Occupational health and safety

Ensuring health, safety and well-being is not only our responsibility, but also vital to ensure employee engagement and make Telia Company THE place to work.

Strategic objective

2018 goals

2016 progress

  • An occupational health and safety culture that supports the ambition of Telia Company as THE place to work.
  • 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 (by end of 2016).
  • Engagement index: 83 percent.
  • LTIF: 0.36 (0.41).
  • SAR: 2.4 percent (2.2).
  • No fatal accidents (0).
  • Operations in Finland, Norway, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan OHSAS 18001 certified.
  • Engagement Index: 80 percent (78).

1) Lost-Time Injury Frequency: the total number of lost-time injuries per million possible working hours.
2) Sickness Absence Rate: the total number of hours of sickness absence per possible working hours (full-year average).
For more information, see the GRI Index, G4-LA6.

Work environment defines OHS risks

The most significant accident risks related to occupational health and safety (OHS) are linked to construction and maintenance work carried out primarily by contractors. Telia Company employees work mainly in office or retail environments where the main risks relate to psycho-social well-being and ergonomics. Particularly in region Eurasia, we work with suppliers who meet few of our OHS requirements and lack key elements such as risk identification, safety equipment and training.

Building a common OHS approach

A great deal of progress has been made since 2014 when we established our common OHS management model. Although all companies now have our OHS management model in place, much work remains to continue improving it and to shift focus from health and safety to well-being and employee engagement.


As stated in the group OHS policy, our approach consists of promoting good health, identifying and reducing or preventing risks and rapidly reacting to ill health in all of our operations. We believe that all accidents, incidents, injuries, work-related illnesses and unsafe actions and conditions are preventable.

All local companies are required to implement the OHSAS 18001 management system. A network of local OHS coordinators is responsible for OHSAS 18001 implementation and meets regularly to share best practices. The group HR function is responsible for coordinating and reporting on progress to the group-level GREC meeting.

Work during the year

OHS 18001 certification

Telia in Estonia, Sonera in Finland, Azercell in Azerbaijan and Telia in Norway received OHSAS 18001 certification during 2016. Ucell in Uzbekistan and Kcell in Kazakhstan have been certified since 2015.

Regional activities

Below is a description of some of the activities that were carried out during the year. Risk assessment, training and communication within the scope of OHSAS 18001 was ongoing in all companies.

Region Sweden

OHS was renamed “health and well-being” and the “Well-being@Work” concept was launched as described in more detail in the case below. The move of 3,500 employees to the new head office in Stockholm put ergonomics and work environment into focus, as we transition to an activity-based way of working.

Region Europe

Telia in Norway developed local OHS KPIs for bi-weekly management follow-up, an “OHS on the Agenda” tool to work with and follow up on OHS risks, goals and activities, and a new online OHS handbook for easy access to information and guidelines.

Telia in Denmark offered pre-natal counseling to pregnant women and their partners. This led to a decrease in pregnancy-related sick leave from 30 sick days per pregnant woman per year to only five days.

Region Eurasia

Local OHS coordinators supported group procurement auditors in supplier audits. All companies organized first aid and other training, fire drills and other emergency exercises based on local risks such as earthquakes. Most companies also invested in infrastructure safety measures such as automatic firefighting systems, first aid kits and new alarm systems.

Planned work in 2017

OHSAS 18001 certification

Local companies that failed to meet the goal of being certified at the end of 2016, are working to be certified in 2017. Several companies are preparing to transition from the old OHSAS 18001 standard to the new ISO45001 standard. The new standard is better suited to our office environment and the change is expected to be straight-forward.

Focus on well-being in regions Sweden and Europe

In regions Sweden and Europe, the focus will be on promoting and increasing employee well-being and engagement through initiatives such as Well-being@Work.


in Sweden

In November, Telia in Sweden launched the online portal “Well-being@Work”. Based on our values Dare, Care and Simplify, it is one of several strategic initiatives launched at create a more employee engagement, a better work environment and improved performance.

Well-being@Work is an individual and team based activity challenge for all employees and consultants. There are four activity challenges each year on topics such as good sleep, adapting to change and dietary habits. Each topic has a mix of to-do’s and training through short films and text. The first activity challenge was daily exercise, since there is a well documented correlation between physical activity and lower sick leave. Over 1,500 employees participated, logging 7.5 laps around the globe.

Other activities carried out in Sweden that support well-being and engagement were implementation of a support system for managers in alcohol and drug prevention that include rehabilitation if needed, and mandatory OHS training for all managers which will be carried out in 2017.