Occupational health and safety


EU16Terna’s commitment to safety should be seen in the context of the current regulations. Revised in 2008 by Legislative Decree 81/2008 (“Consolidated Act regarding the safeguard of occupational health and safety”), Italian legislation on safety is among the most stringent in Europe. The obligations for companies regard many aspects: risk analysis, identification of the chain of responsibility beginning with the employer, protection procedures and devices, training, monitoring of activities, including those entrusted to contractors and subcontractors. One of the most important obligations is to perform an analytic assessment of risks regarding the health and safety of workers. This assessment must regard the specific risks of the single activities, the stress-related risks but especially those deriving from the interference of the works carried out by contractors and subcontractors for all the activities that make up the work process of the construction site. The costs for eliminating or mitigating the risks of interference are excluded from the price competition for the award of contracts.

In this situation, Terna’s emphasizes the following points regarding occupational safety:

  • clear safety policy guidelines: the importance of protecting people from physical harm is stated in Terna’s Code of Ethics, which identifies the essential principles that everyone, at the different organizational levels, must comply with so that policies, procedures, technologies, and knowledge contribute to the awareness and prevention of risks. The Company’s Occupational Safety Policy, which is an integral part of the integrated quality-environment-safety Management System, specifies the guidelines of the Code of Ethics. The Policy also expresses its commitment to promoting the prevention of injuries for all employees, including those of contractors;
  • an environment safety & security portal on the corporate intranet containing an updated and complete file of legislation regarding occupational safety (national and regional regulations, technical standards issued by competent bodies). Through the portal it is also possible to access an online service providing advice regarding the interpretation of regulations and the procedures for applying them, as well as a file of the control programs and the related results;
  • an organizational unit responsible for safety, with the corporate Safety Department in charge nationally and heads in the local offices (Area managers, heads of Safety, Prevention, and Protection) and on construction sites; this unit also carries out direct inspections on work places and building sites. As provided for by the law, employers, including the AOT heads, have unlimited authorization for expenses regarding occupational safety;
  • an OHSAS 18001-certified management system (certification obtained in 2007 and confirmed in 2010, covering 100% of the Company’s activities). The system is integrated with the quality-and-environment one and is based on scrupulous risk mapping. The Risk Assessment Document, prepared by the employer and the Head of Safety, Prevention, and Protection and examined by the competent doctor, shows the seriousness and probability of occurrence of specific risky events for each role and activity performed by Terna’s employees. The management system consists in a methodical and detailed collection of Operating Procedures and Instructions – which are also available through the corporate intranet – on all the activities regarding safety (safety training, work methods, use of Personal Protective Equipment), with greater detail for the activities that entail electrical risk (Instructions for the Prevention of Electrical Risk – DPRET). The DPRET is an essential document for Terna and therefore in 2010 Terna voluntarily submitted the new edition of the DPRET for external assessment by the I.N.R.I.M. (National Institute of Metrological Research), a scientific institute under the Ministry of Education, which issued its positive opinion in September, thus confirming the complete soundness of the instructions provided. Also in 2010, Terna requested and obtained from INAIL, the National Institute for Aid for Occupational Injuries, to recognize the Company’s “good practice” for the Operating Instruction “Climbing towers and off-the-ground aid on HV electricity lines”, which has also become the benchmark for the external compliance checks performed by the supervisory authorities;
  • intense supervisory activity: the correct and complete application of the procedures is subject to inspections by the RSPP (two a year in their respective Territorial Areas) and internal compliance checks on all the Local Operating Areas, as well as the constant supervision of employers. The external checks required for the confirmation of certification increase diligence regarding safety issues and compliance with conduct rules, as do the elected representatives of the employees entrusted with checking the application of the regulations (on the Workers’ Safety Representatives, see the LA6 indicator);
  • intensive and ongoing information and training: all employees are informed about the main ideas and innovations regarding safety through various channels, including the corporate intranet and the organization of informative meetings. The courses cover all safety issues, from changes in regulations to the Operating Instructions for all risky activities (for example, off-the-ground work, the use of Personal Protective Equipment). In particular, equipment at the Viverone Training Center, in Turin, enables the Company to train workers to safely climb towers (through the use of full-size training towers) and to perform live work in a controlled environment;
  • the inclusion of performance objectives regarding occupational safety in the system of indicators to which the variable compensation of the departments concerned – Corporate Safety, Human Resources and Organization, and Plant Maintenance – is linked, in particular the objective of improving the safety level, which aims at reducing injuries through an “occupational-safety index” consisting of the injury rate and lost day rate, measured at the level of Terna’s single Operating Areas;
  • applied research: a specific organizational unit of the Engineering Department experiments with safety materials and devices, testing their reliability through resistance trials in extreme conditions;
  • concern for safety conditions with regard to the contractors that perform work on construction sites on behalf of Terna. The protective measures introduced or strengthened by Legislative Decree 81/08 (see the paragraph “Relations with Suppliers” in chapter “Economic Responsibility”) in contract work to construct overhead lines and power stations require, among other things, a declaration that all the personnel on the construction site has been informed about and trained in the use of the personal protection equipment and the risks established in the Construction-site Safety Plan (PSC) and the Operating Security Plan (POS) prepared by the companies.

For several roles – for example, workers assigned to the mounting and maintenance of lines, cutting vegetation, and painting, construction-site and squad foremen, and safety heads – Terna requires additional certification that they have received between 24 and 32 hours of training for their roles, designed in cooperation with training institutes specialized in the field of electricity and SINCERT-certified.

Finally, during the supplier qualification process, Terna requires that candidate companies have documented procedures for protecting the health and safety of workers. In particular, companies in categories considered most significant with regard to safety and the environment must fill out a detailed questionnaire regarding specific organizational and procedural elements and aspects capable of ensuring good management practices in addition to compliance with all law provisions.