The Good Working Environment Award
Each year, the Labour Inspectorate recognises enterprises that develop 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 and risks that affect the health of employees are constantly assessed and 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 in a way that caused the working environment to improve. In essence, these are the best practices that other organisations could follow to develop their working environment.
The awards are presented 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 an application to the Labour Inspectorate. The application deadline is 30 September. Applicants have to answer questions concerning occupational health and safety and describe how the safety system functions in the enterprise. This year, we also 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 and protected the employees and/or customers from infection. Once you have completed the application 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. Note! If you are unable to complete the form in your browser, please download the application form to your computer and fill in the required fields. The completed application has to be sent to the general e-mail address of the Labour Inspectorate [email protected].
Evaluation of enterprises
Enterprises are evaluated in three stages:
In the first stage, we evaluate the submitted applications and analyse the data on the enterprise in the information system of the Labour Inspectorate (occupational accidents, occupational diseases, labour disputes, results of supervision, misdemeanour procedures). The evaluation is based on the data from the last three years. In addition, we check 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 taken place 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 with the employer and evaluates the activities of the enterprise on the topics listed below. During the visit, the data provided in the application are also reviewed.
During the visit, the consultant evaluates:
- 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 appropriateness of organising employee training;
- the provision and use of personal protective equipment;
- the handling of chemicals, including the existence of safety data sheets for dangerous chemicals; and
- the organisation of medical examinations.
Final evaluation and determining the winners of the award
After visiting the enterprise, the working environment consultant prepares a summary for each enterprise, which they forward to the evaluation committee. In the third stage, the committee reviews both the summaries and the data previously collected on 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.
The Good Working Environment Award will be presented at the Occupational Health Conference in November.
Winners of the Good Working Environment Award
- The large enterprise ABB AS focuses on occupational health and safety every day and throughout all activities. The enterprise pays attention to the investigation of hazards systematically because a thorough investigation of hazards as well as the identification and elimination of their real causes helps to prevent all individuals from getting injured during work. The enterprise pays a great deal of attention to informing employees, and access to 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 workspaces.
- In the small enterprise AS Elcogen, issues regarding occupational health and safety are not only managed by a working environment specialist. Many other employees are also engaged in risk assessment and the preparation of new safety instructions, as well as in the quarterly internal audit. The results of the internal audit are forwarded to the senior management of the enterprise and any problems are resolved as quickly as possible. Thanks to the completion of new office premises, office employees now have spacious workspaces, 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 regular medical examinations performed by an occupational health doctor, the employer reimburses activities that prevent health damage, as well as appointments with medical specialists.
- The large enterprise Ericsson Eesti values a safe and healthy working environment. The key to success is engaging employees in the creation and maintenance of 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 contact – the work is organised in such a way that shifts do not come into contact with each other. In the office, people are divided into three shifts so they can maintain a distance. Thought has also been given to the reduction of contacts in public areas.
- This year, the award was not handed out in the small enterprise category.
- The large enterprise Elisa Eesti AS (When improving the working environment, the telecom enterprise Elisa Eesti takes into account that they employ people from all over Estonia. 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 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 (The Insly insurance start-up 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 remains safe and that it protects the health of their 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 the safety and supervision of subcontractors is taken care of as well. Supervisors maintain safety on construction sites 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 construction sites are registered using a smartphone app, making it easy to send photos of the violation to the people responsible for safety. In addition to regular instruction and training, an occupational safety information event is organised once a year, also attended by all employees of their subcontractors.)
- 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 supervisors are also involved, and ensuring safety is part of their daily work. Supervisors are well aware of the hazards at the places of work, as well as ways to avoid 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 truly makes it safe for employees. The enterprise focuses on instructing employees, which is based on specific and easily understandable safety instructions that include photos and schemes of the actual workplace. The entire work process is discussed with employees before they start 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 the wellbeing of their employees highly. The biggest issues for the enterprise are problems related to the musculoskeletal system and vision caused by working with a monitor. Therefore, the enterprise promotes health 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 employees and protects their most precious asset – their health.)
- The large enterprise AS Harju Elekter Teletehnika (AS Harju Elekter Teletehnika has been operating for 25 years and has placed great emphasis on the safety of the working environment throughout this 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 possible only in a safe and modern working environment. The system is 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 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. It definitely does not only affect the employees of the enterprise, but also 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’.
Last updated: 21.06.2022