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The Evolution of Health, Safety, and Well-being in an Interconnected World

Over the past five decades, the landscape of health and safety at work has undergone a profound evolution, reflecting both societal shifts and advancements in workplace practices. Beginning with rudimentary safety regulations and reactive measures, the discourse surrounding occupational health and safety has expanded to encompass broader notions of employee well-being, inclusive organizational cultures, and the recognition of the interconnectedness between work and personal life while tackling social factors like poverty, education, and human rights. This evolution marks a journey of enlightenment and progress.

Head of EHS Ericsson Middle East & Africa

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Mariana Kajen - profile photo

Head of EHS Ericsson Middle East & Africa

Head of EHS Ericsson Middle East & Africa

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#HealthAndSafety

While there has been significant progress, it is sad to learn that an estimated three million workers die every year due to work-related accidents and diseases, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates in 2023. The paramount importance of health and safety cannot be overstated. If employees are every business's greatest asset, safeguarding their safety, health, and well-being must be seen as a critical and urgent matter in every organization.

Putting Safety at the forefront of our decision-making

Within the telecommunications industry, characterized by its complexity and continuous innovation, health and safety is critical. As technology continues to advance, prioritizing health and safety remains of utmost importance. Whether it's deploying networks like 5G or emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), each innovation presents its own set of challenges.

At Ericsson, our mission extends far beyond developing cutting-edge solutions to ensure that these advancements are deployed in a manner that prioritizes the health, safety, and well-being of individuals and communities. We believe and recognize that connectivity cannot be achieved at the expense of human health and safety. Through our established Ericsson Care program, we have committed to safeguarding our employees, customers, and partners by providing a safe and healthy work environment that includes physical, emotional, and social well-being.

Leveraging our technology

We leverage our technology to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of not just our employees but also our customers and partners. By utilizing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), advanced analytics, robotics, automation, and sensor technologies, we can enhance safety measures. For instance, Ericsson's 5G network ensures safety in various industries, including the mining industry, through automation and connected drones in hazardous areas.

Another example is Remote Access (RA), a cloud-based internal tool that enables remote supervision, inspection, and data collection remotely without requiring travel to physical locations. RA connects the remote supervisor using a desktop device to the field technician using a mobile device via a video conferencing session utilizing the field technician's mobile camera. This enables the host to capture video and images from the session and directly engage with on-site personnel in real time.

Using RA for safety site assurance has several advantages, including the ability to supervise all high-risk activities, optimize cost and resource use by industrializing and centralizing the verification process, and reduce travel-related safety and environmental risks associated with using vehicles for physical audits. 

Safety across our ecosystem

As we navigate the complexities of an increasingly interconnected world, we remain steadfast in our commitment to use our industry leadership to advocate for health and safety across our ecosystem.  From governments responsible for formulating national policies and programs and ensuring adherence to occupational safety and health regulations to customers, creating a level playing field that allows good safety practices to be a differentiator in procurement decisions. All stakeholders must be cognizant of their roles and responsibilities.

In conclusion, as technology, globalization, and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic have reshaped industries and redefined work environments, so too has the imperative to adapt our approach. This transformative journey underscores the recognition that safeguarding workers' health and safety is not only a legal obligation but also a moral and economic imperative vital for sustaining thriving workplaces and communities in the 21st century.

Ultimately, our commitment to health and safety transcends mere compliance or risk management. As corporate citizens, we bear the responsibility of safeguarding and enriching our people's and planet's well-being. A shared commitment to health and safety will guide actions, shape culture, and drive economic success as we build a sustainable future where technology serves humanity, with health and safety as its foundation pillars.

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