The Good Working Environment Award
Each year, the Labour Inspectorate recognises enterprises for developing a good working environment. With the award, we wish to highlight enterprises that value a healthy working environment and safe working conditions for the employees. In these enterprises, employers are aware of risks, risk assessment is integrated into the work process, hazards that affect the health of the employees are constantly assessed, and the risks are mitigated quickly and effectively. In order to promote a safety culture, we ask the enterprise/organisation to describe in the application a situation in which they have made the work process safer, introduced a change that protects the health of their employees or modified the system so that the working environment has improved. In essence, these are the best practices that other organisations could follow to develop their working environment.
The awards are handed out in two categories: enterprises with less than 50 employees and enterprises with more than 50 employees.
Enterprises applying for the Good Working Environment Award must submit a request to the Labour Inspectorate. The application deadline is 30 September. In the application, questions concerning occupational safety and health must be answered, and the enterprise's safety system functions must be introduced. This year, we additionally ask the organisations to describe at least one good practice that has been used to prevent the spread of coronavirus, for example how they have made the work process safer, protected the employees and/or customers from infection, etc. Once you have completed the form online, it will automatically be sent to us and you will receive a notification. If you do not see the notification, try refreshing the website. NB! If you are unable to complete the form directly in your browser, please download the application form on your computer and fill in the required fields. The completed form must be sent to the general e-mail address of the Labour Inspectorate [email protected]
Evaluation of the enterprises
An enterprise is evaluated in three stages:
In the first stage, the submitted application is evaluated and the data on the enterprise in the information system of the Labour Inspectorate (accidents at work, occupational diseases, labour disputes, results of supervision, misdemeanour procedures) is analysed. The evaluation is based on the data from the last three years. In addition, it is checked whether the enterprise has a working environment specialist and whether a risk assessment has been conducted. If an occupational accident or an occupational disease has occurred in the enterprise, the changes that have been made in the company are taken into account.
We will inform the enterprise whether they have passed the first stage or not within two weeks of submitting the application.
In the second stage, a working environment consultant from the Labour Inspectorate visits the enterprise, examines the working environment together with the employer, and evaluates the activities of the enterprise on the topics listed below. During the visit, the data provided in the application is also reviewed.
During the visit, the consultant evaluates the following topics:
- the overall impression of the working environment in the enterprise;
- the existence and relevance of a risk assessment;
- the adequacy of the occupational health and safety management system;
- the activities of the working environment specialist;
- the activities of the working environment representative (if elected);
- the aptness of organising employee training;
- the provision and use of personal protective equipment;
- the handling of chemicals, including the existence of safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals;
- the organisation of the medical examination.
Final evaluation and determining the recipients of the award
After visiting the company, the working environment consultant prepares an individual summary for each enterprise, which he or she forwards to the evaluation committee. In the third stage, the committee reviews both the summaries and the data previously collected about the enterprise (the application, and analysis of the data in the information system of the Labour Inspectorate), and decides which enterprises will win the award this year.
Recipients of the Good Working Environment Award
Väikeettevõtete kategoorias pälvis sel korral tunnustuse Bondora Group AS, kes on väike, aga tubli. Lisaks suurepärasele kontorile panustatakse ettevõttes töötajate heaolusse ka läbi tervise edendamise. Ettevõtte töökeskkonnavoliniku südameasjaks on kontoris olemise töötajatele võimalikult mugavaks tegemine.
Suuremate ettevõtete kategoorias sai auhinna Interconnect Product Assembly AS , kelle puhul jäi silma see, kuidas on hea töökeskkonna loomisse suudetud kaasata töötajad, panustades palju nende koolitusse. Selle tulemusena oli töökeskkonnavolinike valimisel ühele voliniku kohale lausa viis kandidaati.
Lisaks otsustas komisjon sel aastal anda välja ka eriauhinna AS Hanza Mechanics Tartu töökeskkonnaspetsialistile Olesja Kuusikule, kes teeb oma tööd südamega ja panustab igapäevaselt sellesse, et töökeskkond suures ettevõttes oleks ohutu ja tervist hoidev. Kuna ettevõttes esineb suur osa kõikidest võimalikest töökeskkonna ohuteguritest ja töötab ligi 500 inimest, siis on tema panus märkimisväärne.
- In the large enterprise ABB AS, occupational health and safety are focused upon daily and throughout all activities. The enterprise systematically pays attention to the investigation of hazards because a thorough investigation of hazards and the identification and elimination of their real causes helps to prevent all individuals from getting injured during work. In the enterprise, informing the employees receives a great deal of attention, and access to the information has been made easy for them; the necessary information, for example in the form of risk assessment summaries, has been placed on stands near the places of work.
