Meet Johanna – our Manager OHS and Management systems

Johanna Ydringer is the Manager of Occupational Health and Safety as well as Management Systems Procurement & Wood Supply at Billerud. With 19 years of experience working in Wood Supply, Johanna has become an expert in identifying the biggest risks and developing long-term safety strategies. She collaborates with managers and colleagues to raise the safety culture and to ensure that all employees work towards the same goal of preventing risks. Let's learn more about Johanna's approach to safety.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
"I have been working at Billerud in Wood Supply for 19 years. My career started in the timber department, where I then became a timber purchaser, and now for the past 5 years, I have been responsible for health and safety within Procurement and Wood Supply. The position is split between Occupational Health and Safety and Management Systems. The business is spread across multiple offices in central Sweden and the Baltic states. Most employees work both in the forest and in the office. I support managers with routines and tools related to health and safety, so that they, in turn, can support their employees.

What does working with safety mean in your role?
"I would say it’s a collaborative process, where I develop the work together with managers and colleagues within Procurement & Wood Supply. We have identified the biggest risks for us; driving and working alone, as well as psychosocial aspects. I follow up on incidents and compile them. Then, I suggest improvements to leadership to further reduce risks. We want to raise the safety culture so that all employees work towards the same goal, but it is also an individual responsibility – to prioritize safety."

Can you give an example of how Safety First is practiced on a daily basis in your role?
"In the forest, there are safety risks everywhere; rocks, pits, slippery surfaces, and dangerous animals. We must work with preventive measures, and each person must make their own risk assessment when they go out to work. Today, employees demand and ask questions about the working environment, something that was not done to the same extent a few years ago. I notice clearly that the safety culture has been raised, even though it is not quite where we want it to be. A concrete example is that today we wear protective clothing in the forest. In our case, it is high-visibility clothing, so that we are seen properly. When I started at Korsnäs, everyone wore green clothing in the forest. It is important for me to lead by example, which is extra important for anyone in a leadership role. Those who are visible and heard need to support Billerud’s values."

What makes you work at Billerud?
"It has changed from being the small, family-friendly company to the large one where a lot is happening at the same time, where we are challenged, it develops, and new thinking comes in. I was not trained for my current role from the beginning, but I have learned over time. I have based my career on knowing Billerud, but I like that the company is evolving."

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