96.8%
of employees hired on permanent contracts
3.3
million euro
used by employees in 8 areas
with Hextra in 2017
25%
of the variable remuneration
of managers was dependent
on achieving sustainability targets

Occupational safety in the main Italian utility companies

In a comparative analysis between the main Italian utilities, Utilitatis considered frequency index of accidents lasting more than three days: the 2016 index of Hera (17.8) is 34% lower than the average index of the 6 companies considered (equal to 26.9).

Occupational safety in the main multi-utility companies, frequency index (2016)

Accident frequency index (by function)
  2015 2016 2017
Grid services 17.0 13.2 14.0
Waste management services 43.3 37.6 40.9
Coordination activities 9.4 10.7 8.2
Average 21.5 18.4 18.9

Data refer to Hera Spa, AcegasApsAmga and Marche Multiservizi.

As already pointed out over the past years, waste management services reveal a higher number of accidents compared to network services and coordination activities (due to a higher number of operations by respective staff).

For the first time, the sustainability report calculates the frequency index by gender. 2017 figures show a slight difference in accidents depending on gender (an accident frequency index of 20.5 for men and 13.0 for women).

Accident frequency index (by blue-collar workers)
  2014 2015 2016 2017
Total 43.8 39.0 34.9 38.2
Of which grid services 30.0 28.1 22.2 26.1
Of which waste management services 58.8 53.3 50.9 55.1

Data refer to Hera Spa, AcegasApsAmga and Marche Multiservizi.

Accident indices are higher for workers, since they are more at risk of accidents given the nature of the activities they perform. With regard to blue-collar workers, waste management services show a higher frequency index compared to other services (55.1). The 2017 figure was influenced by the results of AcegasApsAmga where single and well-defined episodes of distraction of some network service workers caused accidents due to falling, slipping, collisions and distractions.

Accident indexes of some subsidiaries (2017)
AcegasApsAmga Group Herambiente Group Marche Multiservizi Hera Comm Uniflotte
Frequency index 20.4 22.3 16.6 1.1 9.4
Severity index 0.68 0.61 0.73 0.04 1.24
Rate index 3.5 3.8 2.8 0.2 1.6
Workforce 1,817 1,279 502 581 127

Regarding accidents in Hera Group companies included in the scope of consolidation, some improvements may be seen in the accident frequency indices for companies such as Marche Multiservizi (from 21.0 to 16.6), Hera Comm (from 3.4 to 1.1) and Uniflotte (from 42.3 to 9.4).

A key topic for the purpose of preventing accidents and improving workplace health and safety conditions is the ability to report, collect and analyse accidents and near misses. Near misses are accidental events that could have potentially generated an accident. Their correct analysis and examination prevents the occurrence of accidents. The Hera Group places great emphasis on correctly reporting, analysing and examining near misses. The trend of near misses is monitored on a monthly basis to check compliance with the specific objectives assigned to the various departments and business units.

Ratio between near misses and accidents

I dati si riferiscono alle seguenti società: Hera Spa, AcegasApsAmga, Fea, Hera Comm, Hera Luce, Herambiente, Inrete Distribuzione, Heratech, Marche Multiservizi, Sinergie (ora AcegasApsAmga Servizi Energetici Spa), Uniflotte e Waste Recycling.

In 2017, the ratio between near misses reported and accidents that occurred for Hera Group’s scope of reporting was 300% (173% in 2015 and 206% in 2016). The indicator shows a constant rise over the past three years. Of note in the Group’s overall result are the results achieved by Hera Spa (223%), AcegasApsAmga (325%) and Herambiente (873%). The level of accidents reported in Marche Multiservizi reached 53%, showing that there is still considerable room for improvement.

The main types of near misses analysed by the prevention and protection service regarded road accidents, falling or slipping to the ground, collisions and crushing. In 30% of cases, the analysis of the events allowed specific corrective actions to be implemented aimed at eliminating the causes that generated the event.

