Health & Safety collaboration, Nordic countries take the lead

25 January by Miriam Heale


Collaboration is part of health and safety culture across many Nordic companies.  Danish biotech company Novozymes encourage employees to exchange ideas on health and safety to avoid accidents and have set up a programme called; Lessons Learned Sharing (LLS) to enable better collaboration.

Work-life-balance is also a prominent feature, on the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Better Life Index) Denmark is top of the list with just 2 per cent of Danish employees work very long hours and in Sweden the figure is just 1 per cent, compared to an average of 13 per cent.

In a recent article entitled; 'Occupational health: how employers can learn from Nordic countries' by the FT, Eirik Bjerkebaek, corporate head of health and working environment at Statoil, the Norwegian energy group, comments “It also has to do with general living standards,” “People have the resources to take care of their health and they expect business to be part of that as well.”

Antti Koivula, director-general Finnish Institute for Occupational Health (FIOH), is also quoted as saying; “Collaboration has traditionally been relatively rich and easy,” “Management is close to employees — and that’s built into our society and culture.”

Programmes such as the LLS enable a greater awareness of health and safety to be shared across a company and offer a practicable approach to enforcing safety standards.  The culture of work responsibility is strong and collaboration rather than punitive measures are mostly adopted.

To read more we recommend; 'Occupational health: how employers can learn from Nordic countries' by Sarah Murray at the