Developing and consolidating a culture of safety at work, as well as the awareness that safety is a central issue in organising and managing production processes. The award by INAIL[1] and Confindustria[2] acknowledges the virtuous example of Italian businesses that chose to invest in safety and accident prevention. SAPA and Eni Mediterranea Idrocarburi[3] received the award at the Faculty of Engineering of the La Sapienza University in Rome.

“Well Giovanni, do you finally feel safe now?”

A friend asked me this question last summer. We were watching the match of the Italian basketball national team. Basketball world cup, Italy vs. Philippines. The result? 62-24 at half time.

He asked me that because he knows me very well.

And it’s true, that’s what I am like: I prefer not to take anything for granted. Even when the thing is almost a given.

Sure, Italy was 40 points ahead. Which is enormous in basketball. On our team we had NBA athletes and Euroleague protagonists, i.e. highly experienced players against a team that doesn’t really have an outstanding tradition in basketball.

And yet? And yet, no, I didn’t feel we were safe.

In everything you do, you first need to actually get to the result you aim for. And only then can you celebrate it.

I was happy, sure. Optimist? Absolutely yes. But feeling safe, no.

Mainly, I was hoping that the Italian players – the very guys that had to go on playing, were not feeling safe yet.

In basketball, like in life, you must earn that sense of safety. It doesn’t come as a gift, on the contrary you must fight for it.

Safety is what you get when you leave nothing to chance. Not just once, but all the times, continuously.

Training session after training session, minute after minute, in sport. Day after day, in daily life.

You always must be attentive and commit to the maximum of your abilities to reducing to the minimum the chances of anything happening that would prevent you from reaching your objective, whatever that is.

The risk is feeling content and stop. “Good, we did well so far. It is enough.”

No, it is not enough.

What would have happened if Italy had literally stopped defending its position for the rest of the match? We would have lost. Despite the enormous advantage, despite the efforts made to get to that advantage.

Never lower your guard, like in boxing. In a metaphorical yet very concrete sense, it is also true in basketball.

And it is true in life and at work, where safety is a central issue that follows the same dynamics as sport. If you content yourself with what you’ve done, you put yourself in the hands of destiny and you risk losing a “match” that is way more important than the one played by the Italian national basketball team.

At SAPA – I am proud to say, the issue of the safety of our employees is of the utmost importance.

SAPA e FCA la ricetta industriale per il Mezzogiorno che crea nuovi posti di lavoro - Superior Auto Parts Application

Protecting our employees is not only a sign of development but it also adds to the competitiveness of a business.

We know very well what our responsibility is towards the human capital that we interface with and to which we are very deeply connected.

Guaranteeing the safety of the men and women who contribute daily to SAPA’s growth is a constant commitment and the real core of all our activities.

This is why for all of us, receiving the “Businesses for Safety” Award by INAIL and Confindustria with the technical support of Apqi (Quality prize association, Italy) and Accredia (the Italian accreditation body) was so particularly intense.

This acknowledgement, which the President of the Italian Republic officially awarded for being a particularly valuable initiative for the whole community and which we were awarded together with huge groups of the calibre of Eni, is awarded to businesses that made a significant contribution towards spreading a culture of safety within the Italian production system.

“This Award – says INAIL on their website, is given to companies that stand out for their commitment towards health and safety, and aims at acknowledging not one single project or initiative, but rather the entire company process; it involves the persons in charge of health and safety in the companies and it analysis the issues of leadership, company policies, strategies, personnel, processes and results.”

In short, it is a measure of the innovation level and of the results obtained by Italian companies and it awards particularly virtuous projects and production processes that can be taken as a model in terms of safety.

The award ceremony took place in the Sala del Chiostro of the Faculty of Engineering of the La Sapienza University in Rome on 26 November last. It was engineer Mr Beniamino Votino, HSE Manager at SAPA that received the award on behalf of the Group.

Here is a short clip from the event:

We are very proud and feel further motivated to continue on the path we’re already on. And to further better ourselves.

“It is always people that make the difference”, my father used to say. It was still him to pass on to me the idea that a business is a social asset. Putting people in the centre, committing to protecting their safety, helping them grow not only professionally but also from a human point of view is what we have the pleasure and the duty of doing.

I am thinking for example, of the vouchers to purchase schoolbooks, which we give to the mothers and fathers that work for us. Or to our collaboration with the FAI (Italian Environment Fund) thanks to which our employees can participate in guided tours, excursions and events for free, to explore the extraordinary beauty of our Country.

Being an ethical business, in our opinion, means all this.

The award we received is not our final destination but a new beginning.

Needless to say, our commitment doesn’t end here.

Just for your information, the final result of Italy vs. Philippines was 108-62. No, the Italian national players did not lower their guard.

Kind regards

Giovanni Affinita,

General Manager and Member of SAPA’s Board of Directors


[1] INAIL: National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work, is a public non-profit entity safeguarding workers against physical injuries and occupational diseases.

[2] Confindustria: General Confederation of Italian Industry is the Italian employers’ federation and national chamber of commerce.

[3] Eni: Italian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Rome. Considered one of the global supermajors, it has operations in 79 countries, and is currently world’s 11th largest industrial company.




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