During 2017, training and safety information activities (in compliance with the State-Regions agreement) directed towards the entire workforce continued. Several hands-on training activities were carried out for Hera personnel at the dedicated structure set up in Imola (hands-on training on access and work in confined spaces, fire-fighting, work at height and work in the presence of moving vehicles). More specifically, 46 training activities were organised at the training site in 2017, involving around 850 Hera Group workers for a total of 5,388 hours.

Again during 2017, the new training procedure for Hera Spa safety supervisors, which had been planned and tested during 2015, was completed. The new training module which involved around 350 supervisors provided important experience-based knowledge aimed at strengthening safety at work culture and enhancing safety communication and leadership skills. Again for the year 2017, in addition to extending the training project to other group companies, a further training campaign was planned and started for all project participants in order to gather and share their feedback and to further consolidate safety culture/awareness.

A communication, awareness-raising and training initiative was planned in 2017 on road safety issues. This project will be applied during 2018 and following years. A new road risk assessment strategy was also set up on the basis of the European project PRAISE of the European Transport Safety Council. The Project involved the Risk management and insurance department of Hera SpA (for sharing the purposes and events database) and of Uniflotte (for corporate vehicle management).

Furthermore, during 2017, with the active participation of the operating lines and cooperation of the prevention and protection service, the new health and safety IT system (SAP EHS) was further implemented in some Group companies and business units (Hera Spa, especially the Water Division and InRete Distribuzione) and at the same time, specific training was provided to the managers and supervisors of the structures involved. In 2018, the instrument is planned to be consolidated at the business units/companies involved through further implementation and integration into the operational processes.

The new organisational model adopted for managing emergencies in corporate sites (e.g. fire safety, first aid) was consolidated during 2017. The project optimised the entire operational flow (Emergency Plan preparation, emergency management simulation) and also ensured a smooth approach in all areas managed. All the emergency drills were carried out as scheduled.

The “Healthy lifestyles” project, which was set up to promote healthy behaviour in Hera Group employees, identified two spheres of action: promotion of a healthy diet. The healthy diet project was launched in 2014 by awarding the tender for the company canteen and organising a number of meetings with the canteen provider aimed at planning and gathering information on the dietary lifestyles of Hera’s population. This was achieved through a survey on the corporate population’s eating habits and lifestyles.

Specific information activities regarding healthy diets for employees were started over the following years. A nutritionist was available on the company premises on certain days and upon appointment. The installation of information banner stands and monitors in the canteens continued. Furthermore, a specific information section was included in the corporate portal and made available to all workers. This section allows workers to view the weekly menus, ask for personalised diets (in case of ascertained food allergies or intolerances), set up personalised nutrition counselling and receive health advice.

The process for monitoring the accidents of suppliers through the SAP platform IT tool was consolidated during 2017. Entry of the single accidents and submission of the annual summary is now carried out exclusively through the IT system, allowing closer monitoring by company representatives and effective periodic reporting of the data set out in this Report.

On the occasion of the world safety day (28 April 2017), promoted by the International Labour Organization, the Group developed an internal communication and awareness-raising campaign to spread a culture of safety and of ever-healthier lifestyles to all workers. The campaign had three topics:

  • road safety (mobile phone use while driving)
  • healthy lifestyles (checking body weight)
  • reporting near misses.

For future years, in compliance with the indications set out in the Group’s Business plan and with the health and safety improvement actions both implemented and scheduled, a further reduction in the accident indices and an increase in the near misses reported by the employees are envisaged.

Of note is the Group’s attention to personal protection devices, with specific focus on the comfort of workers, and its aim to create prototypes of gender-based personal protection devices. This led to a new supply of safety footwear, chosen not only in compliance with the technical and ergonomic criteria provided for by law but also on the basis of indications received from company staff. In 2017, the project obtained a certification of good practice from Inail and was submitted to the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies in order to obtain good practice in workplace health and safety.