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Life in our Plants

Protecting our people at work

Prysmian Group has always been committed to ensuring health and safety for all employees and subcontractors in our workplaces. The Group operates in a complex and challenging industry, but its attitude to safety is simple: safety always takes priority.

Continuously developing our Safety Strategy

Since 2019, we have aimed to create a sustainable change in our safety culture through a strategy for the improvement and constant development based on four main pillars: managers’ safety leadership; strengthening the key competencies of our current HSE professionals, and on developing a new strategy for HR Management, applied to HSE; Safety organization and standardization; and Behavior-Based Safety Principles.

This Safety Strategy is supported by the Zero and Beyond Philosophy currently being rolled out across the company, to reaffirm and anchor Prysmian’s values by enabling the correct beliefs, attitudes and behaviors to follow.

Prysmian Group is working towards the goal of having the lowest incident rate in the industry. The Group’s deep commitment to safety has resulted in a reduction of the number of injuries, represented as the IF rate calculated in accordance with the OSHA LTA.

This rate was approximately 1.55 at the end of 2021.

A pro-active approach to Covid-19

During 2021, the second year dramatically impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Prysmian Group worked intensively with unions in consultations and negotiations, in order to share the best plan for prevention and protection of people in all workplaces, which, in compliance with local regulations, allowed the Group to fight the spread of the virus in its factories and workplaces.

2021 was, in fact, marked by strong union involvement in Italy, and at all affiliates abroad, in the Covid-19 prevention and protection plan: a set of health and safety measures with global guidelines, carefully coordinated centrally by the corporate HE and HSE functions, together with top management. This required a commitment and an unprecedented expenditure of energy and resources for the Group, in order to combat the invisible enemy that is the Covid-19 pandemic.

At European level, Prysmian managed to maintain discussions with the European Works Council (EWC), despite the general ban on travel that continued into 2021 and made it impossible to hold in-person meetings. In-person meetings were replaced with remote meetings, which were made possible using a sophisticated video-meeting platform with support from “live” interpreters.

Around 62% of Group employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements in 2021.

HSE Management system

Prysmian Group ensures workplace safety for its employees and subcontractors through a certified and integrated Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) management system that provides structured safety procedures to reduce the risk of injury. At Group level in 2021, a further nine more plants were certified under ISO 14001, reaching 90%; 69% were certified under OHSAS 18001/ISO 45001. The above percentages only refer to production sites; however, in addition to these, fair part of sites involving R&D, installation activities, and kitting and distribution centers are also certified.

The Prysmian Group has always been committed to ensuring that the of the integrity, health and welfare of workers are safeguarded in their workplaces. The commitment to unite all Prysmian employees around “Zero and Beyond”, a shared vision of our Safety Culture, was strengthened during 2021. This campaign was launched in December 2020 and is supported by numerous initiatives at local level.

The Leadership in Health & Safety (LiHS) training programme in 2021 involved 47 plants, 457 top managers and over 9,000 associates. Each training course has a duration of 3 days, with a view to strengthening leadership skills on safety matters and provide tools and methodologies for taking action in unsafe conditions. Our Safety Culture has the following goals:

  • Improve managerial commitment and involvement;
  • Improve the cross functional skills of HSE leaders and professionals;
  • Reduce cultural differences and align practices;
  • Take steps to ensure that everyone looks after themselves and others.

Our HSE Investments

In 2021, Group-level investments in all health, safety and environmental projects, including energy efficiency, water and waste activities, amounted to approximately €33 million.

The HSE function coordinates pilot projects for energy saving and waste reduction in selected sites, aiming at applying specific technical solutions, assessing their effectiveness and extending their implementation to other Group plants. The pilots are focused on the areas of smart metering, efficiency of systems for producing and distributing compressed air, efficiency of heating systems, efficiency of motors, and waste generation and disposal.

Moreover, in 2021 Prysmian Group set a new “net zero” targets for 2030 and beyond, requiring new efforts to reduce our own emissions and those of our suppliers. We have therefore prepared a decarbonization roadmap, with the definition of a program of priority activities and forecasts of the investment needed and the energy savings we can achieve.

Here are a few of our energy efficiency projects:

The “Relamping with LED” project will replace lighting systems at more than 30 sites in 10 different countries, saving around 2,000 tons of CO2 annually. The project was 70% completed overall at the end of 2021, with many sites having finished relamping and others expecting to conclude work in the first half of 2022. The Relamping project will carry on in 2022, working towards the central coordination of the program to achieve further benefits in terms of energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions.

In collaboration with Accenture, we implemented an energy efficiency project in the Italian plant at Pignataro Maggiore, serving as a pilot for energy consumption optimization with a view to possible further implementation at group level.

Studies were carried out to reduce electricity consumption from the use of compressors and distribution of compressed air. In addition to renewing obsolete compressors, several projects were launched to recover thermal energy from compressors and to optimise compressed air networks by pinpointing and correcting losses and/or inefficiencies in compressed air distribution systems.

Measurements and evaluations have been carried out in many units and more are under way to replace obsolete equipment with newly developed systems and to identify possible lower environmental impact alternatives.

In particular, around a dozen projects have been launched in as many business units in 2021, aimed at replacing obsolete equipment, changing fuel or optimising thermal power plant management by introducing economisers or maintaining steam production systems.

In many cases, possible alternative energy sources were evaluated with a view to reducing CO2 emissions, in line with the Group’s objectives.

Our plant in Neustadt, Germany doubled its energy monitoring system in 2021 with the installation of 125 new meters. The data is collected in a server and allows very detailed readings covering all the critical energy-hungry areas/lines and enabling rapid assessments of actual consumption and identification of areas of improvement.

HSE Event tool - Blumatica

Blumatica HSE Event tool is the platform that allow us to keep track and manage events, related to Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), occurring in all Prysmian operating units and share them with the Group. The tool, that is fully operational in all Prysmian plants, allows both to handle accidents, non-conformities, near misses, reporting, relative adopted Corrective Actions and shares the event with the aim to avoid the repetition of it. Furthermore, it allows both to elaborate graphs and statistics of the main issues related to Health & Safety aspects and monitoring Prysmian Group’s results. 
Data extracted from HSE Event Tool show that the Group's effort in safety has materialized through a reduction in accidents represented by the Frequency Index (IF) calculated according to the OHSA LTA methodology.