Proactive approach to occupational health and safety is the key to reducing work-related risks in industry

Industrial maintenance can be considered as a high risk activity. When something unexpected happens in a factory – a machine breakage, for example – it needs to be fixed quickly. The risk level in such a sudden and one-off event is high. Deficiencies in safety culture and practices may lead to human errors.

Ifin turvallisuusasiantuntija Salla Lind-Kohvakka”Maintenance often involves unusual tasks, especially under time pressure, which is one of the main reasons behind occupational accidents”, says Salla Lind-Kohvakka, Development Manager at the Finnish insurance company If. She explored the safety-related issues in industrial maintenance already while writing her doctoral thesis. Later on, the research work was changed to more practical risk management services at the insurance company If.In maintenance, the first phase involves dismantling, with its risks. Then comes the repair work, again with its risks, and finally the assembly with new risks.

“Severe accidents are often caused by sudden events, for example, when a production line or a machine stops working”, describes Lind-Kohvakka.

Occupational accident insurers like If offer risk management services to their customers. They can include, e.g. management consulting, audits and observation walks. “Medium-sized and larger companies take most advantage of the services”, says Lind-Kohvakka.

Long-term safety work reduces risks

How can injuries be avoided? “Risk assessments are the basis – the focus must be right, neither too small nor too big. Especially in maintenance, hazards related to work tasks, work environment and circumstances must be comprehensively considered. Identifying hazards and evaluating risks will never end”, emphasizes Lind-Kohvakka.

Among her customer companies, the industrial operation and maintenance service company Maintpartner has through determined safety work managed to reduce the number of occupational accidents to a very low level.  “At Maintpartner, the bar in safety-related issues is set higher than usually, and it remains there even if the client’s requirements were on a lower level”, summarizes Lind-Kohvakka.

”In Finland we have over one thousand employees in operation and maintenance, and we want to take good care of them”, says Saija Pottala who is responsible for HSEQ at Maintpartner. The HSEQ includes also environment- and quality-related issues in addition to occupational health and safety. The company has from the beginning systematically developed safety, the focus has been strong especially in the current decade. Safety is part of the company’s strategy.

The results are good: In the first full year of operation in 2007 there were dozens of injuries which meant 21 accidents per million hours worked. This year, the corresponding figure at present is 5 accidents leading to absence from work, i.e. 3 per million hours worked.

Plenty of practical work still to be done to improve safety

Maintpartner has taken actions and is still doing a huge amount of them, starting from risk assessment and minimizing risk points for example through observation walks, work ergonomics and by using protective equipment. Before starting a work task, the possible hazards must be identified. Accidents and near misses are investigated thoroughly and the gained knowledge is shared among the staff.

Work safety often begins with the individual, which means that the right kind of safety attitude is a condition for success. Each Maintpartner site has its own safety requirements and introduction to safety rules, for which the immediate supervisor is responsible. New employees are made familiar with and engaged in the safety culture both on site and in the common e-learning platform, which is part of the induction process.

Jouko Ryytty, who has been involved in industrial installation work for twenty years, says that there has been a clear change in safety attitudes in the current decade. “There has been so much information that people have learnt to become more alert”, he describes.

Experience teaches also technicians to be more careful

Those close to Ryytty have had only one severe occupational accident during the years. It happened when a cut-off machine broke and a piece of cutting disc wounded the employee’s neck badly. “Have to admit that this has come to my mind always when using a cut-off machine.” From this we can conclude that a nasty, but functioning motivator, are the incidents to others: At that point, if not before, people start to improve things.

Other injuries that Ryytty has encountered have mainly been stuck fingers and bumps on the head in tight spaces – “something that needed only a little patching up”, as Ryytty puts it.

In Ryytty’s opinion, occupational health and safety have taken big steps both at Maintpartner and elsewhere since he started his career. Still a decade ago there were traces of change resistance and belittling of safety work but as the subject has been frequently and visibly handled both in-house and in customer companies, the attitudes have changed and safety has become the norm. ”No one deliberately causes damage at workplace”, emphasizes Ryytty.


Maintpartner strengthens project and risk management

Industrial service company Maintpartner offers operation and maintenance services traditionally through long-term service and frame agreements. Demand for project services delivered both to contract customers and third parties is increasing, and this we want to address by further improving the tendering process for projects, monitoring of assignments and risk management.

Mirka Luostari has been appointed Group's Project Management Officer reporting directly to CEO Pasi Tolppanen. Luostari’s duties include the development of joint project and contract management processes and tools, which support all the six business lines at Maintpartner.

