Safety leads to sustainability at Fazer
Safe workplaces should be a matter of course at all businesses. Yet Jonas Sundell was still pleasantly surprised when he took up the role of Work Environment Manager at Fazer three years ago.
“I was impressed that safety is the number one priority at the company. Fazer has taken a key decision that all machines and machinery lines that are part of the various bakeries should be at the forefront when it comes to safety,” says Jonas.
It’s all about minimising accidents and incidents involving old, new and refurbished machines. All of the 500 or so employees working at Fazer’s bakeries need to know what is required in terms of machine safety, hygiene and food requirements.
Photo: A happy work environment manager and site manager after a health and safety audit with ‘really good results’. Jonas Sundell and Dario Dzananovic say: “JL Safety has been a great sparring partner for Fazer in our continuous work with safety and risk assessments.”
Dario, who is now in his fifth year in Fazer, elaborates:
“You should go home in the same state as you came to work, if not better.”
The fact is that proactive safety work is seen as part of the sustainability effort within Fazer.
“Absolutely, it’s all about social sustainability,” says Jonas.
Complying with the Machinery Directive means so much more than what at first glance seem to be purely safety issues,” explains Dario. “You need to ensure that people get to improve their skills and you also need to review and assess the machine fleet and technical standards.
“And all measures included in a review bring improvements, not just for safety. Production staff, managers – all of us together make risk assessments that result in better processes and greater measures of sustainability. We will even see gains in reduced energy consumption in the longer term,” says Dario.
When talking to him, it’s very noticeable that he is really passionate about this subject.
“All companies say safety is their top priority, and a lot of companies do very good things, but what I’m proud of and can really guarantee is that safety work here isn’t triggered by changes such as new equipment or other events. Fazer’s safety work is budgeted for in a continuous plan and it’s the same for risk assessments and training that we carry out together with JL Safety and the help of CEDOC,” adds Dario.
Action plan and risk assessment
Dario tells us that the collaboration with JL Safety began 10 years ago when Fazer sought help to ‘stitch it all together’ with all the components of the Machinery Directive. So when Fazer started its
Safe Machinery 2025 project, turning to JL Safety was a natural decision too. A pilot study led to an action plan in which Fazer and JL Safety now jointly review procedures so they can harmonise what goes on at the different bakeries. People in strategic roles are identified and trained to increase competence in machinery safety and CE marking. This means people in the Fazer management team, safety officers and those working in procurement as well as in maintenance and project management.
“We have carried out a review of our machinery and continued to carry out risk assessments for all machines and machinery lines. We have done these risk assessments both internally and with the help of JL Safety,” Jonas says.
Fazer applies the safety concept LOTO, which is a routine for safe access to machines that involves locking procedures for operators and maintenance personnel.
“JL Safety provides support and helps us develop this work. The staff are very knowledgeable and easy to contact, and having such good availability is something we really appreciate,” says Jonas.
Dario continues: “JL Safety and the CEDOC software have helped us to coordinate everything, to work in a standardised and uniform way and to train us. It’s an arrangement that works extremely well”.
Dan Assarsson, Operations Manager at JL Safety and the person who has worked closest with Fazer, describes the cooperation in equally positive terms.
“It’s a big project that Fazer has taken on, using risk assessments to make sure its facilities are safe. We’ve worked with Fazer for many years and also with other players in the food industry. Now we have applied all the experience we have accumulated to create the best possible conditions for Fazer to have safe machines for its employees and thus create sustainability for everyone through considerate working conditions. Sustainability and safety always go hand in hand,” says Dan Assarsson.
With revenue of EUR 1.1 billion, Fazer is one of the largest food companies in the Nordic countries and its products are exported to over 40 countries. Fazer’s activities in the bakery and confectionery markets, as well as nondairy and plant-based foods, are based in seven countries, employing around 6,000 people in total. Around 500 people work at the three Swedish bakeries in Lidköping, Eskilstuna and Umeå.
Well-known Fazer brands include confectionery products such as Karl Fazermilk chocolate (Fazer Blå, Geisha and Dumle), bakery products such as Skogaholm and plant-based products such as Frebaco and Froosh.
Read the original article in staff magazine Protonen, page 18-20.
Text Gabriella Mellergårdh / Photo Fazer