Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Metsä Fibre makes cross-audits in Germany

Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Metsä Fibre continue collaboration in safety. A pilot program started with cross-audits in both companies’ production facilities in Finland in late 2018. After encouraging results the companies decided to expand auditing collaboration outside Finland. In the autumn 2019 Metsä Fibre safety professionals audited Ahlstrom-Munksjö plants in Dettingen and Unterkochen in Germany.

Program tagline ‘Safety has no boundaries’ captures the essential idea of safety collaboration between the two companies. In addition to cross-audits, the program includes sharing best practices and trainings. Goal for the both companies is to improve the overall safety within Pulp and Paper industry. Open mind, curiosity and strong will to do better in safety are keys to the success.

“We believe that collaboration helps both parties to further improve work safety. Cross audits provide valuable insights and learning experiences, and we have been openly sharing our findings and observations with each other”, states Jaakko Anttila, SVP, Production, Pulp Business, Metsä Fibre. “Ahlstrom-Munksjö has good safety training practices in place, and with their help, we are now taking to use the same methods. This collaboration has clearly being beneficial to us.”

Observations in cross-audits have translated into safety improvements. One of the key benefits is the outsider’s perspective. People tend not to challenge their behavior or the current state. When a valued partner with high professional skills brings up a safety matter – it leads to changes.

“The Metsä Fibre team made some safety observations in Karhula cross-audit which lead to significant improvements handling hazardous chemicals and reducing slips, trips and falls”, says Rune Årnes, VP Health & Safety, Ahlstrom-Munksjö. “At the plant for example elevation differences in some places are now painted in yellow and the visibility of the labelling of the chemical canisters have been improved.”

We have cross-audited seven production sites: four from Ahlstrom-Munksjö and three from Metsä Fibre. The target is to continue the cross-audit program and safety collaboration in the future. We aim high – safety has no boundaries and it is a common concern to all of us.