Italcementi celebrates 20 years of Zero Accidents

Safety has always been an integral part of Italcementi’s operations. In order to consolidate its commitment to safety and to achieve further important goals, the company launched the Zero Accidents Project in 2000. The aim was to create a genuine safety culture and implement effective safety management. 

With the Zero Accidents Project, Italcementi’s approach to occupational safety changed dramatically: workers are at the heart of the safety system; they are responsible not only for their own safety, but also for the safety of their colleagues. They rely not only on top-down directions of the company, but are themselves the promoters of safe, conscious behaviours in the workplace – and in their daily lives.

The company’s safety motto highlights the change: it went from, “Take care, think safe” to “Safety, a way of living”. In other words, The Zero Accidents Project introduced in a true safety culture, a lifestyle that seamlessly connects work life and home life, rather than a series of prohibitions and obligations.

Numerous initiatives and tools have been implemented and developed to promote safety consciousness over the years. The first step was the introduction of an official safety policy throughout the company. For each business line, Italcementi appointed safety promoters and organised training programmes to sensitise all personnel to the importance of occupational safety – from managers to the workers on site. Every year, hundreds of meetings are organised to train and sensitise not only the employees, but also contractors and third parties working with Italcementi. A safety database and safety reporting were installed to monitor safety performance. Any injuries and accidents are analysed in detail so that their causes can be understood, and similar mishaps prevented from occurring again. Italcementi also constantly refines and updates action plans and safe work procedures for continuous improvement.

Some initiatives have been more lighthearted, such as the safety championship, where all plants compete in safety-related challenges to further reinforce safe lifestyles and involve company staff in a shared course of action where everyone plays an important part.

Moreover, Italcementi procures the best personal protection devices for all its employees and people entering the plants. This ensures safe work – and a safe return home. Entering an Italcementi plant means entering a world where every detail is managed and organised according to the highest safety standards, well beyond the minimum safety requirements set by law.

For the introduction and continuous improvement of all these initiatives, communication has always played a crucial role through campaigns, images and slogans seeking to inform and sensitise the whole Italcementi universe. These include the “Golden Rules”, “I-TAKE 5”, “the Driver Master Rules”, to mention just a few, or the installation of displays counting the number of days with no injuries at the plants and safety-related notice boards. Communicating to share both best practices and mistakes is fundamental to creating a network inside an integrated system based on conscious behaviours and awareness.

“Thanks to our Zero Accidents system, we have achieved a remarkable result by decreasing lost time injuries (LTI1)) by 96% over the past 20 years,” said Ignazio La Barbera, Safety Manager Italcementi “We’ve achieved this through well-organised action and an innovative global approach engaging the entire company on fundamental topics of leadership, motivation, organisation and high safety standards. We have successfully safeguarded the safety of all employees, and we consider this to be an extremely important value in our daily lives.”

1) LTI is a third-party certified indicator of injuries causing a worker’s absence from the workplace.