Johanna Fischer, steel worker

This is one of the best jobs I have ever had

It was Johanna Fischer’s brother that encouraged her to apply for a job at the Atomizing plant in Sweden. This was five years ago now, and she is still enjoying working on her tasks and with her work colleagues.

“I had worked in heavy industry before, but didn't really know what Höganäs produced at the Atomizing plant. When my brother found out that they were looking for people, he suggested that I should take the chance. This is one of the best jobs I have ever had, and now I know that Höganäs iron powder can be found in everything from cars to cornflakes,” says Johanna Fischer.  

The Atomizing plant is a male-dominated workplace consisting of some 90 employees in production, just seven of which are women.

“It is unavoidable that there can be a particular jargon used sometimes, but I really enjoy it. There are three employees in my department, and we get along well and have good lines of communication. This is really important.”

The first time Johanna Fischer arrived at the steelworks and saw the smelting process, it almost felt a bit overwhelming.

“There is a lot of noise around the furnace and it is hot, but I do not work directly with the smelting process. I am an atomizer, which means that I have to keep a check on the process that transforms the molten steel into powder,” she says and continues:

“We extract quality samples, keep the area clean and ensure the technology does not break down anywhere. It may sound like a routine job, but no two days are the same and I find it stimulating work. You must not be afraid of getting sweaty and dirty, it is part of the job.

There are risk elements in the production process, but the company has a sound safety policy,” says Johanna Fischer.

“Safety always comes first and we are always trying to improve. Personal protective equipment is a matter of course and I believe that I am given the opportunity to have an influence. If I come up with an idea for change, I feel that I am listened to.”

For a short period she worked daytime, but Johanna Fischer thrives best with shift work. This also suits her family situation.

“My daughter is two and a half years old and my husband works daytime. Shift work allows me to spend more time with my daughter, which means she avoids spending long days at the nursery.”