Discover the Acea Group online 2019 Sustainability Report

Health and Safety along the supply chain: Awareness Raising and Audits

The Parent Company’s Occupational Safety Unit has devoted particular attention to raising the awareness of contractors on the subject of safety, organizing 10 meetings with the Legal Representatives, Technical Directors and Managers of the Prevention and Protection Service (RSPP) of contractors contracted by Acea SpA, with the total involvement of 40 people. During the meetings, the importance of the prevention of accidents was reiterated, a fundamental concept for the protection of occupational health and safety. Moreover, in July 2019 the Occupational Safety Unit organized the Health & Safety Leadership workshop, with the participation of 30 people from the contractors. It was an opportunity for discussion with which Acea wanted to highlight how the personal commitment of each worker in this area, applied in the performance of normal activities, contributes decisively to evolving, strengthening and spreading the culture of safety in the workplace. During the meeting, the film The Safer the Better was also screened, produced by the LiHS Foundation of Saipem SpA, preceded by a video message from the Managing Director of Acea SpA.
Other Group Companies also took an active part in health and safety along the supply chain, in particular: Acea Ato 2 organized 7 meetings during the year to raise suppliers’ awareness regarding the company policy in the field of health  and safety. Held at the contractors’ headquarters and company headquarters, the meetings involved about 82 people, for a total of 421 hours. In order to help the workers of the contractor companies to learn about the types of risk of the plants managed, Acea Ato 5 is providing safety information pamphlets in various languages. In 2019, after obtaining data on the population of foreign workers present in the contracted companies, the contents of the brochures were defined. The Company intends to involve the staff of the same companies even more, establishing a “Safety Award” for which it has already defined the rules. Gesesa has organized a meeting with the contractors regarding the assessment of the risks present on mobile sites, with particular attention to excavation, earthmoving, working at heights and in confined spaces, and has consequently updated the risk analysis. In order to promote a culture of prevention, Gesesa also asked the technical managers of the contractors to inform the Works Management of all types of near misses.
In addition to the audits on the application of Management Systems and inspections based on the vendor rating model, illustrated in the previous paragraph, Acea oversees safety through a dedicated Unit. Indeed, the Procurement Safety Unit in Acea Elabori manages the safety of works and services contracted out by Group companies (mainly Acea Ato 2, Acea Ato 5 and Areti), ensuring compliance with the highest standards and with regulations88.
this end, it offers:
  • Support and assistance to the Works Manager and general Safety Coordination;
  • Coordination of safety in the design phase and during execution at specific sites;
  • Safety inspections for works and services that do not require coordination during execution;
  • Services ancillary to safety inspection activities.

Site safety inspections are mainly related to the main works that are the subject of maintenance contracts for networks and services in the water and electricity sectors, but also concern minor contracts89.
Activities are distinguished into works requiring Safety Coordination during the Execution phase (Coordinators appointed as needed by the Works Director) and works with random safety inspections. In some contracts, the inspections are managed with computer systems to facilitate the operations of the organizational structure. Indeed, the adopted management model provides timely support for the technical and professional audits of contractors, subcontractors and self-employed workers. It makes on-site controls more efficient, assigning to safety inspectors work orders to be verified based on a rating higher than a certain threshold. It allows a Safety Coordinator to be appointed during execution or design, where required.
For the interventions carried out during the year the following people were involved:
  • 19 Safety coordinators in the Execution and Design phase, assigned to specific worksites as needed;
  • 18 Safety inspectors, who assessed and verified the safety standard through random inspections;
  • 7 Planners, who followed the planning and dispatching of the safety inspections to the sites of the contractors;
  • 11 Technical Support resources, who managed the technical and professional audits of the companies engaged in the contracts.
In 2019 the Procurement Safety Unit:
• carried out the activities in support of the technical and professional audits of 360 companies (49% of contractors and 51% of subcontractors and operated equipment rentals90), about 60% more than in 2018 (226 companies);
• activated Safety Coordination in the Execution phase for 202 tasks and carried out Safety Coordination in the Design phase for 23 tasks;
carried out 12,481 on-site safety inspections91 (+11% compared to 11,270 in 2018), confirming the upward trend recorded in recent years.
Following regulatory compliance audits on Occupational Health and Safety carried out during more than 12,400 inspections, a total of 1,741 non-conformities were found92 (1,141 “minor”, 367 “medium” and 233 “major”).
The Procurement Safety Unit also contributes to the awareness-raising of contractors on site safety: before the start of work it meets the employers of companies informing them of the standards adopted and requesting the documents necessary for technical and professional inspections, and during the execution of the contract it corrects any conduct that infringes the current regulations and thoroughly investigates specific problems that emerge during the work. Furthermore, during the verification of the staff of contractor and subcontractor companies, the Contracts Safety Unit ascertains that the Employer has provided basic training in the field of safety and, where applicable, specific training.
Gesesa has independently carried out 21 on-site audits on contractors’ premises aimed at monitoring compliance with safety regulations, to ascertain the presence of personal and collective protective devices and their correct use. During these audits, compliance with Legislative Decree no. 81/08 was evaluated in the field of prevention and protection of contract workers, verifying the presence and validity of certificates relating to the training on the basic risk of workers, supervisors and emergency personnel.
Despite the attention paid to this issue by all Group companies, 40 accidents occurred during the year while performing activities entrusted by the Companies93 in the scope to contractors, up from 33 accidents in 2018. The “severity” of the accidents themselves also increased from 439 days of absence in 2018 to 703 in 2019, however none of the accidents had an initial prognosis greater than 40 days of absence.


Some Group Companies also carry out activities for the involvement and awareness of suppliers with respect to other aspects, such as technological evolution and Group guidelines, so that there is constant alignment and adequate training of partners working on behalf of the company.
In 2019, Areti trained the staff of its contractors on: “Mass replacement of metering units” and “user management – tablet use for meter change”. 69 people participated in the sessions for a total of 378 hours of training carried out with the contribution of 8 internal instructors. Areti also organized a meeting with the contractors – 32 participants for 96 hours of informationon the Acea Sustainability Plan, aimed at aligning suppliers to corporate guidelines and initiatives with respect to the issues of sustainability, occupational safety, enterprise risk management, contract management and technological innovations.
Finally, Acea Energia monitors the quality of the sales service provided by the door-to-door and/or telemarketing agencies in the “domestic” and “micro-business” segments of the free market, and in accordance with the Agency Mandate, it trains those who work in the name and on behalf of Acea so that they can convey adequate information to customers (see also the chapter on Customers). In 2019, Acea Energia provided a training programme to 911 salespersons, for a total of 73 days corresponding to 428 hours of training.

88 Legislative Decree no. 81/08 “Consolidated Act on Safety”, as amended.
89 Such as electrical or electromechanical maintenance work carried out on plants, meter changes, road repairs, video-inspections and sewerage pumping, etc.
90 Operated equipment rental is a contract that involves the rental of work equipment and the performance of a specialized operator, essential for the operation/use of the equipment itself.
91 The number includes visits for all types of contracts, both main ones and “minor ones”.
92 For the main contracts, as envisaged in the contract documentation, the results of audits are recorded according to four categories: compliant or non-applicable, minor (generally corrected on the spot), medium and major infractions. The non-conformities are associated with corrective actions and penalties applied by the contracting company on the basis of the provisions of the tender documentation, and, serious infractions may lead to the suspension of works.
93 The data of accidents in the supply chain includes all the Companies in the NFS scope.