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Blog | 04/28/2020 08:45:16

There’s no Safety Week this month, but it won’t change what we do

Laura Cummings

Director, Health, Safety and Environment, UPM Raflatac

Every April for nearly a decade, employees across UPM Raflatac have celebrated Safety Week. Having joined many of these celebrations over the years, I can recall playing safety games, practicing with fire extinguishers, getting my blood pressure checked, and watching videos starring wonderful colleagues sharing important safety messages. Unfortunately, during this COVID-19 pandemic, we won’t be able to come together this April to celebrate Safety Week as we usually do. I will miss being able to celebrate the importance of safety with my coworkers.

Safety is a core part of UPM’s organizational culture and management systems at all our sites. We make it our top priority that every employee has the right to a safe and healthy working environment. During the COVID-19 pandemic the safety of our employees, their families and the communities we operate in has become more important than ever.

I want to express my admiration to all our employees working in the factories and terminals for how they have innovated and modified their work to keep each other healthy. The reality is, at this point, the only weapons we have to battle COVID-19 are the preventative measures like practicing social distancing, using hand sanitizers, washing hands many times a day, cleaning surfaces, and doing self-health checks. We also continue to embrace our normal safety practices, whether by wearing cut resistant gloves or buckling our seat belts on forklifts. 

While many people are working from home, we all know there is no way to produce labelstock from home. Label products are critical to keeping groceries on shelves, moving shipments from warehouses to homes, labeling prescription bottles, and a thousand uses in between. Manufacturing high-quality labelstock that reliably carries valuable information on products and packaging is essential to keeping society organized and working.

Over the years, a common refrain heard at UPM Raflatac when facing some problem has been, “No worries — remember, it’s just sticky paper.”  You won’t hear me uttering those words ever again.  This crisis has made it undeniable that the label products are needed and necessary, and the work we do across the whole labeling value chain to produce them is invaluable.

In the spirit of Safety Week, I want to thank our employees for all they have done and will continue to do, to keep themselves and each other safe. I also hope all our readers and their families are safe and well. Together we will get through this.

 

Author

Laura Cummings

Laura Cummings

Director, Health, Safety and Environment, UPM Raflatac | ”Persistence and perseverance pay off.”