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Sacmi triumphs at the A.I.R.C.

The Quirinale Palace, Rome, 5th November. It is National Cancer Research Day and the President of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, is presenting awards to three Italian companies that have made an outstanding commitment in the prevention of tumours. With great satisfaction and a touch of emotion, Demos Baldisserri, SACMI Chairman since 1998, received the award plaque. The motivation for the award, among other factors, includes the following: “For making a clear commitment to safeguarding employees’ health that goes above and beyond the requirements of law”. SACMI has been a winner ever since 1919, when nine engineering workers launched a machine manufacturing and repair cooperative. Today it is a colossus consisting of over 35 companies world-wide, with 80% of turnover being accounted for by exports: product areas range from machines and complete plants for ceramics to individual machines and complete plants for the beverage and packaging industries. Yet the Sacmi “philosophy ” is most evident in its attentiveness towards employees, as highlighted by its success in the 1st edition of the AIRC “Aziende Attive” awards. SACMI was one of the first engineering companies in Italy to obtain ISO 9001 certification for its production processes and ISO 14001 certification for the environmental impact and safety aspects of those production processes. “All this has been done for the good of company employees: since a huge portion of one’s life is spent in the workplace it is only fair and proper that there be the best working environment possible. Our strength stems from being a cooperative: the workers own the business, so there is greater employee sensitivity and involvement, and safety-related decisions are thus easier to take”, points out SACMI’s chairman. “It is a company culture shared by and involving everyone, yet one that still requires concrete action. That’s why we effect constant monitoring and run prevention-oriented schemes that extend to the community via donations to schools and hospitals”. The first CAT scanners to go into the Imola General Hospital in 1998 were, in fact, the result of a Sacmi donation. More recently, ultra-modern magnetic resonance equipment worth a million dollars was introduced into the same hospital, meaning that people from Imola no longer have to go to Bologna, Ravenna or Faenza. “Our community presence stems from our approach to internal matters. In-company controls are constant: for instance, just look at the top-up pension plans everyone talks about - and about which so little is done” – points out the Chairman. “By ’92 (discussions began as early as ‘83) we had already set up an employee pension fund”. So, given company policy, did SACMI expect to win the award? «To be honest, it was a real surprise. Early in the year we were asked to take part in a competition about which nothing more was heard. Some time later, Dr. Ventrucci, Dr. M. Berantelli (Personnel Office Manager), and M. Ferri (Prevention and Envi

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