New rules for Expo 2015 building sites

In 2015 the city of Milan will host the 2015 Universal Exposition and its coordinating, organising and management body will be Expo 2015 SpA. On 10 January 2012, representatives of the local council of Milan, Expo 2015 SpA and the social partners signed an agreement establishing health and safety rules for workers at the Expo 2015 building sites. The agreement also aims to clamp down on irregular work and combat the infiltration of contruction work by organised crime syndicates.


During the assignment of the first contract for construction work at the site of the 2015 Universal Exposition, which will take place in Milan, a draft agreement was signed covering health and safety requirements. It takes its lead from the health and safety pact signed in 2008 covering building sites in Milan (IT0902029I).

Its signatories are:

  • the local council administrations of Milan and Rho;
  • the EXPO 2015 SpA company;
  • the territorial representatives of Milan of the General Confederation of Italian Workers (Cgil), the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions (Cisl) and the Italian Union of Work (Uil);
  • the sectoral trade unions of Milan: the Italian Federation of Wood and Construction (Fillea Cgil), the Italian Federation of Construction Workers (Filca Cisl) and the National Federation of Construction and Wood Workers (Feneal Uil);
  • the Association of Construction Enterprises of Milan, Lodi, Monza and Brianza (Assimpredilance)
  • the Co-operative Association of Production and Labour of Lombardia, (Alcopl Legacoop);
  • the enterprise that won the first contract, the Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti ( CMC) of Ravenna.

The agreement focuses on three areas: clamping down on irregular work and guaranteeing the application of the NCA; guaranteeing that enterprises conform to health and safety norms; and combating the infiltration of organised crime syndicates.

Representatives of each signatory will join a permanent observatory that will be set up to monitor how the agreement is being enforced.

Signing the protocol will be obligatory for all enterprises that win future contracts, as it has been for the company setting up the first construction site, and for all those involved in subcontracting work. The enterprise that hires the subcontractor will be responsible for ensuring the conditions set out in the agreement are complied with.

Contents of the agreement

Health and safety

The trade unions will be kept informed of work in progress and the use of any subcontractors. A health and safety committee will be set up, composed of representatives of Expo 2015 Spa and of the contractors and subcontractors. Employees representatives from enterprises present on the construction site will have seats on the monitoring committee.

Fighting against mafia and criminal syndicates

Recent investigations carried out by magistrates have shown that in many regions of North Italy, mafia organisations, and in particular the ‘Ndrangheta’ from Calabria, have made inroads into production and commercial activities.

To counteract this phenomenon, the agreement’s signatories have agreed to draw up a ‘protocol of legality’ and will insist that enterprises that win contracts for Expo 2015 conform to it. Expo 2015 SpA will draft the protocol with the Prefecture of Milan in the near future, based on Article 3 of law 166/2009 setting out ‘directions to guarantee clarity and free market principles in the realisation of interventions connected with the Expo 2015’.

The article also foresees the involvement of the Coordination Committee for the Surveillance of great buildings and structures and the institution of a Central Interforce Group for Expo 2015 (in Italian, 144Kb PDF) composed of the Police, Carabinieri and Finance Police. This group will form an operative link between the already existing offices.

One of the agreement’s measures covers the traceability of financial transactions and the compilation, at the Prefecture of Milan, of a list of suppliers and enterprises that have no links with the mafia.


Enterprises that win construction contracts will have to recruit 10% of employees from workers who are in a wage guarantee fund, in mobility schemes or unemployed and this quota will also apply to all subcontracting organisations.

IT platform

The Expo 2015 SpA company will set up a dedicated IT platform to manage the construction site, collecting data and documents about enterprises operating in the sector, analysing the data and possibly preparing it for publication.

Control systems will be set up to monitor access to the construction site in accordance with the above-mentioned ‘protocol of legality’.

Reactions to the agreement

Giuseppe Sala, Chief Executive Officer of Expo 2015, has underlined the positive climate that prevailed during the signing of the agreement, ‘which was due to the close collaboration between all the signatories’.

Milan’s Mayor, Giuliano Pisapia, has said the agreement will be an important deterrent during the preparation of future tenders and any enterprise that wants to participate will know that it must accept important responsibilities.

Danilo Galvagni, General Secretary of Cisl Milan, is of the opinion that Expo 2015 represents a big opportunity for development, but added that there are also risks, saying: ‘Everybody involved must do their utmost to guarantee clarity and regularity’.

Vilma Rinolfi, Cesos

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