For customers the standardization and streamlining of activities and proactive risk management are shown as appropriate and efficient service. Potential risks in the project phase can be identified early on and can be tackled in good time. For us as a company this enables also financial stability in addition to good customer service.

Maintpartner’s management system, Maintpartner Way, has been certified according to ISO 9001, ISO 18001 and OHSAS 14001. The system includes also project and contract management procedures.

Further information:
Pasi Tolppanen, CEO, Maintpartner Group

HR appointments at Maintpartner

Reija Mantila has been appointed as HR Director for Maintpartner Finland and Estonia as of 16 October 2017.

Mantila has previously been responsible for HSEQ and personnel development at Maintpartner Group as well as wellbeing at Maintpartner Finland. The previous HR Director in Finland, Jari Syrjälä, will change employer at the beginning of next year.

At the same time, Saija Pottala, HSEQ manager at Maintpartner Finland, will take up also the coordination of group wide HSEQ issues.

”I wish every success for all in their new roles and thank Jari Syrjälä for his good work in Maintpartner’s HR during the past several years”, says Laura Kauppinen.

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Maintpartner is a leading industrial operation and maintenance company in Northern Europe and the leading actor in the energy sector in the Nordic countries. We help our customers improve the productivity of their production facilities and minimize process disruptions. In addition to long-term operation and maintenance agreements we offer development, installation and engineering services. Our digital solutions represent the best-in-class development in the field.

Maintpartner Group employs approximately 1,900 people. Our net sales in 2016 amounted to some EUR 160 million. The Group has offices in Finland, Sweden, Poland and Estonia

Good experiences at Fortum power plants after the first year of outsourced operation services

In September 2016, Fortum transferred the operation activities of five power plants and six district heating networks in Finland and Poland to Maintpartner. The partnership model is a big entity with very close cooperation between the parties. The agreement made Maintpartner the leading company providing operation services in the Nordic countries.

- Maintpartner managed the mobilization of the services in a short space of time in an exemplary way, so that when the operation and maintenance responsibility transferred to them, all necessary systems were up and running, summarizes Ilkka Toijala, Senior Vice President, District Heating Business in Finland (in the photo). - Naturally, common practices and systems have been developed further during the past 12 month period.

Fortum is very pleased with the safety and security levels established at the power plants. It is important that the partners have common safety objectives. The availability of the facilities has also been good, which has reduced Fortum's unavailability costs.

Initially, Fortum considered various options to enhance the operations. One option was the partnership model for operation and maintenance, which proved to be the best.

Maintpartner was chosen as partner thanks to their comprehensive solution that best met Fortum's needs, and the MP INtelligence analytics tool, developed by Maintpartner, which optimizes the operation and detects potential causes for disruptions in advance.

Companies seek different benefits from partnership models to cope with the changes in the business environment. When the production plants are taken care of by a partner focusing exclusively on industrial operation and maintenance services, the customer can focus on their own core business and gain external special expertise to accelerate the development of operations and cultural change.

For Fortum, it is strategically important that operation and maintenance work impeccably. Safety, customer service, availability and security of supply must not be compromised at any time. - On the other hand, this kind of arrangement should not be entered into if cost savings are not high enough, notes Ilkka Toijala.

Naturally, at the beginning there have been some challenges, but the important thing is, that there has been a positive attitude when discussing the various issues and the practices have been agreed on in the spirit of the partnership agreement. - In this kind of partnership, trust is everything and its promotion is important, says Toijala.

Kosti Rautiainen, head of the energy business at Maintpartner, appreciates the flexibility and professionalism of the personnel throughout the change period. - I am proud of our employees’ professional mindset and how we have been able to keep the power plants and networks available when they are needed, says Rautiainen. At the same time, Maintpartner has systematically worked for occupational safety, the results of which are shown in the company's safety records, which are excellent also when compared to competitors.

Good experiences from annual maintenance shutdowns

During the summer, Maintpartner carried out comprehensive annual maintenance at Fortum's Meri-Pori, Suomenoja, Järvenpää and Joensuu power plants. The scope of services included planning, resourcing, supervision, and the actual work at the power plants.

Timely and technically the annual maintenances were successful. The work was done at a zero accident level, which is a great achievement. Maintpartner also supervised other service providers to perform their work successfully.

Maintpartner continues to invest in energy-related services also in the future. For that, the company's expertise in the operation and maintenance of CHP, condensing and hydropower plants, as well as district heating networks provides an excellent foundation.

