Never before has the urgent need to guarantee people's health and safety, wherever they may be, been so keenly felt by everyone. Ever since 2003, April 28th has been the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. It’s an opportunity to stop and reflect on the importance of these values - without which all work activities would lose their significance - and on how to actively pursue them.
Within the Enel Group, we take the health and safety of people very seriously. For us, these values are of primary importance, as confirmed by the "Declaration of Commitment to Health and Safety," which is founded on a number of fundamental principles, namely:
- compliance with regulations;
- the adoption of best practices;
- sharing experiences;
- the continuous improvement of the management system;
- a systematic approach to eliminating risks;
- the adoption of safe and responsible behaviors at all levels;
- the adequate design of workplaces;
- the provision of the necessary equipment and tools for ensuring people’s safety.
Furthermore, to underline how the physical and mental well-being of people forms part of their inalienable right to good health and safety, we have adopted a policy specifically dedicated to “Health and Wellbeing.” This is based on health surveillance, on prevention and on facilitating 360-degree psychophysical well-being.
Spreading the safety culture
“The three key elements are people, processes and technologies,” says Lea Tarchioni, Head of HSEQ for Enel's Global Infrastructure and Networks division. “Processes and technologies are fundamental for the existence of an inherently safe network, but they are always there to serve people. People are the priority, and they are the most influential since it’s through their behaviors that a real difference can be made, by not working in a rush, by never underestimating the dangers to themselves and to their colleagues, and by having the courage to adopt the Stop Work Policy if necessary.”
We are therefore fully aware of the need for a solid health and safety culture throughout the entire organization, in order to ensure the working environment is a safe place.
Our “Mission Zero” objective aims to extend the zero accidents outcome, which has already been achieved in many countries and operational areas, to the entire organization. We are looking to start from the basics to ensure that all working methods and standards which are oriented towards health and safety become common behaviors deeply ingrained in how all employees conduct their work. And, of course, we also want to ensure that they’re always applied correctly.
Stop all risky activities immediately
“Over the last three years, across the Enel Group, we’ve reduced the frequency of accidents by 53% - explains Attilio Cherubini, Enel’s Head of HSEQ - but we must do more, and we must do better.” Indeed, the goal is called the Zero Accidents Objective.
A key tool we've adopted to help towards achieving this objective is the Stop Work Policy, which was instigated in 2020. In adhering to this policy, all Enel employees are required to immediately stop any dangerous activity and promptly report any unsafe conduct that poses a risk to anyone’s health, safety or to the environment. It’s a practical application of the Safety first principle, and to ensure it’s fully effective, all employees are made explicitly aware of the fact that anybody implementing this policy in good faith will not, under any circumstances, be penalized or disciplined. Indeed, starting this year, all employees correctly applying this policy will be rewarded as part of the Safety Stop Work Contest, which was established to increase everyone's risk awareness and to promote responsible behavior.
The Stop Work Policy is one of the three basic safe conduct rules; the other two, as Lea Tarchioni explains, are “Don’t work in a rush, because haste is the nemesis of safety, and always stay focused, without taking unnecessary risks.”
A right for everyone
Health and safety is everyone's right: it is for this reason that our practices and standards also extend to suppliers and contractors, all of whom we consider to be part of our extended professional family. Our contracts are therefore governed by rigorous health, safety and environmental regulations.
Compliance with these regulations is monitored via Contractor Assessments which involve continuous, detailed safety and environmental audits at the supplier's facilities and worksites.
We’ve also developed a metric called the Contractor Safety Index to measure the safety performance of those who provide our products and services, and they are also evaluated against this metric.
One day, many initiatives and one objective
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is therefore an opportunity to remind all those who work with us, be they employees or contractors, of the importance of safety. In keeping with previous editions, once again this year we’ve planned a number of initiatives covering various countries where the Group operates and various business lines.
One of the most important activities in the "Mission Zero" program is Stop4Safety, which was organized by the Infrastructure and Networks Division. It consists of a day during which we stop all operational activities being conducted in every country where we operate. It’s a way of raising awareness among those working in the field of the importance of always ensuring that all necessary safety measures are being taken. Throughout the day there will be interactive activities to encourage discussion and debate, practical activities and video screenings covering a range of occupational health and safety issues.
At the same time Enel X, the company within our Group which is specialized in innovative technological products and services, will launch a campaign to raise awareness regarding near misses, i.e., incidents where there were no consequences but where injuries could have been caused, and which therefore represent an important wake-up call that’s not to be ignored. A number of real cases will be described in order to illustrate the lessons that can be learned and the right behaviors to adopt as a result.
Furthermore, the Enel Green Power division, which comprises all our power plants, has also organized a communications campaign covering a range of safety issues: near misses, lessons learned, the Stop Work Policy and safety applications.
Numerous other projects are also being carried out in the countries where we operate. For example, in Argentina there’s going to be a series of videos produced with interviews and testimonials, as well as a webinar and activities for sharing best practices. A number of communications initiatives will be organized in Colombia on strategies for preventing work injuries and illnesses, on physical activity as a strategy for good health, and on healthcare and safety while hybrid working.
There are many different initiatives, but just one approach, and, above all, just one goal. This is because “Zero Accidents” isn't a dream: it's an objective that can and must be achieved as soon as possible.