Thesis defence in the University of Oulu

Doctoral Candidate

Master of Science (Tech) Henri Jounila

Faculty and research unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management Research Unit

Field of study

Industrial Engineering and Management

Date and time of the thesis defence

8.10.2021 12:00

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa, auditorium IT115. Remote connection:

Topic of the dissertation

Holistic corporate responsibility through integrated HSEQ management. Case studies on developing safety and HSEQ in companies


Docent Salla Lind-Kohvakka, IF Insurance

Second opponent

Docent Lauri Oksama, Finnish Defence Research Agency


Professor Seppo Väyrynen, University of Oulu

Holistic corporate responsibility through integrated HSEQ management

In order to improve occupational safety and prevent accidents at work, continuous measures must
be taken to improve or maintain the safety level achieved. A company’s management plays a
special role in safety work. Their commitment and attitude are crucial for the development of a
good safety culture. The goal of the integrated management of health, safety, environment and
quality (HSEQ) is to achieve holistic responsibility in the company’s operations. The HSEQ
Assessment Procedure developed in Finland verifies the HSEQ performance of suppliers to buyer

The aim of this dissertation was to examine, through case studies, how corporate responsibility
could be developed to improve safety in particular, but also environmental responsibility and
quality management. The sub-studies examined factors related to accidents at work on the basis
of investigation reports, staff perceptions of the management’s safety attitudes through a survey
and supplier companies’ HSEQ improvement needs from the assessment database, as well as the
HSEQ Assessment Procedure through a comprehensive review.

Common factors can be found in investigations of similar accidents at work, and by examining
them, parallels can be found in accidents. These can be used to support safety management in
various industries and more broadly. In safety work, the attitudes of the management play a key
role. The management should serve as an example and work in interaction with other staff. 

The results show that the HSEQ Assessment Procedure is a viable method for assessing and developing suppliers’ HSEQ capabilities. The approach has shown its strength and adaptability in various challenges affecting business operations and with increasingly stricter sustainability requirements. The challenges related to the method need to be assessed continuously to ensure its viability.



Last updated: 1.10.2021