Ensuring safety through cooperation


Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering, Minna Vartiainen came across the company Suomen Maastorakentajat, which was recruiting in Kuopio. Minna was offered the role of production engineer and has been working for the company, which has since become part of the NYAB Group, since 2018.

“Initially, my studies were focused on health and social care, but that turned out not to be quite right for me, so I changed direction. My studies at Savonia University of Applied Sciences were very varied, covering topics such as environmental research and protection, water supply engineering, and circular economy. It provided a great basis for working as a production engineer, but I also learned a lot on the job,” Minna explains.

In October 2021, Minna took on the role of quality specialist, taking responsibility for quality at an operational level. Her job description is now set to see a number of changes, as going forward she will be focusing on occupational safety. Quality matters will become the responsibility of the new quality manager. “Safety is an increasingly important factor in NYAB’s operations. Our construction projects are often challenging in nature and involve high-risk stages, such as lifting heavy loads and work on scaffolding,” states Minna.

The occupational safety level at NYAB is good, and we have the right attitude, but the company’s aim is to ensure continual improvement in this area. Minna’s day-to-day work includes both design elements and practical implementation. Developing systems, compiling instructions, and providing employees with guidance are important parts of the job, as are compliance with standards, statistics work and reporting. “I also took on the role of occupational safety manager at the beginning of the year, working with the occupational safety committee to monitor the situation and pass on any development ideas. Strong cooperation is key to developing safety, and this requires commitment at all levels, up to and including management,” Minna summarises.

Minna considers the variety to be the best thing about her job. “My working days and tasks vary on a daily basis. I work primarily in the office, but from time to time I visit the construction sites,” she adds.

Minna spends most of her free time with her spouse and the family’s dachshund, Norman.

“We meet up with family and friends and spend lots of time enjoying the great outdoors. Kuopio is a fantastic place to live and I’d recommend that anyone visiting the city check out the harbour and Puijo hill, which is topped by a 75-metre tower with fantastic views over Savo,” Minna suggests.