Campus Safety Day 2022 – Focus on preparedness and continuity management

On Thursday September 15, 2022, SYK and representatives of its shareholder universities got together to discuss preparedness and continuity management. The annual SYK Campus Safety Day was organised this time at Hotel Presidentti in Helsinki.

Talking about issues is preparing for them

The goal of the Campus Safety Day 2022 was to offer the participants insights on preparedness from the point of view of the preparer. During the day, preparedness was discussed on campus level, as well as how it is possible to keep up with changing situations. The emphasis was on the significance of collaboration, roles, and pre-defined processes.

The programme started with the opening speech of CEO Sanna Sianoja who welcomed the participants and gave an update on the safety situation in the property management sector. The Russian invasion and the subsequent war in Ukraine were highlighted in the speech, when Sianoja talked about the discussion on emergency shelters that emerged as a result of the war, as the security situation had changed drastically. Sianoja concluded her speech saying that it is wise to talk about issues. It is the same as being prepared. This summed up the importance of the Campus Safety Day.

The next speakers were Security Officer Anna Partanen from Seclion Oy and SYK Maintenance Manager Ville Kautto who outlined the current campus safety situation. Among other subjects, Partanen and Kautto talked about the following year’s action plans for preparedness, as well as the importance of preparedness and security of supply on campuses. The significance of collaboration and constant situation updates in potential risk situations and disturbances were stressed. Partanen highlighted the importance of planning for various disturbances and risk situations. Both proactive and situational collaboration are required, According to Partanen, collaboration must involve clear and sufficient communication between parties regarding preparedness, planning, and actions in various situations. Partanen said collaboration is ensured by considering the following:

  • By appointing a collaborative preparedness team that meets regularly.
  • Joint preparing processes and action plans must be documented and implemented as part of preparedness management.

Situation-specific guidelines should also be defined, as they support actions in situations where risk management has not been sufficient. In case of disturbances, documented situation-specific guidelines help to identify what needs to be done and in which order, who are the important stakeholders and what are their roles and responsibilities, including contact details and means of communication. A fast analysis of the situation enables immediate reaction to the disturbance, as everybody knows who does what, what decisions have been taken, and duplicate actions will be avoided.

SYK Hervanta campus Technical Manager Aapo Kauppinen talked about preparedness on Hervanta campus.

Digital security on the property and construction sector

The guest lecturer of the Campus Safety Day was Digipool’s Chief of Preparedness Antti Nyqvist. Digipool is responsible for National Emergency Supply Organization’s information society preparedness plan. The topic of the lecture was Digipool’s views on Digital security on the property and construction sector.

Digital security refers to ensuring the security of processing, transfer, and storage of data in digital format. Digital security affects also the safety of physical environment. The property and construction sector’s dependency on digital solutions is constantly increasing regarding for example property automation, which increases the need for constant consideration of digital security.
Nyqvist mentioned in his speech how taking digital security into account is a crucial part of developing energy-efficient services both among existing players in the sector and in training. The latter refers to all training regarding property and construction from vocational training to higher education, as well as further training and competence requirements.

One of the recurring themes of the Campus Safety Day was the communication on preparedness and safety issues both within the organisation and externally. Nyqvist’s view was in line with this.

As a property owner, SYK wants to understand the customers’ needs regarding preparing for exceptional circumstances

Hervanta campus Tecnical Manager Aapo Kauppinen talked about preparedness on Hervanta campus. Kauppinen began his speech by rewinding to the early 2022 when Russia started the war in Ukraine. He said that the concern for potential crisis situations in Finland has increased with the war in Ukraine. SYK had done some preparedness planning already, but During 2022 their scale increased drastically.

Each SYK property has its own features and priorities. The special features of each property must be taken into account when drafting and implementing preparedness plans. Kauppinen stressed this in his speech too. As a property owner, SYK wants to understand the customers’ needs regarding preparing for exceptional circumstances. Kauppinen emphasized that neither party – nor SYK, nor the university – is necessarily able to make the right solutions on its own, and therefore the preparedness needs and priorities of the university are mapped out together. This was done also with the University of Tampere regarding the Hervanta campus, and as a result, the following measures were taken:

  • The equipment of emergency shelters was checked and updated.
  • A review of existing reserve power was conducted.
  • The risks relating to personal safety and specific research equipment were assessed.

The conclusion of Campus Safety Day was that preparedness consists first and foremost of proactive planning. Efficient action plans are based on an assessment of the threat and the situation, as well as keeping all parties updated on the appropriate measures. In addition to successful preparedness, close collaboration is needed both internally and externally and taking digital environments into account.

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