Published: November 02, 2022
Published: November 02, 2022

Maria Björklund: Fostering Safety and Creating Sense of Community

At PPG, we are grateful for all of our employees around the world, including our frontline employees who often work behind the scenes in our manufacturing facilities, research laboratories, stores and other PPG sites to make it happen. In our “Behind the Paints" series, we introduce you to members of our frontline team and showcase the many ways they run it like they own it – at work and in the community.

Meet Maria Björklund, production manager for the Nykvarn Architectural Coatings EMEA North & East site in Sweden. She’s committed to look out for one another's safety and have the confidence to highlight problems when we notice them.

Maria is 51 and has two grown-up daughters, two dogs and three chickens. She likes being in the countryside and spends a lot of time in her garden, where she’s trying to create a sustainable cycle which will increase biodiversity.

“I began working at Tikkurila, now PPG, in 2008 as an engineer in the production engineering department and I became production manager of the department in 2017.”

Maria is responsible for a team of 25 employees who work together to supply high-quality products to meet customers’ needs. It's part of her job to increase our production efficiency and capacity with the help of daily management measures.

Safety plays an important role in her life. She thinks a lot about ergonomics, for example when she’s out in her garden. And when she’s working, Maria tries to remember to get up and move about and not sit in front of a screen for too long. She also thinks a lot about her surroundings, and stays alert when she’s out walking or travelling to work.

A safe workplace is Maria’s top priority, both personally and professionally. Because she’s trying to make the workplace as safe as possible, it's important for her to set a good example. She always uses the marked walkways and is aware of passing trucks, for instance. She takes part in risk assessments and safety inspections on an ongoing basis.

It's important for me that we have a good safety culture in the company, so that everyone who works here feels safe and involved. I believe this can help us to build a strong sense of community. Our goal should always be to finish our shift in the same state that we started it in -- or perhaps a slightly better state.

Maria also runs training courses and holds meetings with her team to increase their awareness of the environment and safety. She creates work orders and environment, health and safety (EHS) cases for things that need sorting out or fixing and makes sure that they are followed up and resolved.

We need to be passionate about everything we do. If you spot a problem, don't let it stop you. Instead, you should report the problem and, most importantly; suggest a solution.

Click here to read previous “Behind the Paints” features.