World’s largest workplace safety initiative – Skanska Safety Week – to start on Monday, September 13

9/9/2010 11:46 AM CET
Press release

Monday, September 13 marks the start of Skanska Safety Week 2010. This is the sixth consecutive year for the world’s largest workplace safety initiative, organized by a company. At more than 10,000 worksites worldwide, Skanska’s 49,000 employees and thousands of customers, subcontractors, suppliers and business partners will be involved in activities focused on safety.

Skanska Safety Week will extend from September 13 to 19. The objective is to increase the focus on safety at worksites in order to prevent accidents and realize Skanska’s vision of zero worksite injuries among employees, subcontractors and the general public.

“It is completely unacceptable that people in our industry risk their lives in performing their daily work. Working safely is everyone’s right. Safety is Skanska’s highest priority, and Skanska Safety Week is therefore an important initiative to show that accidents can and must be avoided,” says Johan Karlström, President and CEO of Skanska.

The construction industry has traditionally been one of the most dangerous sectors in which to work. Some 40 percent of all fatal accidents in workplaces occur in this industry. However, experience from Skanska’s Safety Week, shows that the number of accidents can be greatly reduced. During Safety Week 2009, the percentage of accidents that resulted in absence from work in the entire Skanska Group was more than 50 percent lower than during an average week, when about 20 accidents were reported. Restated for a full year, this would correspond to approximately 650 fewer accidents among Skanska employees and subcontractors worldwide.

Activities to be conducted during the week include hundreds of safety visits to worksites by senior Skanska managers, including extensive training programs for employees, subcontractors and business partners relating to safety, such as work planning to avoid risks, work at great heights and fire training, as well as many other activities at Skanska’s construction projects and offices worldwide. There will also be activities focusing on health, such as training in first aid and blood testing. Further information about the activities will be available as of Monday at

“Safety is one of the core values at Skanska and our very highest priority, every day, for all people and in all of the places where we work. It is therefore of the utmost importance that everyone – employees, subcontractors and business partners alike – participates in planning to prevent accidents. This is the only way to achieve our long-term goal of zero accidents. We still have some way to go, but I am convinced that we will succeed,” says Johan Karlström.

Since Skanska started its Safety Week in 2005, the lost-time accidents among employees has declined by more than 50 percent. The company is taking extensive measures to further reduce the number of accidents. Stringent rules for personal safety equipment at worksites have been introduced, and extensive training programs have been conducted. Analyses of safety risks are now mandatory in all construction projects. Skanska has also taken the initiative to increase the focus on accidents that could have been serious but in which no one was injured.

Safety efforts are measured and carefully followed up, and results regularly are compared between Skanska business units to spread knowledge and lessons learned between the units. The accident frequency also affects the variable salary of many Skanska managers. As of 2009, a Global Safety Stand Down was introduced during which all work is stopped on a special occasion in conjunction with a tragic fatal accident occurring at one of Skanska’s worksites. The focus is on encouraging all employees, subcontractors and business partners to learn from the tragedies that have occurred and how they could have been prevented.