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Sapros – an Important Prevention Tool for Suva

  • Nicole Buri

sapros.ch is a multi-vendor marketplace for safety products. Suva has been using this prevention tool for more than two decades now, primarily for its customers. It allows users to select safety products based on hazards. Livio Palmieri was in charge of this relaunch and was happy to answer a few questions.

Livio Palmieri, why does Suva operate this marketplace?

With this marketplace, we help our customers evaluate safety products in a targeted manner. Sophisticated filters allow customers to not only select product properties, but to primarily filter by the hazard that the product is designed to protect people from. This lets them compare several manufacturers’ products on one platform and select the best product for their application.

The manufacturers of safety products benefit from sapros.ch as a reputable sales channel with relevant target groups. The platform also provides support with the product upload process.

We do a plausibility check of the data entered with a focus on safety features and publish the products or send them back for correction. This enables Sapros to create a unique connection between buyer and seller.

„From the Hazard to the Product“

What was a key experience for you during the relaunch of the platform?

We had a principle to guide us, „From the Hazard to the Product“. It served as a benchmark and decision-making criterion for the evaluation of ideas. With every idea or feature, we always asked ourselves: „How does it contribute to this principle?“ This allowed us to focus on the facts, to discuss matters on an equal footing and to keep an open mind in our discussions.

At Suva, we started to digitalise intercompany processes early on.

The Work in Prevention is Changing

What are the particular challenges in the field of prevention?

We want to place humans at the heart of our prevention efforts. By providing information and education, we aim to raise awareness of hazards and to change the behaviour of every single person at work and in their free time. This is the only way to reduce the number of work-related and non-work-related accidents in the long run. Today’s challenge surely is to reach people right when they are doing an activity, because that is the most effective way. In occupational safety, we have been able to address employees predominantly via their employers. The strategy is to transfer the safety culture from within the companies to people’s free time, creating synergies.

Digitalisation as Both Opportunity and Risk

What role do digital channels play in prevention?

At Suva, we started to digitalise intercompany processes early on and were able to lighten the administrative load and increase efficiency for the insured companies. We will continue to follow this path rigorously.

However, digitalisation is helpful and risky at the same time. On the one hand, digitalisation helps us reduce hazards because machines can take over dangerous, physically demanding and repetitive tasks. Artificial intelligence offers very specific opportunities because it can help us predict dangerous situations and warn us in time. On the other hand, the interaction between humans and machines does come with a few new risks.

In prevention, we use digital instruments for the targeted distribution of our messages. Apps are an important element of our education efforts. Our Slope Track app, for example, lets us address skiers directly on the slopes. Even so, it always takes a mix of channels for us to really get the message across to our target group.

About the Interviewee

As a business analyst, Livio Palmieri contributes to the development and maintenance of e-services in the prevention department. He has been driving the development of Sapros in terms of technology and content for more than 10 years. What drives him is the purpose behind his work: the goal is to prevent pain and suffering. Every accident and every occupational illness that can be prevented also saves considerable costs, which benefits all companies insured.