We all take care of safety – new Security Manager talks about security work at our university

There are more than 3000 employees at the University of Oulu and in normal conditions thousands of people visit every day on Linnanmaa campus. Jukka-Pekka Matero, who started as Security Manager at the university last May, says that in a large organization, the guarantee of safety is not only on the shoulders of one person.

“For example, we have occupational health and safety delegates and representatives on both campuses, and each property has its own security organizations. Security coordinators are responsible for security technology at Linnanmaa and Kontinkangas campuses. The responsibility for safety lies with each of us. Everyone is a safety expert in their own working environment.”
Jukka-Pekka Matero
University is well prepared for security threats

“The basic security of the university is on a good level,” Matero says. He recalls how in his own years of study almost anyone had a chance to walk almost everywhere on the Linnanmaa campus. Today, passage to different premises is limited by access rights. Matero also praises the University's existing safety guidelines but acknowledges that especially in the context of new employee introductions the information about them should be increased. “Instructions for different crisis situations are good and comprehensive rescue plans are available. However, the improvement I see in how well the instructions are instructed. We should raise awareness of where safety guidelines can be found, and especially with the introduction of new employees and students, to bring safety issues more into sight.”

In Matero's view, the most significant factors affecting safety are related to the “open doors” of campuses and special functions, such as laboratory work. “Anyone can move around campuses during the day, so for exceptional situations, the university must have prepared plans. Instructions for working with hazardous materials must also exist”, Matero says. The university responds to safety anomalies elsewhere in the world and is on hand to take the necessary measures. For example, after the Kuopio school attack in 2019, the Linnanmaa campus started guarding during the day and 24/7 campus security has been operating in Linnanmaa since 2020.

War in Ukraine also reflects to the security work of the university

The Russian invasion war on Ukraine has also been reflected in the security work of the University of Oulu. Matero mentions that people's concern, in particular, about matters of emergency shelters has grown. People worry if there are enough of them if there is a need to use them. But Matero says that introducing emergency shelters is the last option, and their number is sufficient.

With the war, there was also a provision for disagreements between different people. “A safe and healthy working environment must be ensured for everyone at the University of Oulu. The university has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bullying and harassment,” Matero lines. He also mentions that there is constant monitoring of the university's cybersecurity to be able to prepare for potential cyber-attacks.

The human focus of work drove into the security sector

Matero graduated with a Master's degree in engineering from the Department of Process Engineering at the University of Oulu in 2009. He completed the course of study in security, ergonomics and factory service, and mentions that security felt most own field of all then. “I’ve always liked dealing with people, and security always about people and their activities,” Matero says. Since graduating, Matero has also worked outside the security industry, although his first job was Occupational Health and Safety Manager. Most recently before working at the university, he was an EHS specialist at the factory of Fermion Oy in Sanginsuu.

Matero lives in Haukipudas with his family and balances his work with playing hockey and doing a crossfit. He tells that he also enjoys downhill skiing during the winter especially now when his own children begin to learn the secrets of that sport.

Last updated: 13.4.2022