources at work. The concept is aligned with the Swedish work environmental provision which came in force during 2016.

Focus on safety in region Eurasia

In region Eurasia, the focus is on working with suppliers to help them improve their safety standards, as they often lack key OHS management elements such as risk identification, safety equipment and training. Local OHS coordinators supported local sourcing in on-site audits. All local companies organized first aid and other training, fire drills and other emergency exercises based on local risks such as earthquakes during the year.



A new engaging approach to reduce sickness absence

Customer operations in Telia in Norway had been experiencing high sickness absence rates. New HR manager Christoffer Hovde got the task of improving the figures, starting with the biggest customer service center with around 300 employees.

Mr. Hovde looked at sickness absence figures, Leadership Index scores from the Purple Voice employee engagement survey, employee turnover figures and conducted interviews with all managers. Based on the findings he initiated a three step process.

The first step consisted of agreeing on a few but concrete actions with regular follow-up in the teams with low Purple Voice scores, and after that conducting two workshops. A workshop developed by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) was designed to bring up difficult issues in a fun way and find new solutions, and another workshop called “The elephant in the room” had the purpose of ensuring that all potential sickness absence causes were really examined in-depth.

The second step consisted of building leaders’ competence and confidence through external training and by an in-depth analysis of the difficult individual cases of short- and long-term sick leave.

The third step focused on follow-up through close dialog between every employee with over five percent sick leave in the last six months and the manager, HR, company healthcare and NAV. A plan to get everyone back to 100 percent working time was designed, with follow-up every two weeks.

The result? In seven months, this new approach reduced sickness absence to less than half in the customer service center.