Rome, 7 April 2022
INAIL (the National Institute for Insurance against Occupational Accidents) and the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group today signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at launching a structured and permanent collaboration for the prevention of accidents in the workplace and occupational diseases. The Understanding was signed in the presence of the Minister for Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, Enrico Giovannini, together with the Minister for Labour and Social Policies, Andrea Orlando.
Indeed, the significant extent of the FS Group’s involvement in the implementation of the Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan and the stringent timetable set out for completion of the works envisaged therein render it necessary to strengthen the initiatives that the FS Group is already adopting – also through its subsidiaries – to continue to improve the levels of health and safety in the workplace, as the founding principles of the FS’ social and industrial identity.
“Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane’s commitment to protecting health and safety in the workplace,” explains FS Group CEO Luigi Ferraris, “includes the full involvement of all stakeholders, starting with workers and their trade union representatives, with whom we will continue along this path, together with continuous investments in people’s well-being, training and awareness. This forms the basis for the protocol signed today with INAIL, which aims to raise the level of awareness and culture of safety in all workplaces, starting with those most involved in setting in motion the projects under Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan.”
As pointed out by INAIL’s President Franco Bettoni, “The agreement signed today with the FS Group is an innovative pilot agreement, which shall serve as a model for further collaborations with other large-scale industrial groups throughout the country. The aim is to ensure that occupational health and safety is also central in the recovery phase driven by the PNRR (Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan). After the slowdown caused by the pandemic, we are witnessing a dramatic resurgence of accidents and deaths at work, which must be tackled together with all players in the production system by means of prevention, research and training measures tailored to the current situation.”
The amount of work that will have to be carried out in terms of infrastructure and the modernisation of production processes towards new frontiers in energy, technology and social sustainability will thus require a multiplication of accident prevention initiatives. To this end, INAIL will promote targeted actions to support companies and large groups that receive resources from Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, starting with the development of the operational phase of investments. This mode of operation shall become structural for the Institute, which will promote appropriate Memoranda of Understanding.
The agreement signed today will have a duration of five years, in line with the expiry of Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan in 2026, and foresees the implementation of joint activities aimed at disseminating the culture of prevention and improving health and safety management, also through the involvement of worker trade unions and pertinent institutional bodies.
The fields of collaboration defined by the protocol include communication initiatives along with the promotion of health and safety in the workplace and social sustainability, the design of training programmes for all roles in the company and personnel involved in the construction of large-scale infrastructure projects, together with the research into and testing of innovative technological solutions to improve health and safety levels.
Amongst the latter, INAIL research projects in the field of robotics, augmented reality through immersive vision, sensors for monitoring work environments, the study of innovative materials for work garments and devices for the prevention of occupational diseases and accidents such as collaborative exoskeletons could play a central role.
Also envisaged are the design of organisational and risk-management models for accident prevention and the promotion of organisational well-being, the analysis of streams of information on workplace accidents and occupational diseases in the areas of interest to companies and in the construction of major works, along with the study of risk factors with a view to preventing work-related diseases.
The tasks of guiding, planning and monitoring the activities covered by the collaboration, which shall be regulated through the stipulation of specific implementation agreements, are entrusted to a Coordination Committee comprised of six representatives, three of whom are to be appointed by INAIL and three by the FS Group.