Health and safety at work: the Risk Assessment Document

Health and safety at work: the Risk Assessment Document

According to Article 17 of Legislative Decree no. 81/08 among the activities that cannot be delegated by the Employer there is the so-called Risk Assessment. All companies with at least one worker are, in fact, required to map out the risks to the health and safety of workers in the company.

The Employer, supported by the Head of Prevention and Protection (RSPP), by the competent doctor (MC), having consulted the Workers’ Safety Representative (RLS / RLST), must draw up the Risk Assessment Document (art.28 Italian Legislative Decree no. 81/08), which must be kept at the company headquarters (also on IT support) and exhibited if requested by the competent authorities.

The DVR is a mandatory document that not only analyzes the company structure, but also identifies the risk factors present and defines the prevention and protection measures, already adopted and to be adopted, in order to protect workers and reduce the probability of danger in the workplace.

The goal is to make the company safer and in this way also more productive and efficient.

What does the Risk Assessment Document contain?

 The DVR is an operational tool that must be constantly updated on the basis of company or legislative changes and that must be inspired by criteria of simplicity, brevity and clarity. A DVR must therefore contain:

  • Company personal data;
  • The organization chart of the Prevention and Protection Service;
  • The description of the work activity, machinery and equipment used;
  • The description of the duties of all workers and the related risks for each work phase;
  • The operational plan containing the prevention and protection measures and the improvement interventions necessary to increase the safety levels in the company;
  • A specific risk assessment for pregnant workers;
  • An assessment of specific work-related stress;
  • The date on which the assessment and drafting of the document was carried out.

What has changed with the Coronavirus emergency?

According to the DPCM of 24/10/2020, SARS-CoV-2 must be included in all respects in the list of biological agents, which can cause infectious diseases in humans.

That’s why companies should update their biohazard assessment, including that specific risk as well.

However, it is important to underline that, excluding activities in which the risk is of an occupational nature (e.g. healthcare facilities) and where the probability of exposure to Covid-19 is greater than that of the general population, there is no formal obligation to update of the DVR, since the possibility of contracting the virus had already to be considered as an indirect risk for workers in carrying out their work.

In any case, companies, to prevent the contagion and spread of the virus, undoubtedly review and harmonize the risk assessment based on the anticovid protocol, adopting a series of provisions, methods of use of videoconferencing systems, smart working, social safety nets, the suspension of events, conferences, training courses, transfers, assistance from distributors of hand sanitizing gels, the adoption of specific procedures for the sanitation of environments and specific individual protection tools, where this is not It is possible to maintain the interpersonal distance of one meter.

In particular, the shared protocol for the regulation of measures to combat and contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the workplace, signed on March 14, 2020 and then updated on April 24, 2020, regulates the procedures for entering the company, access by external suppliers, cleaning and sanitizing of workplaces, adoption of specific personal hygiene precautions and personal protective equipment, management of common areas, company shifts, employee entry and exit, internal events and meetings, management of a symptomatic person, health surveillance.

This protocol presents a novelty compared to the previous provisions of the Ministry of Health. The continuation of company activities, in fact, can take place only in the presence of certain conditions, which ensure adequate levels of protection for workers, under penalty of suspension of the activity until the safety conditions are restored.

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