Interview with Serena Lazzeri, HSE Manager of Mozzanica
Very often, LinkedIn or other social media sites are full of content describing the conclusion of important construction or maintenance projects. There's a celebration for meeting the deadlines, the engineering and the coordination of the teams, but in our opinion, the topic of "Safety and Environment" is frequently neglected.
In fact, when reading those articles, few people think about how complex it must have been to manage these two aspects that in our opinion are not elements to be overlooked at all.
Our company has undergone an evolution and over the years has had to manage increasingly complex projects, so we have seen firsthand how much we should invest in "Safety and Environment" to ensure their success.
We interviewed Engineer Lazzeri, who has been our HSE Manager since 2021:
Good morning Engineer Lazzeri, as the HSE Manager of Mozzanica, what exactly are your duties within the company?
I manage the sphere of Safety and Environment integrated in the Company, in all the departments and divisions. In addition to the safety aspects directly related to personnel, I follow all elements of safety on construction sites and in the installation of new plants, in collaboration with our Technical Office.
I also collaborate with several other actors, namely:
- Together with the Sales Department, I evaluate new tenders and take a second look at upcoming orders;
- I oversee suppliers' qualifications and check for safety and environmental aspects;
- I support the Service department for every intervention, routine and extraordinary;
- I manage maintenance technicians' safety. In fact, they must always have the correct information, the proper equipment and the right skills to work in a variety of environments where there are high risks (confined environments, ATEX areas, chemical risk, etc.).
What type of customers does the company serve and what does that entail?
We have clients in various sectors, many in pharmaceutical, chemical/petrochemical and other high-risk industries, so Safety and Environment are two prevalent elements in all of our interventions.
It's a considerable responsibility given the high number of customers; many are structured and demanding, they have numerous and diverse requests, and the risks present in certain sites require us to apply specific measures, which must be planned in great detail.
What difficulties do you encounter the most and how do you manage them?
The difficulties concern, above all else, an often-incorrect approach to these matters, lacking a practical method to manage and share information. I try to resolve these issues patiently, collaborating with people, forging synergistic bonds, learning and teaching. There is always something to be gained in every exchange. Over time the dynamics become natural and simple, and Safety and Environment also become routine.
Many consider everything related to the environment and safety to be something bureaucratic, a set of rules that absorb too much time and energy. What is your comment on this?
It is a true fact -- these two fields are subject to regulations in continuous evolution; therefore they require many documents to be produced, everything is done to ensure that these documents become an added value. Precisely for this reason there are figures like my own, who must be familiar with and know how to manage the bureaucracy in order to control the trickiest aspects, extricating the core of the matter and the most practical parts.
I always say it's my job to help other people work serenely. Those who are in the field must have essential, useful and contextualized information; document requests must be targeted and fit like a suit, only in this way do they assume meaning and value.
Too much work in this field is done with the mentality of "ask for more, settle for less" and this weighs down and enormously devalues the real meaning of Environment and Security.
Can good management of these two areas result in the positive outcome of a project?
Absolutely, when Safety and Environment aspects are taken care of, you can avoid work suspensions or delays. Working in tidy and clean environments not only increases safety, but also productivity. Having correct management is also an important calling card that's increasingly appreciated by high-value customers.
How do you work to achieve this goal?
With a continuous and synergistic collaboration with the Technical Department, as a team with the Project Manager and the Site Supervisor, as well as in meetings with the customer. It is necessary to manage subcontracts, the responsibilities that derive from them, monitor site visits and support the organization of the work.
However, good results are not only obtained in the field; certain elements must already be analyzed while formulating the estimate, in the preliminary examination of the job, evaluating the aspects and critical issues that some projects encompass from the very start. Awareness and knowledge of the subject must be applied throughout the process.
Safety and the Environment are transversal subjects and it is useful to have a very broad vision so that they become an integrated part of a company's productivity.
Why, on the other hand, in particular in certain European countries, does its management become a burden?
Managing orders abroad can add problems, because we have to deal with regulations different from our own, even if the current Italian legislation derives from a European directive that also applies in other EU countries. An additional issue is the distance; an on-site inspection, which often solves 90% of the problems, is not always feasible, but despite this, we are committed to managing construction sites abroad.
In conclusion, if you were to give your own definition of the subject of “Safety and Environment”, what would you say about it?
The area of Safety and the Environment is an indicator that an entire organization is making progress in changing its habits, that it is evolving by integrating mechanisms that we can define as complex into workflows, thus making them simple, making them commonplace.