Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e Toscana

Information provided by Giovanna Botticella, psychologist consultant



Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e Toscana (IZSLT) is a public health control institution with a technical, administrative and managerial autonomy.

It operates as a technical and scientific instrument within the National Public Health Service for the Latium and Tuscany Regions (Central Italy) as well as for the Italian State.

The headquarters is located in Rome (RM), in conjunction with the local departments in Arezzo (AR), Florence (FI), Grosseto (GR), Pisa (PI), Siena (SI) in the Tuscany Region; Latina (LT), Frosinone (FR) Viterbo (VT) and Rieti (RI) in the Latium Region.

IZSLT mission is:

  • control and improve animal health;
  • protection animal welfare;
  • control the animal breeding to guarantee the animal productions quality;
  • control the food of animal origin and feedstuffs safety in order to protect the consumers’ health.

Veterinary doctors, biologists, chemists, laboratory technicians, agricultural experts, chemical experts, IT technicians and administrative staff in the various qualifications work at the Institute. IZSLT has 560 workers

As regards the instrumental resources in carrying out the activities, including research, the Institute has at its disposal instrumental equipment with advanced technology for a value of more than 8 million Euros.
Laboratory analyzes are mostly free of charge in fulfillment of the Veterinary Public Health programs and approximately 2 million tests of different types are carried out each year. The analysis conducted in the interest of individuals, in the context of corporate control and self-control programs are paid for.


Quaternary: scientific research





Main motives for the decision to implement the age management measures

Organizational well-being is the first element that influences effectiveness, efficiency, productivity and development in the workplace. Since 2009, the Institute has undertaken actions aimed at disseminating a person-centered policy that considers the worker a human resource, with a recognized and valued role. The realization of this objective is based on the awareness that the management of human resources cannot end in a mere personnel administration but implies an adequate consideration of the worker as a person living in the workplace.

Our policy is in line with the health definition of the World Health Organization (WHO) which in 1948 defines health not only as the absence of disease or infirmity but as a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being.

If this definition is applied to the working context, organizational well-being is promoted, understood as “the ability of an organization to promote and maintain the highest degree of physical, psychological and social well-being of workers in any type of occupation” (Avallone e Bonaretti, Benessere Organizzativo, 2003). When the conditions for which people share the organization’s culture, values, practices and language are created – a sense of belonging develops and work becomes a source of motivation, meaning and satisfaction.

The idea is to create a virtual box to put on the website, every time we would have dealt with a different topic: we wrote articles to discuss for example on leadership, we made videos, we talked about what the job is as a team, how to build a team, and so on…How to help the worker to live well as the years go by, what is active aging, the only way to die young, of different age groups, of the different risks that characterize the different evolutionary stages. Then we thought of making available a space where people could give their contribution and give their suggestions.


Age management dimension

Comprehensive approaches:

  • a focus on the entire working life and all age groups, not just older workers;
  • a holistic approach that encompasses all dimensions of age management;
  • in the short term, remedial provisions for older workers who are already affected by age-specific occupational problems such as skill deficits as a result of deskilling or poor health resulting from heavy workloads.

Health protection and promotion, workplace design:

  •   employee participation and education.


Our way towards the age management

The Prevention and Protection service based on the work done to date in the context of the risk of work-related stress and organizational well-being, has proposed the creation of a ” La scatola del BenEssere (WellBeing Box)”, a virtual space to promote knowledge, communication and the dissemination of good practices and facilitate the well-being of our organization.

The Wellbeing box is a virtual place that involves all staff, a corporate project proposed by the SPP and developed in collaboration with other structures that make up the work group to promote working well-being. 

Promoting, facilitating, activating, involving, motivating, knowing and recognizing … are just some of the energies that will be mobilized through thematic ideas, proposed on a quarterly basis.

Every three months a theme will be presented to stimulate reactions, communications and comparisons. A movie, a story, an article or a cartoon will deal with the topics that emerged from the surveys conducted in recent years on the risk of work-related stress and organizational well-being. Furthermore, the strategic choices made in the laboratories, offices and sections to improve the climate, reduce critical issues and … work better will be visible. 

Each topic will remain active for three months, at the end of this period and shortly before the launch of the new topic, the conclusions of the forum content of the comparison and the practical contributions re-read and reworked with a view to organizational health will be presented. The Wellness box will offer stimuli, topics, themes of daily life that will guide workers to be facilitators and spreaders of “good practices” whose aim is to improve the climate and interpersonal relationships in the workplace. 

Visible from the home page of the Institute’s website, it allows reserved access for staff after identification with their credentials.


Strengths and weaknesses of the chosen approach

The units included in the work group must ensure constancy and assiduity in the commitment based on the tasks established to obtain results and meet expectations with adequate responses.

One of the positive aspects is that we continue to talk about wellness, things that remain not fully known in the company. 

So, the positive thing is to continue to reflect and grow on this topic, to spread these concepts, and then to make the workers protagonists because they themselves could be promoters of good practices even simply by stopping and making suggestions in this box. Each worker could give a contribution.

Being online, it is easy to create, inexpensive, simple to share and anyone can participate, at any time and from anywhere.


The “aha!” moment experienced during the process 

The concept of well-being is something that entered companies thanks to decree 81(Health and safety at work).

We had discussed whether to maintain an anonymous form or not. We had decided that everyone should take responsibility, then put their name, take responsibility for the things they say.

Being a virtual box, it is a form of connection between different realities. The workers of the Lazio region could contribute with their practices to the well-being of those of Tuscany. It is in a good way to get in touch, to transmit new things, using the technologies that are available to us.

We had thought of it as a button, which is on the website, there was a team behind the box that would dispense “pills”, lessons, ideas for discussion, but starting from specific topics.

We took inspiration from short safety lessons proposed by INAIL, or we can show videos on safety, and then activate a discussion and on the other hand there were suggestions that the worker could give.


Beneficial effects of the initiative

This project aims to raise awareness of the importance of good management of health and safety at work throughout the working life, from the beginning to the end of the career. Managing workplace safety and considering diversity among workers can allow for a safe and healthy aging and therefore promote a healthy retirement.

“Wellbeing Box” is dedicated to the dissemination of good practices and the exchange of information:

  • promoting sustainable work and healthy aging from the beginning of working life;
  • prevent health problems during the whole working life;
  • offer ways to manage safety and health at work in the context of an aging workforce;
  • encourage the exchange of information and good practice.

Again, promoting, facilitating, activating, involving, motivating, knowing and recognizing are just some of the energies that will be mobilized through thematic ideas proposed on a quarterly basis.


Personal recommendation

So, the positive thing is to continue to reflect and grow on this topic, to spread these concepts, and then to make the workers protagonists because they themselves could be promoters of good practices even simply by stopping and making suggestions in this box. Each worker could make his/her own contribution.