Work place safety: standards and prevention

The chemical risk in a document on the evaluation and risks in building construction. The legislation, the risks to health and safety, hazard identification, risk assessment, the proposed models and operating documents attached.

To proceed in the risk assessment is necessary, first of all, "to identify the hazards of chemical origin (for hazard is the intrinsic property of a chemical agent with the potential to cause harm)." This identification "is the first stage of the evaluation and can be done by filling in the appropriate sheets summarizing, when you need to restore the data taken from the labeling and safety data sheet of the products used (substances or preparations) and other data necessary , if available, to complete the picture of the information necessary to assess the risk. " The tabs must, however, be repeated "information concerning chemical agents 'unlabelled', which may arise from working or that are present in the work environment."

And at this stage it is essential to "consider the possibility of replacing the products normally used with other non-hazardous or less hazardous."

In the manual is accompanied by a card template.

Therefore, the chemical risk assessment must take into account (Article 223 of Legislative Decree no. 81/2008):

- "The hazardous properties of chemicals (also identified by phrases that accompany the EC classification);

- The information contained in the safety data sheet;

- The level, mode and duration of exposure;

- The circumstances in which the work is performed in the presence of chemical agents, taking into account the quantity of substances and preparations containing them, or they can create ";

- The values of the concentration of substances in the air (VLE) or biological limit values (EIB) concerning the "values found in the body of the worker as a result of specific clinical examinations (biological monitoring) as part of health surveillance";

- "The effects of the preventive and protective measures taken or to be taken;

- Where available, the conclusions drawn from any health surveillance already undertaken. "

Moreover, the method with which to perform the evaluation are:

- "Measurements or assessments already carried out in the past;

- Qualitative estimates that identify these variables, in simple terms, and allow a preliminary graduation of the level of exposure;

- Measurements or assessments carried out ad hoc (for example in cases where there is already a supposed risk 'is not irrelevant to health'). "

The manual states that "waiting for point definitions by the relevant ministries, the evaluation of the 'low risk to safety and irrelevant to health' is made by the employer."

If the risk assessment shows that the thresholds "low" and "irrelevant" are outdated, even individually, triggered the application of different obligations under the Legislative Decree no. 81/2008. For example, the specific protection and prevention measures (Article 225), the provisions in case of accidents or emergencies (Art. 226), health surveillance (Article 229) and the establishment of the Medical Records and risk (Article . 230).

The document invites companies to a "preliminary assessment of the health workers to identify any groups of people who are hypersensitive to be subjected to periodic inspections", although in the presence of a definite risk "irrelevant to health."


The risk assessment "can be performed using the models for the estimation of the risk developed by authoritative sources, for the use of which is required adequate competence. Also, if the outcome of the "estimate" of risk settles above "low security and irrelevant to health" is necessary, "when technically feasible and useful for evaluation in environmental measurements or personal, heard also the opinion of the competent doctor. "

The manual aims to estimate the risk of a specific process evaluation "prepared in order to provide an easily usable."

In particular with regard to the risk to health, the evaluation process suggested derives from the "Application Model proposed by the Piedmont Region for the Evaluation of Chemical Risk - Leg. 2 February 2002, n. 25 ". While with regard to the risk to the safety evaluation process is based on the "Model of the risk assessment of hazardous chemical agents to health for use by small and medium-sized enterprises" contained in the publication "The chemical risk assessment."

These valuation models are not applicable to carcinogens-mutagens and asbestos: "the assessment of such risks should be carried out according to standard and taking into account the information contained" in the two appendices to the chapter.

We end with a brief summary of operations for the fulfillment of the provisions of the standard on the evaluation of the risk of exposure:

- "Collection of safety data sheets for each product;

- Eliminate or reduce risk by replacing the agent with a dangerous

other non-dangerous or less dangerous;

- Identification of hazards and the identification of exposed subjects, with the use of 'card

Data collection chemicals';

- The risk assessment of exposure to chemical agents "through the compilation of the

"Card preliminary assessment of the chemical risk";

- "Transposition of the evaluation in the relevant section of the DVR with the use of 'table

chemical risk assessment ';

- Application of the measures of prevention and protection (to be indicated in the DVR) ";

- "Information, training and practical training of workers and their representatives (art. 227 Legislative Decree no. 81/2008)."


MMC Prevention in manual handling and repetitive movements

The manual handling of loads in the workplace, with particular reference to health surveillance in the workplace. The risk assessment, technical standards, the tasks of the competent doctor and repetitive movements.

The Azienda Sanitaria Locale Roma H has made available, on some pages on the net dedicated to prevention department (S.Pre.SAL), various documents useful for the prevention of accidents at work.

An argument that can affect many workers and many companies is related to the manual handling of loads (MMC), a topic that has faced several times in recent years, including in relation to the Italian Legislative Decree 81/2008.

