Since stepping onto the executive board at Tratos as Health & Safety Director almost two years ago, Ing Elisabetta Bragagni Capaccini is well on the way to achieving the gains she set out on appointment.
A qualified engineer, Ms Bragagni Capaccini is one of a growing number of women in board positions – with one of the most exacting areas of responsibility.
Tratos is one of Europe’s major manufacturers of Electrical, Electronic and Fibre Optic cables, with Tratos Group selling cables to 52 countries.
Health & Safety is absolutely critical – especially when the reach of the product range includes cabling that is single and multi-conductor High Temperature, Fire Resistant, Low Smoke & Fume, Rubber, Energy Cables from Low Voltages up to 360 kV, Railway, Motorway, Data, Fibre Optic, Oil & Gas, Plants & Petrochemical industry, Mining & Tunnelling, Ship wiring, Drum Reeling and Telecommunications.
Add Cathodic Protection, Airfield Lighting, Composite and bespoke cables, Cranes & Mobile Equipment, Trains, Transportation Infrastructure, Submarine, Military and Defence cables, special cables (Composite cables, Inverter cables, et.), cables for special solution (Hazardous environment, Mud Resistant Cables and more), and it’s clear that the post of Tratos’ Health & Safety director is one of the most wide-ranging as well as challenging.
Alongside its UK manufacturing facility, Tratos has three factories in Italy. Product ranges power the infrastructure across land, sea and air – and everything in between.
After completing her electrical engineering degree in Rome and stepping out into industry she joined the family business – and gave herself yet another challenge – to base herself in the UK, working in a second language.
Britain has the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe: just 8.5 per cent. In Italy, France and Norway, it’s 20 per cent. Still not good enough, but on the right track
So it’s not surprising Ms Bragagni Capaccini continues to push herself to the limit. Part of it is professional pride in a job well done, part of it is because she is the grand-daughter of the company’s founder, Egidio Capaccini, and respect has to be won, not inherited. However a good proportion of it is that it is important to demonstrate to other young women that engineering is open to women, it’s engaging and energising and offers the opportunity to be a part of world-changing technology.
Her appointment came alongside the company raising H&S responsibilities to board level.
Still in her early 30s, Ms Bragagni Capaccini was charged with overseeing the implementation of a rigorous programme of continuous improvement at the Tratos plant at Knowsley in order to reach ever higher safety standards, mirrored in its factories in Italy. And her efforts are bearing fruit.
In making Health & Safety a board issue, Neil Ancell, Director at Tratos, said at the time: “We believe the whole of the Tratos board should be responsible for setting the standard for effective health and safety management but at the same time one person needs to have complete focus, ownership and understanding of the issues involved. The position of Health & Safety Director is a pivotal role in any manufacturing company and here it will be an important building block as our business continues to grow globally.”
Ing Elisabetta Bragagni Capaccini set out to ensure best practices for health and safety are stringently upheld and to cement their place throughout the organisation as well as at the board table.
She said: “It has been about ensuring gold-standard practices implemented from the top down and I continue to apply my health and safety training and experience more widely throughout the company.”