Further information

Kosti Rautiainen, President, Energy, Maintpartner
Tel. +358 (0)50 374 8172, kosti.rautiainen [at]


Maintpartner is the leading industrial operation and maintenance company in Northern Europe and the leading actor in the energy sector in the Nordic countries. We help our customers improve the productivity of their production facilities and minimize process disruptions. In addition to long-term operation and maintenance agreements we offer development, installation and engineering services. Our digital solutions represent the best-in-class development in the field. Maintpartner Group employs approximately 1,900 people. Our net sales in 2016 amounted to some EUR 160 million. The Group has offices in Finland, Sweden, Poland and Estonia. More information at

Lantmännen Unibake transfers the maintenance of its Petikko bakery in Vantaa, Finland to Maintpartner

Lantmännen Unibake Ab Finland and Maintpartner Oy expand their maintenance partnership to include the Petikko bakery in Vantaa, Finland. With the agreement, Maintpartner takes full responsibility for the maintenance of the production plant. At the same time, four people will transfer to Maintpartner as existing employees.

The bakery specializes in the manufacture of hamburger and hotdog rolls.

The new agreement and operating model will take effect on 1 October 2017.

- The purpose of this agreement is to increase the flexibility of maintenance operations by joining the wider cooperation agreement between Lantmännen Group and Maintpartner. With the new operating model, Maintpartner takes the overall responsibility for maintenance. This step is a logical continuation of long-term cooperation with Maintpartner, comments Tapio Finér, Managing Director of Lantmännen Unibake.

- The agreement is based on a strong partnership and is a great sign of confidence in our maintenance expertise. It will further deepen our long-term cooperation with Lantmännen Unibake: from now on, we will be responsible for the maintenance of all their Finnish production facilities, says Mika Riekkola, Sales Director at Maintpartner.

Maintpartner manages the maintenance of Lantmännen Unibake Joutseno and other bakeries in the Lantmännen Group in Finland and Estonia.

For more information:
Mika Riekkola, Sales Director, Maintpartner
tel. +358 40 739 6607, mika.riekkola [at]


Maintpartner is a major industrial operation and maintenance company in Northern Europe, and the leading operator in the Nordic energy sector. We help our customers improve the productivity of their production plants and minimize process disruptions. In addition to long-term operation and maintenance agreements we serve the industry with development, engineering and installation services. Our digital services for industrial maintenance represent the best-in-class development in the field.

Maintpartner Group employs approximately 1,900 people. In 2016, our net sales amounted to some EUR 160 million. The Group has offices in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Poland.

Quick criticality analysis can save both the equipment and the production

If the maintenance of an industrial plant is not appropriate, there are often unmanageable problems in production. In order for maintenance to be systematic and efficient, the most critical points in the production process must be identified. When using traditional models, criticality analysis can take several months.

- We have developed a simulation process that allows us to carry out a criticality analysis of equipment in five days, and to update the preventive maintenance programs accordingly, says Development Manager Toni Räisänen, who belongs to the team developing productivity and digital services at Maintpartner.

In the quick update, the plant is simulated using the maintenance system’s hierarchical data and the historical data collected from the site CMMS, Computerized Maintenance Management System. Simulation finds out the most unreliable and unproductive items from a large number of findings.

- Quick upgrade is a visual presentation of changes in criticality. It also shows how previous maintenance programs have succeeded, and whether abnormalities occur that have not been observed before, says Toni Räisänen.

Leipomon kriittisyysluokittelu

Clear presentation of results

One of the analyzed customers is Lantmännen Unibake bakery in Joutseno, Finland. The simulation showed that of the over 2,000 devices in the entire plant only about 5 percent require upgrade – in this share is included the greatest savings potential with the fastest achievability.

- We visualize the results, and based on the chart colors we can immediately see where there is most red, that is, need for corrective measures. There is no need for accurate analysis of all devices, but focus on change, starting with the most critical thirty items, Räisänen describes.

Below you can see how Maintpartner presents the system-level criticalities in one picture. In the center is the Joutseno plant and the outer edges show the factory components and equipment.

Failure mode and effect analysis is performed for selected items and their preventive maintenance programs are refined.

Quick upgrades can be made for example every year to check that everything is as it should be, and that maintenance has done the right things. The same model is applicable all industries.


Picture: Visualization of system-level criticalities as presented by Maintpartner. The Joutseno plant in the middle and components and equipment in the outer edges.


Further information:
Toni Räisänen, Development Manager, Maintpartner, +358 50 441 2494, toni.raisanen [at]

Otto Tarkiainen, President, Productivity and digital solutions, Maintpartner,
+358 40 176 3112, otto.tarkiainen [at]