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Occupational Safety and Health

Occupational Safety and Health - interview with Alessio Broggi,
Group HSE & Engineering Manager Casa Optima Group

Occupational Safety and Health

Recently there has been a lot of talk about occupational health and safety, and in the week in which the International Day dedicated to this topic falls (28th of April), we thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at this topic through an interview with Alessio Broggi, Group HSE & Engineering Manager.

At Casa Optima, we take this subject very much to heart and we demonstrate this every day with targeted activities: from staff training to significant spending budgets to improve in every possible way, the working standards of our employees.  

What is meant by Safety at work?
It’s not easy to describe in words this complex mechanism that considers continuous interactions between people’s behavior and reference regulations.  

In the work environment, the role of my team is to assess the possible risks of each activity, machine, and plant: zero risk doesn’t exist and the human factor in the field of safety is always the most unpredictable.  

I started dealing with safety out of curiosity, precisely because in 2008 the first legislative decree on safety in the workplace (“626/1994”) had been abrogated and replaced by the decree 81/2008, which is the current reference text.  

For the non-experts, it was a matter of transposing a European regulation that for the first time, defined clear roles and responsibilities in the field of occupational health and safety. The cultural change was notable: for the first time we were truly moving from documents on paper to the real functioning of the role on-site.

Which are the major actions implemented by the Casa Optima Group to ensure safety at work?
We have five factories in different parts of the world, and we have chosen to unify the standards by aligning them with the Italian legislation: no matter how much the media talks about it, no matter how many unrelated deaths still occur every year, I am proud to say that in Italy laws exist, and they are precise and punctual in the field of health and safety. This is why I strongly chose, together with my team, to introduce the Italian standards also to the plants in Brazil and France.

We survey all the main KPI’s in the HSE area on a monthly basis and share them with the Group employees: firstly, to create awareness, involvement and culture, secondly because we truly believe that we can learn from mistakes and that reporting and managing near-misses or risky employee behavior really helps to bring about a 360° culture of safety. Our role isn’t easy, but I honestly wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. 

Who actually deals with it?
I could simply answer this question by saying, the head of prevention and protection service, but that would not be coherent with my vision and my modus operandi: everyone deals with safety in the company. 

The real change in the Decree 81/2008 was this: there is not just one role that deals with safety, everyone has clearly defined obligations and responsibilities.  

At Casa Optima, I am truly fortunate to work with managers and supervisors (our plant managers, function managers and department heads, etc.) people who are “on the ball”, who manage teams of workers with the attitude of leaders that know how to direct, and above-all set an example: for me this is the real added value of the role.

Having said this, the real experts for all our plants are Ciro Neri, Giorgio Torre, Fabio Piliu, and Giulia Merli: people, before colleagues, who all have my sincerest esteem.  

What has been the trend over the past three years?
On a statistical level, the trends in the Italian plants are good. 

When compared to the benchmarks of frequency and severity indexes of accidents, we for example are lower than average for Italian food industries: even for some plants in the last three years we have had 0 indexes, both in terms of severity and frequency.  

But we never let our guard down: it only takes one event to change everything!  

What new actions are on the agenda?
Every year the Group allows us to invest in the sector of safety:  I am not just talking about education, training, autonomy, and trust, which could already be sufficient, but about dedicated spending budgets to improve in every possible way the working standards of our employees.

Working in a factory is by no means easy: helping to improve the daily operations, even in small steps, is more rewarding than any other recognition as far as I am concerned.