​Juha Pietsalo, Finland

An indispensable electrician

Juha Pietsalo works in the cold rolling plant at the Outokumpu Tornio mill. For his part, he is responsible for the smooth flow of the many phases in stainless steel production.


Juha works as a shift electrician on call in the cold rolling plant at the Outokumpu Tornio mill.

“We have a shift maintenance technician, two electricians on call and one machine technician in our team. Our tasks include maintaining and repairing electrical systems and appliances in the processes of steel handling, rolling, cutting, transport and dispatch, as well as in the regeneration and neutralization plant”, Juha explains.

From production perspective, Juha’s area of responsibility is very wide and his role is crucial. There is no “ordinary day” at work as new things come up all the time: “In shift work, every day is different. You never carry on with your old projects as the two other shifts in between are likely to have finished them. You certainly don’t get bored and you learn something new every day.”

“A quiet day at work is a good sign; you know that production is rolling well and our steel products proceed to sales. In a big mill, small interruptions can get very expensive. Whenever something happens with electricity, our team will be there immediately. Usually we repair everything on the spot, but sometimes that is not possible and one must prioritize. That’s why quick reactions and sharp thinking are essential for my role – I like that. For example, during heavy thunderstorms in the summertime we usually need to move fast.”

From specialization training to steel mill


After graduating from electrician school, Juha first continued his passion for ice hockey for years. First, he played in the juniors’ league at a national level in Southern Finland and later in the first division. When his daughter was born in 1999, the young family decided to return to Northern Finland.

“At the same time, the Employment Office in Tornio and Outokumpu launched a year-long specialization training for people with experience on the field. I took the training and afterwards got a job at Outokumpu in 2001. And I haven’t regretted a day,” Juha smiles.

Juha started as a maintenance electrician in the transport and dispatch area. This is his fourth year in shift work with a larger responsibility area. The best things in his job are wide-ranging tasks and connecting with a large network. “What I like most are the people I work with. I meet so many different personalities every day. Hundreds of Outokumpu people work in the different processes in my area of responsibility. I have gotten to know so many of them over the years. I would also like to think that my career in ice hockey served a purpose: I might be a bit more open-minded and more social than what I otherwise would have been,” Juha concludes.

Biography

Juha Pietsalo works as a shift electrician on call at the Outokumpu Tornio cold rolling plant. In his spare time, he loves to play ice hockey at the local ice rink during Outokumpu’s regular slot, three times a week. When he has the time, he also enjoys playing tennis and golf.