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Quality, safety and environment

Activities under the scope of Quality, Safety and Environment and Protection and Prevention System coordination

In the first half of 2012 the targets set by the Quality, Safety and Environment Department were reached with very satisfactory results.


  • At the beginning of June the certification methods review project, in compliance with consolidated standards UNI EN ISO 9001 and 14001 and Hera S.p.A. standard OHSAS 18001, came to a conclusion.
    The review of the methods involved the activities being seen from a “process” perspective rather than a “site” perspective. This approach led to the inspections being planned through a different sampling method, which was more streamlined than in the past. DNV did not actually check all the requirements at all Local Business Units, indiscriminately, but used a method which involved sampling “by process” whereby all the applicable and important requirements were checked only in the business units where a given process had been selected by DNV as being representative. There has also been a greater focus on Central Departments in order to check the level and approach of standardisation of coordination and direction roles, as confirmation of how central management has an increasingly decisive effect on management methods in the regions as far as every single activity is concerned.

    The outcome of the audits was positive with the consolidation of these successful results in Hera S.p.A. certification and the following further results:
    • Validation of a new more efficient certification method, closer to the Hera S.p.A. organisation model;Adoption of an overview of the certification model better equipped to highlight the most important problem areas at Group level, not dwelling on precise aspects discovered in the Local Business Units;
    • Optimising on-site inspections at all Local Business Units;
    • Improving the “quality” of activities which have focused on the flow of the entire overall process;
    • Optimising the inspection days allowing improved sustainability both for Hera S.p.A. and for Third Parties, with resulting cost savings.
  • The Hera Group Information System Audit Management design and development activities were concluded in June, an application which brings the process of completely overhauling the certification processes to an end, with the planning, audit management and subsequent (audit) output management primary processes having been “computerised”.

    The information system is designed to satisfy the various requirements of the processes in question. On average, the DCQSA (Quality, Safety and Environment Department) carries out approximately 250 audits annually, which give rise to approximately 2,000 reports per year, requiring the most suitable instruments to oversee a process which has gradually become more complex and detailed. All the main corporate structures are involved in the auditing process which transversely affects approximately 400 company employees and their co-workers, giving rise to the need for the Group to identify unique processes, language and instruments.
  • Activities for retaining accreditation were begun in June with work on new parameters for the sampling and analysis activities performed by the Group Laboratories, whose QSE internal control was, from the end of 2011, entrusted to the DCQSA when the DSO was reorganised. These activities are expected to conclude in July.
  • The Uniflotte companies were successful at the first renewal of the OHSAS 18001 certification which was gained at the end of 2011; according to the accreditation rules this renewal process has to take place only 6 months after certification is initially granted;
  • In the first half of 2012, in conjunction with the Group Purchasing and Procurement Department and Head Office Personnel and Organisation Division, the training campaign launched in the second half of 2011 for focusing greater attention on areas surrounding the performance of suppliers, specifically with regard to health and safety, came to a conclusion having delivered approximately 2500 hours worth of training to about 630 participants.
  • There are plans for around 205 audits in 2012, of which approximately 48% have been conducted by 30/06/2012, in line with forecasts. Internal audits have reinforced the specialisations of in-house employees still further, promoting synergies and the dissemination of shared management methods among the various sector and territorial technical ambits.


All of these activities are in addition to the routine activities planned by the DCQSA, which are carried out to maintain the Group Integrated Management System, which includes the document storage system: QSE Manual, System procedures, risk assessment documents, environmental analyses, support for the various corporate structures in maintaining company targets regarding Quality, Safety and Environment, etc.

Hera’s commitment to the project “A Year for Safety in the Hera Group”, an important initiative which has involved all of the Group’s employees, continues in 2012. The aim of the project is to optimise the cultural aspect of safety and risk prevention and to improve practices in the workplace and in everyday life. The entire project is managed by a Guidance Committee made up of top management. The development of the project is constantly monitored by a Coordination Group which reports to the Guidance Committee on the progress achieved. Also reporting to this Group is a Scientific Committee consisting of three external occupational health and safety specialists in various disciplines (legal, economic and psychosocial). The Scientific Committee supports the development of the project, establishing and evaluating the consistency criteria and the results achieved on the basis of three main principles:

  1. Organisational/management, or safety as a responsibility throughout the business, with regard to which a contribution is requested from everyone: from the commitment of strategic senior managers to the behaviour of each individual worker;
  2. Economic/competitive, which means demonstrating, including through concrete examples, the costs and benefits of a correct safety management system;
  3. Communication/cultural, which constitutes the natural conclusion of the two previous aspects: it allows information and training channels to be developed which ensure that a culture of safety penetrates the organisation, permeating the areas in which "making safety" creates value for the company and highlighting everyone's contribution, so as to increase the tangible and intangible benefits of the commitment made.


”A Year for Safety in the Hera Group” comprises 15 projects, some of which are Group-wide in scope and are therefore centrally managed, while others are assigned to individual territorial structures and may, if the expected results are achieved, also be extended to the territories in a second phase of development of the project.