For this reason, in presenting the document "Manual handling of loads" - by the S.Pre.SAL ASL Roma H - we focus only on certain aspects, referring our readers to its full reading.

After reporting the chronic degenerative diseases resulting from movements are not suitable and the signs past and current regulations, the document points out that the assessment of risk prevention measures to be implemented must comply with this order:

- Mechanization (elimination of risk);

- Ausiliazione (risk reduction through appropriate technical and organizational);

- Conditional use of force manual (remedial action in relation to the reference elements of Annex XXXIII of Legislative Decree no. 81/2008).

The following tables show the technical rules of reference for the MMC:

- ISO 11228-1 Ergonomics-Manual handling-lifting and carrying;

- ISO 11228-2 Ergonomics-Manual-handling Pushing and polling;

- ISO 11228-3 Ergonomics-handling-Manual handling of low loads at high frequency;

- UNI EN 1005-2 Safety of machinery; human physical performance, manual handling of machinery and component parts of machinery.


After dealing with the various evaluation methods, already investigated in the past (NIOSH, Snook and Ciriello, Mapo), the document focuses on the health surveillance of workers engaged in activities of manual handling of loads.


In this respect it is recalled that Article 168, paragraph 2, point d, of Legislative Decree 81/2008 "provides that the employer undergoes health surveillance staff involved in manual handling of loads, based on the evaluation of the risk and individual risk factors. " That health surveillance is carried out by the Competent Doctor (MC).

In particular, "all exposed to residual risk shall be subject to medical surveillance" and monitoring "is based on the assessment of risk and individual risk factors."

"The frequency is not specified and so it is the general indication of the annual audit," but if the risk is contained the competent doctor "periodicity can choose two or three years."

The document sets out the purpose of health surveillance:

- "To contribute, through appropriate feedback, the accuracy of the assessment of collective and individual risk;

- Check in time the adequacy of the preventive measures taken collaterally;

- Collect clinical data to make comparisons between groups of workers over time and in different work contexts;

- Identify any conditions 'negative' health at an early stage in order to prevent the further course;

- Identify subjects with ipersuscettibilità conditions for which there shall be more precautionary protective measures than those adopted for the rest of the workers. "


Still regarding the health surveillance shows the pathologies of interest:

- "Disorders not etiologically correlated with the activity of work (eg on a constitutional diseases, metabolic or genetic malformation type mainly) but that are adversely affected by biomechanical overload and therefore represent a condition of ipersuscettibilità in patients who are carriers ;

- Disorders of multifactorial etiology in which, however, biomechanical overload working conditions can act as primary causes or contributing factors relevant. These are the forms that focus on processes of degeneration of the intervertebral disc (eg disc problems, protrusion and herniated disc) as well as generic forms acute (low back pain on exertion). "

The document also points out that, "in order to express the opinions of eligibility, will be also considered aspects of the conditions of other organs and systems (eg, cardiovascular, respiratory) as well as specific physiological conditions (eg state gravidarum)."

These, then the contents of the health surveillance:

- "Anamnestic investigation focused;

- Functional clinical examination of the spine in the positive cases in the anamnestic;

- Further specialized investigations, radiological and instrumental in cases that INDEPENDENT, on the basis of the investigation of the clinical history and physical-functional spine. In particular, these insights are triggered when prospects the opportunity of a judgment of suitability conditioning. "


The document - which focuses in particular on techniques for the handling of patients by nurses - focuses on the fixed working positions and ends with a few nods to the health risks of repetitive movements.


In fact it is "known for some time that perform certain tasks in a repetitive manner may solicit bony structures, joints and muscles, tendons, nerves and blood vessels, leading eventually the onset of real paintings disabling."

It can be said that the work gestures made by the upper limbs are an element of risk when:

- "Are frequent, rapidly repeated, equal to themselves for long periods of the work shift;

- Require the development of manual force;

- Involve awkward postures of the segment of the upper limb;

- Not have alternated with periods of rest or recovery. "

And the work factors favoring the risk are the presence of tools not ergonomic, vibration and the activities of precision.


If an investigation of the "European Foundation in Dublin on the health and work of European workers shows that the health problems most frequently reported back pain, stress and muscular pains in the limbs, the health risks from repetitive motion can be classified into two major groups:

- "Muscle-tendon inflammatory syndromes, such as tendinitis of the shoulder (eg. Periarthritis scapoloomerale), insertional tendinitis of the elbow (epicondylitis, medial epicondylitis, olecranon bursitis), tendinitis and tenosynovitis of the hand-wrist district (s. De Quervain's disease, trigger finger);

- The peripheral nerve entrapment syndromes, including carpal tunnel syndrome and Guyon's canal syndrome. "

ASL ROMA H, "The manual handling of loads", edited by the S.Pre.SAL ASL Roma H (PDF, 5.73 MB).




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