Sustainable lifestyles as the foundation of work ability

We have invested in work ability management for more than ten years. The Sirius work ability management programme is aimed at increasing employees’ well-being, identifying problems at an early stage and focusing on their prevention. 

Our objectives for work ability management for 2016–2020 are:

  • minimising disability and accident-related pension costs
  • reducing the sickness-related absence rate to 4.5 per cent
  • extending careers 

The five-year Sirius III work ability management programme started at the beginning of 2016. Its focus is on proactive measures, such as activities aimed at improving work fitness and strengthening the day-to-day management skills of supervisors. The programme is also focused on developing recruitment as well as work ability monitoring and career planning. 

Targeted support to increase well-being at work

  • We continued to support the well-being of our supervisors in 2016, as it directly affects the well-being of their subordinates. We also launched a pilot to coach supervisors on conscious presence, leadership and self-awareness.

  • The well-being of supervisors and other salaried employees was surveyed by means of a questionnaire, and customised personal coaching was arranged based on the results. We focused on supporting the recovery of those salaried employees who need the most assistance. Well-being at work was supported by, among other things, a well-being analysis as well as personal coaching focused on areas of life such as physical activity, nutrition and sleep. Our overall well-being index remained almost on a par with the previous year. 

Sports and recreation

  • In 2016, we launched a new project aimed at our employees in the 40–45 age bracket to increase their level of physical activity with support from personal coaches. The participants received lifestyle coaching based on their individual needs. The project will continue in 2017.

  • We also launched a pilot in our cleaning and support service units in the Helsinki metropolitan area to survey the well-being at work and special rehabilitation needs of cleaning professionals with immigrant backgrounds. The results will be available in early 2017.

  • In 2016, L&T used an employee benefit programme in the form of an online portal featuring benefits and discounts from several companies. The programme was available to permanent employees and employees who have worked on a fixed-term contract for more than one year, and who work at least 20 hours per week.

  • L&T has more than 30 active personnel clubs in Finland that support exercise and shared recreational activities. The activities of our clubs include group sports, support for independent exercise, cultural activities, and joint events.

Reduction in sickness-related absences

In 2016, our sickness-related absence rate in Finland fell to 4.8 per cent from 5.2 per cent in the previous year.

  • Musculoskeletal disorders are the most significant cause of disability pensions and extended sickness leave at L&T. Promoting musculoskeletal health is part of L&T’s basic activities: workplaces focus on finding ways to perform work in a manner that is less strenuous on the body. 

  • L&T’s Industrial Services division performs a significant amount of high-powered vacuuming work, which often involves very challenging working conditions and strain on the body. A project is underway in high-powered vacuuming operations in the process cleaning service line to improve occupational ergonomics and safety by means of new ergonomic guidelines and support from occupational physiotherapists from the occupational health care provider. Technical development work is also used to reduce the physical load of work and improve quality. The project will continue in 2017.

Early intervention in problems

L&T has implemented an early care model to facilitate intervention in problems at the workplace as early as possible as well as cooperation to resolve issues. The early care model also helps supervisors intervene in problems or cases such as extended/recurring sickness-related absences in a timely manner, as well as obtain support for the employee from occupational health care services or the HR department, for example.

  • L&T’s cleaning and property maintenance units implemented a policy in 2016 of allowing acutely ill employees to be absent for one day at a time, and a maximum of three consecutive days with the supervisor’s permission but without a doctor’s certificate. The policy was also expanded to pilot units in Environmental Services, Industrial Services, renovation and the maintenance of technical systems. The experiences have been positive: trust between employees and supervisors has increased and the costs associated with occupational health care appointments have declined.

Active management of work ability risks

According to a work ability management benchmark study, L&T’s disability payments per man-year are significantly below the industry average. Over the past ten years, our average retirement age in Finland has increased from 59.4 years to 63.8 years.

  • L&T’s HR department and occupational health care support work ability management and employee well-being. Where necessary, vocational rehabilitation and other rehabilitation services are used to help employees at risk of disability.

  • If necessary, we will consider options such as transferring employees with reduced work ability to less strenuous tasks. We launched a suitable work model in cooperation with Ilmarinen in autumn 2016. The focus of the model is on career planning, and it presents a wide range of opportunities for individual employees. Employment and retraining for work outside the L&T organisation can also be supported within the model as necessary.

  • We work with partners to provide guidance to our employees on healthier lifestyles. Our employees are offered support in areas such as improving their diets, sleep disorders, increasing physical exercise and smoking cessation. We also arrange coaching for employees related to personal resources and recovery.

As an employer, we value two things above all else:
that people enjoy their work and feel good.​

​Going home healthy at the end of the day

Occupational safety measures and targets are managed under the strategic Nollapeli (Zero Accidents) programme, which supports the work done by the line organisation. The goal of the Zero Accidents programme is to promote occupational safety at L&T and develop the occupational safety culture with a focus on proactive measures. 

Our target is to reduce our accident frequency (LTA, lost time accidents per million working hours) to less than 10 by 2018. In 2016, our LTA figure was 15. The main reason for falling short of the target was that substitutive work was not used as in previous years. 

In 2016, we also monitored our overall accident frequency (TRIFFI), which reflects all accidents including accidents resulting in absence, visits for medical treatment, accidents during work-related travel, and accidents that did not result in absence. We almost achieved our TRIFFI target figure of 41. Our development in this area was positive, as our TRIFFI figure in 2016 was 42, the lowest in L&T’s history.

There were no fatal accidents in 2016. There were also no cases of diagnosed occupational diseases.

Accident frequency in Finland

Accident frequency and overall accident frequency = per million working hours

A record number of proactive measures

The key proactive measures include safety observations, occupational safety sessions, Safety Walks and various risk surveys. Their aim is to proactively detect and identify occupational safety risks as well as define and implement the measures necessary for their prevention. Proactive measures are documented in the Zero Accidents system, which supports the monitoring of corrective measures, among other things. The number of proactive measures taken in 2016 was the highest in L&T’s history. The number has more than doubled over the past five years.

Unit-specific targets have been set for proactive measures and their achievement is monitored regularly. The targets for all proactive measures were reached at the Group level in 2016.

Occupational safety is an integral element of all work performed at L&T’s own operating locations as well as those of its customers. Proactive operating methods related to occupational safety are used in L&T’s own units and at customers’ units. Operating in a proactive manner helps us develop our own safety as well as the safety of our customers. A significant proportion of our Safety Walks and safety observations are made at our customer locations.

Development of occupational safety in Finland
Safety observation reports
Hazard assessments
Safety Walk observation rounds
Occupational safety sessions
Accident frequency
Overall accident frequency

Continuous development efforts to improve occupational safety

  • Several development measures were implemented in 2016 to further develop occupational safety. A process was defined for comprehensive risk management, taking financial, strategic and operational risks into account. At the same time, site- and job-specific risk assessment procedures were introduced to develop safety at a more detailed level and target the necessary development measures more effectively. The analysis of accident investigations was developed further to support the identification of root causes, which in turn helps make the determination and implementation of corrective measures as effective as possible.

  • The operations of our units were harmonised and developed in many ways, including the launch of a project to make workspaces more tidy and orderly by using the 5S method. The harmonisation of signage also progressed well in the units. The safety tool, operating models and training programmes have been developed further. The tools introduced to support day-to-day occupational safety also include the Zero Accidents Deck, which summarises key occupational safety instructions and best practices.

  • Our partners are interested in our safety procedures and they audited L&T’s operations during the year. We achieved good results in supplier audits and received useful feedback related to occupational safety. We believe that auditing practices between partners will develop our operations further and help ensure that the procedures used are in line with agreements.