Objective safety: when totaling ZERO means winning!

In industry, safety and work is an inexorable match. In Italy, an unprecedented initiative has been successfully undertaken on this theme by the Fondazione Giuseppe Lazzareschi of Porcari in Lucca: the Progetto Sicurezza Obiettivo Zero (Project Safety: Objective Zero).

Lucia Maffei

The Progetto Sicurezza Obiettivo Zero is a national competition promoted among the companies operating in the field of tissue making and in the production of tissue articles: an annual award conferred to those companies who have not registered work-related accidents during 2004. This is the second initiative in a social-economic field that, together with the Start-Up project (see Perini Journal no. 22), sees the Foundation involved in the realm of company culture.

“The idea to create this award,” explains Angelo del Carlo, President of the Foundation, “was born from the will to diffuse a culture in safety beyond the gates of the company itself. Public opinion is often convinced that the company is a place where profits are to be made and where safety is not among the primary objectives of the entrepreneur. This project gathers together entrepreneurs, control agencies, trade associations and hence testifies to the constant common efforts being made to make the workplace a safer place and to diffuse the culture of safety on the job.”

For many years now in the paper industry, attention to the prevention of accidents on the job has been the dominating element of company policy. Important and continuous investments concern every aspect of a company, from the infrastructure to the production machines to the training of those in charge of adaptation and maintenance of working instruments. These are all elements that have a strong priority for all those companies working in the field of tissue production or converting.

AND THIS SENSITIVITY IS AT THE BASIS OF THE LARGE-SCALE PARTICIPATION BY THE ITALIAN COMPANIES AT THIS FIRST LAUNCH OF PROGETTO SICUREZZA: over 56% of the facilities (100 production units out of a total of about 160 in Italy) have adhered to the competition: northern Italy 5%; center 82%; south and the islands 13%.

In light of this first year of activity, the Fondazione Lazzareschi, promoter of the project together with the associations Assocarta, Assoindustria, INAIL, Azienda Sanitaria Locale (District Public Health Association) and the University of Pisa, have obtained a result that testifies to the cohesion and cultural maturity of companies working in the paper field.

“A result that has in a way surprised us, too,” confesses Silvio Bianchi, coordinator of the social-economic activities of the Foundation, “not only for the large participation but above all for the results attained by the companies. To 20 companies, we have conferred an award for the reduction in the frequency of accidents on the job that was reduced by about 22% from 2003 to 2004. But above all, we have rewarded 18 production units out of the 100 participating, for having attained Objective Zero.

The awards for the reduction in the frequency of accidents were assigned by dividing the participants in 4 different categories: the paper mills were separated from the paper manufacturing facilities. Then, each of these two categories was further divided into two groups according to the number of operators in the facilities: one for those companies having less than thirty operators, and the other for those having more than thirty operators. In this way, the percentage calculation of the frequency indexes was made on groups having homogeneous characteristics, not only for what concerns the type of production made there but also for what concerns the size of the facility itself.”

“This is an initiative,” adds Massimo Ramunni of Assocarta, “that testifies to the cultural and social-entrepreneurial maturity of the field of tissue. The development of a culture in safety is the cornerstone for true prevention. Safety is built through a common effort of capillary diffusion of knowledge and experience that helps to break the old logic that connected the accident on the job to a fatality.”

CONTINUOUS AND CONSTANT WORK TO ELIMINATE RISK CONDITIONS, CAPILLARY MONITORING OF THE CRITICAL ASPECTS AND ATTENTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE CAUSES are the elements on which today the organization of every facet of company life is based. And not only for multinationals but also for smaller companies, safety has become an integral part of the company mission, a guiding principle of the production activity rather than a cost to sustain.

“It is true,” declares Luigi Lazzareschi, “ that, above all, an entrepreneur wishes success for his or her company, and long-lasting success. There are three types of success that have to be in synergy one with the other and develop in harmony: a competitive success, a profitable success and a social success. It is not enough to improve one’s competitiveness by conquering new markets and creating profit. It is also fundamental to have the so-called social success – that is, satisfaction and consensus both inside and outside the company.”

At the Fondazione, considerations on how to extend the Progetto Sicurezza are already being made: Obiettivo Zero to the entire Italian world of paper and packaging because, quoting the philosophy of a large multinational like Procter & Gamble, for years in the vanguard in the realm of safety, it is important to always remember that “nothing of what we do is worth an injury.”•

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