Boliden has been using SSG Safety General course on its mining sites for a long time. All 2000 employees have completed the training course, which has to be renewed every three years.

Nowadays SSG Safety General course, like the Access card, is a necessary form of safety ID allowing the bearer to access Boliden plants.

“We think this system has worked and continues to work very well. We are grateful that someone else makes sure that laws and best practice solutions are kept up to date the whole time. It would be difficult for us to be able to offer the same validity ourselves. SSG does a reliable job in this regard and provides good material that is easy to understand and discusses the most important aspects, while also being carefully matched to current operations and systems,” says Annika Kruuna, head of health and safety at Boliden Mines Staff.

A necessary first step

At Boliden, SSG’s safety training for the companies’ own staff is considered to be a useful and necessary first step.

“We think SSG Safety General course provides a good knowledge foundation that we can then work on developing ourselves. We provide a range of mandatory further training courses – not least our local safety training courses, which we are currently working on updating. We also require both our contractors and our own employees to acquire more information about safety reviews and risk analyses, BAM, fire safety and CPR. Moreover, all new staff receive a one-day introduction to HSE. In-house, Boliden also prioritises work environment risks such as falling rocks and other occupational hygiene issues,” says Annika Kruuna.

“At the moment, we are emphasising our safety culture by running a number of different local projects, where we are going in – in a friendly way – and supporting the organisation in its attempts to reach a higher rung of the safety culture ladder,” she continues. “We have chosen to focus on one concentration plant or mine at a time. We are also working hard to make sure that this cultural work is in demand among management teams, and in my view this has been and continues to be the case.”

Change of attitude

Boliden has been able to identify a clear change of attitude among its employees as a result of this conscious safety work over many years.

“Not least, it is apparent when it comes to reporting non-conformances. Most of the emphasis initially was on accidents and then on incidents, which at that time was viewed as proactive safety work. Nowadays, we ourselves think that this is reactive reporting of an accident that has almost happened. We regularly follow up all reports, and we can see that we have succeeded in creating a good reporting culture that forms an important part of our safety culture work. We might have laughed at some of today’s reports five years ago, but now we reckon that this is also important and relevant and has to be dealt with. It has been exciting to see how we have all been and continue to be involved in this important journey,” concludes Annika Kruuna.