Culture is our behaviour

May 9, 2019
Man and woman in helmets looking at large paper
Johan Helin, LTH and Malin Fors, LKAB have an ongoing dialogue about safety culture.

For some time now, a culture of safety together with suppliers represents an important part of all construction and demolition projects involved in the urban transformation. But the work begins internally at LKAB.

“We need to act according to our values, have a good working atmosphere and believe in what we do in order to be able to convey this to our contractors,” says Malin Fors, Project Manager (Quality, Environment, Working Environment) at LKAB’s urban transformation unit.

The systematic work environment efforts always forms the basis for safe work. However, studies have shown that many accidents are caused by behaviour, attitudes and norms. This is something that LKAB has turned its attention to, and safety culture has been designated as a focus area.”When we set good examples and engage in dialogue with the suppliers, they will follow our lead, not because they have to but because they want to. Safety culture starts with us,” says Malin Fors.

Management's responsibility

As a developer in an urban transformation project, LKAB has an obligation to ensure that contractors comply with applicable legislation and the company’s own regulations. Good routines and working methods create a good basis for preventing accidents and near-accidents. Working with safety culture is a way of raising this level even further.”It’s not enough to just do what we have to. We want more. We need to understand what’s behind the choices a person makes in risky situations. Everyone acts differently based on our perspective and experience. What is acceptable and unacceptable is essentially dictated by the management,” says Malin Fors.

I am my own safety officer

LTH, Last & Terräng Häggroths Traktor AB, is currently working on the demolition of Kiruna’s city hall on behalf of LKAB. Here, the management is convinced of the importance of safety culture in ensuring a work day free from accidents.”I want to create a culture where each individual assumes the role of their own safety officer, and where we can prevent accidents together,” says Johan Helin, Site Manager for LTH.



What is safety culture? 
Safety culture is the common attitudes, values and perceptions that managers and employees have concerning the approach to safety and working environment. Safety culture is therefore of great importance for how we work. A good workplace safety culture is characterised by the management prioritising and dealing with safety issues at all levels of the organisation, and that they are part of the “culture”.

The definition above is from the Swedish Work Environment Authority.