On October 20, 2023, Mega Italy Media staged “Chi non si (in)forma è perduto” (Those who do not (in)form themselves are lost) at the Der Mast Theater in Brescia. Sponsored by AiFOS and included in the schedule of events for Siamo Capitale italiana della Cultura Bergamo Brescia 2023, this innovative theatrical event represented a moment of intelligent entertainment and reflection. We had the pleasure of listening to the narratives of three individuals who deal with information and education, each in their own way but complementary.
"The true wise are eternal students."
The evening began with a contribution from Enrico Galiano "I veri saggi sono gli eterni studenti" (The true wise are eternale students).
What does it mean to be eternal students? It means facing each day with an open mind, like a child facing the new. Every day offers countless opportunities for growth and evolution, and the important thing is to recognize and seize them.
It means having enthusiasm in accepting one's lack of knowledge to transform it, step by step, into real knowledge.
It means understanding that having fun in one's work can be the most serious decision one can make. With his unmistakable style rich in quotations, references, both cultured and "pop," Enrico Galiano brought us back to school, where learning was a daily journey, and the hunger for knowledge was insatiable. Enrico Galiano's insightful and at times moving narration, always grounded in reality, made the audience reflect on the fact that every form of education is the act of revealing something that exists, hidden, within us. And the true wise are eternal students because they know how to reveal something new every day.
At the beginning of our professor Galiano's presentation, the audience had a question mark painted all over their faces: what does all this have to do with workplace safety?
It has a lot to do with it. In fact, everything.
At the end of Galiano's presentation, we understood where he wanted to take us: to understand that life itself is an opportunity for learning. We cannot afford to sit down and forget to learn.
Above all, training in workplace safety is one of the most important school desks because it can literally save your life.
"The Color of Training"
The evening continued with the psychologist and trainer Andrea Cirincione, who explored the theme of safety from a unique perspective, analyzing two Renaissance masterpieces: Andrea Mantegna's Parnaso (Parnassus) and Raffaello’s Scuola di Atene (School of Athens). His speech, "Il Colore della formazione (The Color of Training)," explains how creativity is essential in developing innovative solutions and stimulating critical thinking to prevent accidents and improve working conditions in workplace safety. The arts synthesize forms of technique and knowledge, and in safety, different skills and perspectives are necessary to tackle complex challenges.
The combination of knowledge and education is further proof of the importance of continuing to learn. In workplace safety, accurate and effective training is essential to ensure that workers understand the risks and safety procedures to prevent them. The top responsibility, like that of Apollo, the god of the arts, suggests the importance of having workplace safety officers who oversee the protection of workers.
The connection between art and safety lies in the idea that workplace safety, with the development and implementation of safety protocols, can be seen as a duty and as an element that promotes business vitality and productivity. Training is intellectual dialogue: effective communication in teaching safety allows the sharing of knowledge and experiences, crucial for creating a culture of safety. Just as philosophy promotes the pursuit of knowledge and critical reflection, it is important to encourage deep understanding of laws, protocols, best practices, and risks in workplace safety.
The evening was enriched by innovative contemporary dance performances by Escape Dance Project, a modern dance collective led by Giacomo Turati.
Non-safety costs more than safety
Luigi Matteo Meroni, CEO of Mega Italy Media, concluded the evening by emphasizing the importance of safety training with the keynote speech La non sicurezza costa più della sicurezza: investire nella formazione per il successo e il benessere aziendale (Non-safety costs more than safety: investing in training for success and corporate well-being).
He reminded us how, just a few weeks ago, in various Italian cities, tragic stories intersected, all united by the horror of workers losing their lives at the workplace. It is urgent to address workplace safety with seriousness and determination because, as Italian President Sergio Mattarella stated to the Minister of Labor Elvira Calderone, "working does not mean dying."
Investing in workplace safety is not only an ethical imperative but a pragmatic investment in the long-term success of companies. Safety should not be seen as a cost but as an investment that protects workers and improves the economic health of businesses.
Too often, the costs of safety are underestimated.
Companies focus on the "costs of safety" rather than the costs of "non-safety."
But what are the real costs of non-safety?
Studies conducted by specialized authors, researchers, employer associations, and INAIL, with the CO&SI Project (Costs and Safety), demonstrate that the overall costs of non-safety amount to 3.5% of Italy’s GDP, equivalent to a substantial 45 billion euros.
If we divide 45 billion euros by the number of workplace accidents, we get an overall cost per accident of about 64,000 euros. This cost, among other things, does not consider a range of intangible factors. However, what is even more surprising is how these costs are often underestimated instead of being considered a priority.
To address the costs of non-safety, it is necessary to carefully assess both direct and indirect costs, as well as insurance costs related to managing workplace accidents. It is also important to consider reputational costs, such as the negative impact on a company's image following accidents or safety violations.
Once these costs are identified and the cost-benefit ratio is evaluated, it is possible to develop a workplace safety investment strategy.
What does this necessary investment include?
Specific training courses for employees, the purchase of suitable safety equipment and devices, and the implementation of company policies and procedures to promote an effective safety culture in the workplace and keep it continuously updated.
An important point in Meroni's speech is the parallel between workplace safety and the philosophy of "Total Quality."
Like in Total Quality, where the aim is to reduce waste and errors, investing in workplace safety means waging an uncompromising battle against accidents and occupational diseases, improving efficiency, and reducing corporate costs. It also means paying high attention to what are known as "near misses," important warning signs that can lead to significant improvements in safety management processes and systems.
Safety training in the workplace should involve all levels of the organization, from executives to employees.
In summary, this event reminds us of the importance of raising awareness about risks and providing the necessary skills to prevent and manage them appropriately. This training should include knowledge of safety regulations, the correct use of tools and equipment, emergency procedures, and active employee involvement in reporting potential hazards. The real goal to achieve is to adopt systems with the ambition to teach safe thinking.
Before taking any action that involves risks, workers should always learn to ask themselves: could this action involve any risks?
If so, how can they be eliminated?
This reflection brings us back, like the mythical Ouroboros, the serpent that bites its tail, a symbol of wisdom and eternal movement, to where we started: safety means that we must continue to learn, especially when it comes to workplace safety.
Being eternal students is the only path that leads to a safer, more prosperous, and efficient future.