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Quality, Safety and Environment

During 2009, the objectives established by the Central Office for Quality, Safety and Environment (DCQSA) were pursued with excellent results.  The service activities performed by DCQSA are directed at all company structures within the Group, with particular involvement by the territorial operating companies, which demonstrated a significant effort and commitment to reach the ambitious objective of certifying our integrated Quality, Safety and Environment management system.

Specifically, OHSAS 18001:2007 certification was obtained for the 1st and 2nd scope segment which involved, respectively:

  • through April 2009, waste management services and district heating management of the TOCs and the central Hera S.p.A. support and management structures;
  • through November 2009, gas and electricity distribution at the TOCs and the related sector management structures, Laboratories and the Large Plants Structure, as well as maintaining the areas included in the 1st scope segment. This effort concluded with a decidedly satisfactory result, with points of excellence, but also improvement areas.

In May 2009, the reviews to renew ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications were successfully completed.  For both certifications, after concluding the two certification paths, the company saw improved results overall, compared to the previous situation: there were no non-compliance violations that would have impeded certification renewal and there were 1/3 fewer minor non-compliance issues compared to the prior year.

With Safety Regulation no. 7/2009, on 11 February, the Privacy Coordination organisational unit was changed to report directly to the Central Office for Quality, Safety and Environment. At the same time, the manager was appointed, delegated the activities related  to “Data Holder Representative” in accordance with Legislative Decree no. 196/03, with the intent of consolidating the role of governance and control of the corporate management systems in the Central Office for Quality, Safety and Environment.

Training activities regarding workplace Health and Safety for senior managers were completed in April, and as part of the programme, tiered training was initiated for supervisors and workers, with the first training module involving more than 7000 people. In the second half of the year, training began related to the second module for supervisors, reaching more than 3000 people.

In 2009, a significant impetus was given to the computerisation of the management aspects of occupational medicine, gathering information to complete risk assessment documentation and managing accidents.

In July, DCQSA  held specific training for QSA Managers and RSPPs in the Group regarding techniques of investigating accidents and near-misses. In addition, DCQSA acquired usage rights for the methodology of this training, known as SCAT. As part of the purchase, the tool was refined and customised for Hera businesses.

In September, the Central Office for QSA promoted and coordinated a round table to propose and share ideas with DNV for the criteria with which the various health and safety compliance issues will be handled in the Integrated Water Cycle business, which will be part of the 3rd scope segment for the 18001 certification in 2010.


In November, as part of the objective of creating a concrete tool to encourage worker feedback, permitting a timely and effective exchange of information on requests and notifications, a preferential communication channel was created between the Workers’ Representatives for Safety, the Prevention and Protection Service and the Employer, using specific e-mail boxes for each territory.

At the same time, an audit cycle was initiated to verify the degree to which the primary company procedures are applied regarding control of suppliers and supplies, together with the Central Office for Purchases and Contracts. In November, the initiative was implemented in the TOCs in Modena and Ravenna, and in 2010 it will be implemented in the other TOCs and in Herambiente.

A series of initiatives were conducted in regards to managing certification for Emission Trading, such as:

  • Conducting internal audits:
  • Organising a task force on the specific issue of analysing common problems and aligning behaviours;
  • Revising the related procedure;
  • Coordinating all adaptations for the Ministry.

All of these activities were in addition to the ordinary activities that DCQSA plans and executes to maintain the Integrated Management System of the Group. Obtaining certifications certainly takes a maximum effort, but this does not relieve us of the obligation to ensure continued improvement, a requirement in all three certification standards that we have adopted: 9001, 14001 and 18001.

Among the principal ordinary activities carried out in 2009, DCQSA was mainly involved in:

QSA inspections to ensure compliance of procedures and instructions prepared by various company organisations: in 2009, procedures were submitted to DCQSA, for all of which a QSA compliance inspection was requested;

Updating system documentation, the QSA Manual, System procedures, Risk analysis documents and Environmental analyses;

Supporting company points of contact in monitoring supplier services: in 2009, DCQSA provided support in 36 cases against the 33 planned support initiatives, equivalent to 109% of the plan;

Supporting Facility Management in inspecting area supervision of TOCs: in 2009, the department provided support for 8 inspections by Security Control for Facility Management against 7 planned for the year, equivalent to 110% of the plan;

Conducting internal audits: in 2009, 54 audits were conducted compared to a total of 49 planned audits, equivalent to 110% of the plan;

Participating in evaluation teams for serious non-compliance issues opened by various company departments in regards to suppliers for centralised contracts, in 2009, 21 teams were established by the purchasing office and DCQSA is represented in all of the teams.

As regards Privacy, in addition to ordinary legislative adaptation, there was considerable effort by the department in supporting the organisational changes that occurred in 2009 (establishing Herambiente and disincorporation planned for the end of 2009 / beginning of 2010), highlighting any significant issues on company systems that may not have been considered in relation to handling of data for any party that comes into contact with Hera Group.

There was also a significant effort in managing the following requirements: study and implementation of the new Group Management System (Policies, Guidelines, Delegated Powers, and initial procedures); coordinating adaptations required by the Provision from the Italian Data Protection Authority on governance of parties that perform administrative activities for company information systems (currently in progress with a major impact on the FoL).

Finally, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 26 of Attachment B) to “Legislative Decree no. 196 of 30 June 2003 – Privacy Code”, it is noted that for the year in question, Hera S.p.A., as Data Holder, carried out the update of its Security Planning Document (SPD).

DCQSA has also had a significant obligations in regards to the disincorporation, starting in the initial months of 2010, with the Prevention and Protection Services and all territorial QSA functions, that previously reported to the TOC Managers, were now centralised to report to the DCQSA.

These organisational changes will result in important changes, both operational as well as cultural, for the now-centralised functions. To tackle these changes, in the first months of 2010, management will be heavily involved in sharing and listening to the issues that may result for the operational changes.

However, the immediate impact can be seen in terms of  synergies and costs as a result of certain changes that may or have already occurred, specifically, in standardisation and consistency in behaviours as well as inspections.