To date, 11 projects have been successfully completed. As far as the others which are being implemented at the moment are concerned, they should be concluded by 2012 and then possibly rolled out in the regions.

Thanks to this initiative, there was a reduction of approximately 24% in the number of workplace accidents in Hera S.p.A. compared with the previous year. The good results achieved in 2011 were also confirmed in the first half of 2012. Compared with the same period in the previous year there has been a considerable reduction in the overall number of accidents (85 in the first six months of 2012 against 92 in the first six months of 2011). However, there has been an increase in the number of days of absence, but the differential is gradually decreasing. The accident figures for the first half of 2012 confirm that they are in line with the targets set.

EnterpriseAward for Safety

In the first half of 2012, Hera S.p.A. took part in the Enterprise Award for Safety, the initiative launched by Confindustria and INAIL, implemented with the technical support of APQI and Accredia, in which 260 businesses in Italy took part.

A Scientific Technical Committee made up of experts scrutinised all the firms taking part, including through on-site meetings, in order to evaluate the degree of proactivity demonstrated by these organisations with regard to health and safety in the workplace and their commitment to innovation, with reference to setting up management systems for risk prevention and the extent to which the culture of safety has permeated all areas of the organisation.

At the end of this careful evaluation process, the Hera Group was awarded the prestigious 2012 Prize having been judged as one of the top 5 companies taking part in the scheme. The award ceremony for the finalists took place in Rome on 24 April 2012 and was attended by the Minister of Welfare, Elsa Fornero and the Chair of Confindustria, Emma Marcegaglia.

QSE Management System Development activities

Some of the main objectives planned by Quality, Safety and Environment regarding System Development areas include the following initiatives:

  • The Management System planning activities compliant with international Social Accountability standard 8000 (SA8000) are in the completion stage. Hera has, for many years, turned the social responsibility of the business into a strategic objective. The choice of adopting a management system in this ambit has become part of the approach begun with the preventive introduction of a Quality Management System, respecting the environment and safeguarding health and safety in the workplace. The project has been developed by setting up working groups known as “taskforces” operating in the main areas of interest: HR Management, Health and Safety, Purchasing and Procurement. Certification activities are expected to be concluded by the first quarter of 2013.
  • EHS Project: Under the scope of “A Year for Safety in the Hera Group”, the EHS project (Environment – Health – Safety) comes under the development of the Group Information Systems identifying the information requirements in the Health, Safety and Environment ambit necessary to guarantee fulfilment of Article 15 of Legislative Decree 81 regarding the planning of prevention and conformity with the regulations on the subject of the Environment in Group processes. One of the unusual features of the project is the identification and evaluation of all the information interfaces between the information and document systems necessary for collecting information and managing them with regard to the territories, with particular emphasis on map and process aspects. A particularly important aspect is the optimising of the main computerisation projects in progress or those which have already been launched in the production ambit. By 2012, some system modules should be implemented and a prototype aimed at the preventive validation of the development model should be developed.
  • M.I.M.O.S.A. Project (Methodology for Implementing, Measuring and Organising Safety in the Company): in the first half of 2012 an application protocol of the MIMOSA model was developed in one of the Group companies and experiments conducted to evaluate the health and safety systems in the workplaces developed under the scope of the Thematic Table “Health and Safety in workplaces”, an important example of collaboration between Universities and Businesses.

Privacy and Regulatory Oversight

In the first half of 2012 the management reorganisation process came to an end, bringing Privacy protection within the QSE Regulatory Oversight, back in line with the objective of increasing the synergies resulting from a standardised vision of managing to balance the interests of the various regulations, including privacy, and corporate needs.

One of the first results was a more systematic approach to both the consultancy requirements of internal business units and subsidiaries, with a view to standardising the choices on the subject of privacy within the Group, both in the planning and implementation of audit programmes.

The activity of overseeing the QSE and Privacy regulations continued in the first half of the year, which, in practical terms, involved the implementation of an instrument for analysing the regulations with the assessment of the impact on company processes, which translated into 33 information flashes aimed at the process managers, Privacy internal controls, QSEs, and the Health Safety Managers, and into seven investigations into the legal aspects.

Another important activity was the timely analysis of the provisions introduced by Legislative Decree 81/08 and subsequent amendments and additions by work providers on the subject of work equipment and checking related company delegations, specifically with regard to equipment fitted on vehicles.

Under the scope of updating documents, the analysis of the legislative conformity of QSE integrated management system procedures and instructions continued and safety compliance in tenders was updated.

A further contribution took the shape of bringing the collaboration with the Supervisory Board for the prevention of environmental offences to a conclusion. Since August 2011, this has come under the scope of the application of Legislative Decree 231/2001, through the definition of information flows which will be provided to the Supervisory Board every six months, consisting of specific indicators and assessments for each environmental offence which could be configured in Hera S.p.A.