Telecommunications has made life simple and the world smaller. But this simplicity for end users is assured with great difficulty and acute complexities at the back end. Hundreds and thousands of people work behind the scenes, often in unfriendly and dangerous situations to make sure phones and computers have connectivity 24×7. Swedish telecom equipment maker, Ericsson ensures that its employees who work to provide network connectivity are regularly trained, and that necessary measures are provided to ensure a safe working environment for them.
Often, individuals involved in Ericsson business work in difficult and hazardous environments. The Company remains committed to provide them with unique tools and processes including trainings, refresher courses and routine tests in order to ensure their safety while on duty. For instance, the Company recently rolled out MARS (maintenance activity reporting system) a mobile app that helps people working in the field share work related details with their managers to seek a ‘permit to work’. The details shared on the app helps the manager ascertain the risks associated with the work and provide necessary guidance.
Empowering Employees – It’s #NetworkHeroes
27 year old Abdul Hamid Malik, from Rishigund town in northern Kashmir’s Kupwara district, is a Field Maintenance Engineer with Ericsson. He is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of about 30+ network sites in Tangdar, which is one of the most difficult areas of Kashmir because of weather as well as proximity to the Line of Control. Abdul speaks passionately about his work,
The job is difficult, but necessary. I enjoy the responsibility and with the frequent training and guidance from seniors, I feel empowered as well as confident to attend to my duty in this difficult yet beautiful terrain.”
Abdul faced a major challenge about a couple of months ago when one network site at ‘Sadhna Top’ at 13000 feet stopped working. In telecom parlance this particular site was a repeater site and other sites in the region are dependent on it. There was network outage in the area for almost two days because of heavy snowfall. Abdul walked and trekked almost 28 kilometers one way to the site, spent the night but managed to fix the issue which brought connectivity back to mobile phones in the region.
Often I visit remote areas for work, but this was quite daunting. The weather, terrain and the distance were all stacked against us. Planning for the assignment, I took all the precautionary measures including required clearances and proceeded for Sadhna Top and rested only after the issue was resolved and connectivity was restored.”
Abdul, a graduate from Royal Polytechnic, Srinagar loves cricket. He plays whenever he can but makes sure he is updated on scores and match results on his phone. He feels that the right training and guidance makes every job easier, no matter how difficult it seems.
More About Ericsson’s commitment to Occupational Health & Safety
As part of Ericsson’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, they deliver innovative solutions to customers and governments to address global challenges. They also focus on how these are incorporated within the company. Health and Safety is an area where Ericsson takes an inclusive approach, not only regarding the safety and well-being of its employees but also those in their supply chain. The company is actively working to prevent incidents and work-related illnesses, with a vision of zero major incidents. To achieve this vision, they apply a risk-based approach and have a variety of tools and processes in place.
- Basic Health and Safety – this denotes the risks one is exposed to in any role and controls available to prevent them
- Basic Lab Safety – this helps outlining the security risks in lab environment
- Bio Risk – special training for individuals who work in environment where EMF exposure exceeds generally applicable limits
- Work at Height / Safe Climbing – recommendations on what equipment and methods to use for safe climbing in masts, on roofs and on walls
Other OHS Measures
- Medical Examinations – Regular medical check-ups are done for individuals involved in field maintenance work.
- Driving and Vehicle Guidelines – Detailed guidelines on how to drive safely using two wheelers or four wheelers. Tips on vehicle maintenance and upkeep.
- Security Guidelines – regularly updated guidelines including restrictions and special trainings for individuals working on sensitive areas or areas affected by natural calamities
- Zero Tolerance Safety Rules – Reinforcing the zero tolerance safety rules to increase awareness and adherence to inculcate and improve upon a ‘safety first’ culture.