Occupational health and safety

Terna’s commitment to safety has to be understood in the context of the existing regulations. Although Italian law regarding safety was already strict, Legislative Decree no. 81/2008 (“Consolidation Act regarding the safeguard of occupational health and safety”), which went into effect on May 15, 2008, made it one of the most rigorous in Europe. The obligations of companies concern numerous matters: training, risk analysis. Identification of the responsibility chain starting with the employer, protective procedures and devices, supervision of work, including work entrusted to contractors and subcontractors.

Clear guidelines for safety policy. The importance of safeguarding the safety of people is emphasised in Terna’s Code of Ethicsi, which identifies the fundamental principles that everyone, at all organisational levels, must follow 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 its Integrated Quality, Environment, and Safety Management System – specifies the guidelines of the Code of Ethics, stressing in particular the importance of continual training. The commitment to promoting the prevention of injuries for all employees, including those of contractors, is also made explicit.

  • A Safety & Security portal on the corporate intranet containing a complete and up-to-date file of legislation on occupational safety (Italian national and regional regulations, as well as technical regulations issued by competent bodies). The portal also provides access to an online consulting service to help users interpret regulations and audit the related application procedures.
  • An organisational entity responsible for safety with a central office (Corporate Safety Department) and local heads in the regional offices and on worksites. As provided for by the law, employers – including the heads of the regional operating areas – have an unlimited power of attorney for expense regarding occupational safety. In 2009, the Company started an organisational revision that includes the introduction of new roles – Corporate Safety Monitors – as local representatives in the 8 regional areas of the Corporate Safety Department. The new figures will have the task of checking that corporate policies and instructions are correctly implemented by monitoring everything regarding safety, including worksites and contract work.
  • A management system that obtained OHSAS 18001 certification in 2007. The system is integrated with the quality and environment one and is based on careful risk mapping. Elaborated by the employer and the head of Safety, Prevention, and Protection and checked by the competent doctor, the Risk Assessment Document highlights the seriousness of specific risky events for every single role and task performed by Terna’s employees and the probability that they will occur. The management system consists in a systematic and detailed collection of operating procedures and instructions for all activities regarding safety (training, work methods, use of individual protection devices), with greater detail for activities entailing electric risk (provisions for the prevention of electric risk) or off-the-ground work (methods for climbing up pylons).
  • Close supervision. In addition to constant supervision by employers, the full and correct application of procedures is also subject to two inspections a year by the head of Safety, Prevention, and Protection, as well as internal audits of conformance, in every Regional Operating Area. The external audits for certification confirmation contribute to raising the level of attention to compliance with behavioral rules and to safety issues, as do the elected representatives of the employees entrusted with the task of checking the application of regulations. In 2009, a new initiative was started up to monitor – with the assistance of an external specialised company – the approximately 100 most important worksites with work being done on behalf of Terna. Specifically, during 2009 33 worksites were monitored, with 3 follow-up inspections.
  • Intense, continual information and training. All employees are informed of the main ideas and innovations regarding safety. The courses cover all safety issues, from regulatory innovations to operating instructions for all risky tasks, such as off-the-ground work and the use of personal safety devices. In particular, several kinds of equipment in the Viverone Training Centre, in Turin province,allow employees to be trained in climbing up pylons safely through the use of life-size training pylons and in work on live wires in a controlled environment. Among the activities carried out in 2009, special mention should be made of the first Safety Day, which involved all the Company’s employees with the goal of explaining the most recent changes in the law and maintaining a high level of awareness among all the personnel regarding safety issues.
  • The inclusion of occupational safety performance objectives in the set of indicators to which the variable pay of the departments concerned is linked (Corporate Safety, Human Resources and Organisation, Infrastructure Maintenancei).
  • Applied research: a special organisational unit of the Engineering Department experiments with safety materials and devices, testing their reliability through resistance trials in extreme conditions.  

The “Context analysis and identification of incentives to foster safe occupational behaviour” project has also started in 2009. Scheduled for completion in 2010, the project aims to find out what employees think and feel with regard to safety.

In 2009 OHSAS 18001 certification was confirmed


Senior executives
                      232                        207            143
Junior executives                   2,781                    3,122         2,084
White-collar workers                 18,781                    28,265        14,622
Blue-collar workers                 24,743                    38,875        29,567
Total                 46,537                    70,469        46,416

Much attention was dedicated to occupational safety in the supply chain, with particular regard to the contractors that do work on worksites on behalf of Terna. Among the safety measures introduced or made more stringent by Legislative Decree no. 81/08  are those regarding contract work to construct electric overhead lines and stations, for which Terna requires a declaration stating that all the personnel on the worksite has been trained and informed with regard to the use of the individual protection devices, as well as to the risks identified in the Company’s Worksite Safety Plan.

For several jobs Terna requires additional certification that they have received training  for the specific role they perform, conceived in cooperation with training institutes specialised in the field of electricity and SINCERT certified. 

During its supplier qualification process, finally, Terna requires documentation of the procedures adopted by the company for the safeguard of the health and safety of its workers.