A shared health & safety culture
Human rights are the same for everyone: one of the greatest achievements of modern civilisation, as set forth by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in Paris on 10 December 1948. And this holds even for the most basic right: the right to health and safety. Our Group has chosen to extend this essential value also to those who don't formally belong to the organisation, i.e. our contractors. It's not sufficient to protect only Enel employees, it's also necessary to offer the same level of care to all those who work with us.
Safety first: the results
We started from the premise that without health & safety there's no value: every single action must follow the safety-first principle. In so doing, the health & safety culture becomes a way of life as well as a way of working. But the human aspect is fundamental: more so than formal rules, therefore people are the ambassadors of this approach. We place qualified personnel at each of our facilities, skilled individuals with proven operational experience. But all levels of the organisation must be committed to this process if optimum results are to be achieved. This is what we refer to as the Commitment Chain and is one of the pillars of our innovative SHE 365 programme (Safety, Health, Environment), set up to safeguard health, safety and the environment all year round. The involvement of companies and the widespread sharing of experience and best practice, both within and outside the Group, are the other two key lines of action envisaged by this programme, which this year has expanded and evolved into SHE 2.019.
A significant contribution also comes from technological innovation, with virtual and augmented reality applied to equipment maintenance activities and asset management, as well as sensors to ensure the correct use of personal protective equipment.
The numbers show that our efforts are producing tangible results. The accident frequency rate, i.e. the number of accidents per million hours worked, has fallen from 1.81 in 2014 to 0.66 today, a reduction of 64%. In Italy, the number of accidents in 2018 was 12% down on the 2017 figure and 18% less with respect to 2016.
The Safety Partnership project
Now we are turning our attention to contractors, in order to extend our safety standards to them too. In this regard we are adopting a constructive approach based on collaboration and support: we are moving from a corrective to a preventative model. This involves sharing our resources as well as our wealth of experience and expertise with these other companies, both large and small, to help improve their performance in terms of health and safety.
To this end we have launched the Safety Partnership project: the idea is not to give lessons to these contractors, but to work with them and assist them in incorporating into their company health & safety processes standards that measure up to our own.
The first step is the Safety Assessment: if any critical issues are identified we move on to the following step, which involves checks and comparative evaluations. For this purpose, in 2019 we launched a new instrument, Safety Support, a collective approach for defining and implementing an action plan to improve safety levels. Our dedicated team work alongside the company in question to carry out a meticulous analysis of the critical issues and identify the possible remedial measures for implementation. In 2019, of the more than 600 safety assessments carried out, approximately 100 were referred for Safety Support. And the results are already evident: the accident frequency rate for contractors has halved.
The principal contractors have confirmed that this collaboration with us has enabled them to spread the safety culture, facilitating, throughout their companies, the development of a new approach to the planning and management of health & safety models.
It's also important to work together and develop synergies with trade associations: we have launched a partnership with ANIE (Associazione Nazionale Industrie Elettrotecniche), a member of Confindustria that represents electrical engineering and electronics companies operating in Italy.
Our ultimate objective is to provide those who work with us with the necessary organisational tools to become fully autonomous in terms of maintaining standards and improving results, reaching a point whereby there's a constant and collective effort to guarantee and continuously improve safety for everyone.