Saipem's business activities conducted both in and outside of Italy are subject to a broad range of national legislation and regulations, including laws implementing international protocols and conventions relating to specific sectors of activity. These laws and regulations require prior authorisation and/or the acquisition of a license before operations may commence and the compliance with health, safety and environmental protection regulations. Environmental regulations impose restrictions on the types, quantities and concentration of pollutants that can be released into the air, water and soil and require companies to adopt correct waste management practices. In particular, strict operating practices and standards to protect biodiversity must be adopted when exploring for, drilling and producing oil and gas in certain ecologically sensitive locations (protected areas). Failure to comply with environmental, health and safety laws is punishable by criminal and civil sanctions against the individuals responsible and - in certain cases of violations of safety laws - against companies, in accordance with a European model of direct corporate liability implemented in Italy through Legislative Decree 231/2001. Environmental, health and safety laws and regulations have a substantial impact on SaipemÕs operations and expenses and liabilities that Saipem may incur in relation to compliance with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations are expected to remain material to the Group's results of operations or financial position in future years. Recently enacted legislation regarding health and safety in the workplace in Italy introduced new requirements which will have an impact on operations at Eni sites and in particular on relationships with contractors as well as significant repercussions on the models used for attributing liability in the event of violations of health and safety legislation. The new legislation emphasised the importance of adopting certified organisational and management models capable of discharging the Company from corporate liability in the event of violations of legislation regarding health and safety in the workplace. For this purpose, Saipem has adopted HSE guidelines to ensure the health and safety of employees, local communities, contractors and clients and the safeguarding of the environment, in compliance with local and international rules and regulations and in line with international best practices and standards. An ongoing process of risk identification, evaluation and mitigation is at the heart of HSE management operations in all phases of activity and for all business units. This process is implemented through the adoption of effective management procedures and systems designed to suit the specific characteristics of each activity and the sites in which they take place and with a view to achieving the continuous improvement of plant and processes. Additionally, the codification and proceduralisation of operating phases has led to a reduction of the human factor in plant risk management. Operating emergencies that may have an adverse impact on assets, people and the environment are managed by the business units at site level through dedicated HSE structures equipped with emergency response plans indicating the corrective actions to be taken to minimise damage in the event of an incident and responsibilities for ensuring they are taken. Saipem's integrated approach to managing health, safety and environmental issues is supported by the adoption in all Group companies of an HSE management system based on the Saipem/Eni Management System Model. This is a procedure based on an annual cycle of planning, implementation, control, review of results and definition of new objectives. The model is aimed at achieving risk prevention and the systematic monitoring and control of HSE performance, in a cycle of continuous improvement, and is subject to audits by internal and independent experts. Saipem's facilities are certified to international standards such as ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and even EMAS. Saipem also provides an advanced programme of training and development for HSE staff with the aim of:
- promoting conduct consistent with the applicable guidelines;
- guiding HSE-related cultural, professional and managerial growth of all personnel working at and for Saipem;
- supporting knowledge management and HSE risk control.