- In the small enterprise AS Elcogen, issues of occupational health and safety are not only managed by a working environment specialist. Many other employees are also engaged in risk assessment and in preparing new safety instructions, as well as in the quarterly internal audit. The results of the internal control reach the senior management of the enterprise and any problems are resolved as quickly as possible. Thanks to the completion of new office premises, there are now spacious workplaces for the office employees, as was already the case in other workrooms. The use of personal protective equipment has become part of everyday work, partly because the most convenient and suitable equipment has been sought and found for its users. In addition to the regular medical examination performed by the occupational health doctor, the employer reimburses activities that prevent damages to health, as well as appointments with specialists.
- The large enterprise Ericsson Eesti values a safe and healthy working environment. The key to success is engaging employees in creating and maintaining a good working environment; their proposals are valued and taken seriously. The working environment team of the enterprise is motivated and interested in contributing to the continuous development of a good working environment. They discuss the problems and look for solutions that are acceptable to everyone.
In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, efforts are made to reduce contacts – the work is organised in such a way that the shifts do not come into contact with each other. In the office, people are divided into three shifts so that it is possible to maintain a distance. There have also been considerations to reduce contacts in public areas.
- In the small enterprise category, the award was not handed out this year.
- The large enterprise Elisa Eesti AS (When improving the working environment, the telecom enterprise Elisa Eesti takes into account that people from all over Estonia work in the enterprise. Good initiatives are not limited to the main office in Tallinn; instead, all offices are incorporated into the planning. The working environment of the enterprise is continuously developing, and employees are listened to and their opinions are taken into account when making changes - in the end, they know best what their place of work should be like.)
- The small enterprise Insly OÜ (Insly Insurance startup has a beautiful and modern working environment but what is even more important is that the enterprise has a motivated working environment specialist and an active working environment representative. They work together to ensure that the working environment is and will be safe, and that it protects the health of the employees.)
- The small enterprise Bonava Eesti OÜ (Bonava Eesti is an enterprise in which the occupational health and safety on a construction site is professionally managed and in which the safety and supervision of subcontractors is taken care of as well. Work managers maintain safety on the construction site on a daily basis, and, once a week, the occupational health and safety coordinator examines the situation. Once a month, an external auditor also participates in the review. Violations detected on the construction site are registered using a smartphone app, making it easy to send photos of the violation to the people responsible for safety. In addition to the regular guidance and training, an occupational safety information day is organised once a year, in which all the employees of the subcontractors also participate.)
- The large enterprise Saaremaa Piimatööstus AS (in Saaremaa Piimatööstus, occupational health and safety are the concern of each employee. The field is led by a working environment specialist who is also the personnel specialist. All the work managers are also engaged, and ensuring safety is part of their daily work. Work managers are well aware of the hazards at the places of work, as well as the possibilities for avoiding their consequences.)
- The small enterprise Baltic Oil Service (Baltic Oil Service is a relatively young enterprise and, from the very beginning, the working environment has been organised in a way that would really make it safe for the employees. With emphasis placed on guiding the employees – this guidance is based on specific and easily understandable safety instructions that include photos and schemes of the actual workplace, and the entire work process is discussed with the employee before starting work. The enterprise understands that dealing with the working environment is an ongoing process; on the one hand it helps to prevent possible losses, and on the other, it helps the enterprise to develop.)
- The large enterprise Derivco Estonia (Derivco Estonia values highly the wellbeing of their employees. The biggest issues for the enterprise are problems related to the musculoskeletal system and vision caused by work with display screen equipment;. Therefore, the enterprise contributes to health promotion by organising sports activities, as well as offering sports reimbursement.)
- The small enterprise AS Saku Metall (AS Saku Metall aims to be among the best employers that take care of their employees. A good working environment ensures better working conditions for the employees and protects their most precious possession – their health.)
- The large enterprise AS Harju Elekter Teletehnika (Operating for 25 years AS Harju Elekter Teletehnika has been placing great emphasis on the safety of the working environment throughout the entire period. For many years the enterprise has been using the Japanese 5S methodology that helps to ensure occupational safety. One of the outcomes of the 5S system is that each employee keeps their workplace orderly and thus helps to ensure general wellbeing.)
- The small enterprise Crystalsol OÜ (The management of Crystalsol OÜ has always been convinced that being engaged in advanced research and development is only possible in a safe and modern working environment. The system has been annually updated, improved and structured so that all new employees that have joined the enterprise are trained on a ‘safety first’ basis from day one.)
- The large enterprise AS Tallinna Vesi (AS Tallinna Vesi highly values systematic work. Striving for a safe working environment and a corresponding way of thinking are very important in AS Tallinna Vesi – no duty is worth getting hurt for. This is definitely not limited to the employees of the enterprise, but also affects all the people in Tallinn that are influenced by the activities of the water enterprise one way or another.)
In 2015–2020, the Good Working Environment Award was financed by the European Social Fund under the programme ‘Development of an employment-friendly and sustainable working environment 2014–2020’.
In 2021–2023, the Good Working Environment Award is financed by the European Social Fund under the programme ‘Healthy working environment and equal opportunities for everyone who participates in work life 2021–2023’.