The Coronavirus emergency, among other things, has reiterated – where necessary – the utmost importance of PPE (personal protective equipment) in protecting workers’ safety.
First and foremost, in this period, are obviously masks, followed by all the other mandatory PPE for health workers who, in these dramatic weeks, are working in risk situations, and therefore gloves, gowns and goggles.
It should also be noted that, starting from the “Agreed protocol for the regulation of measures to combat and contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the workplace”, the anti-contagion safety protocols concern all companies which, during the Coronavirus emergency, have continued and continue to operate.
We are therefore talking about companies that operate in the health sector and which had therefore already assessed the biological risk in their RAD, but also companies outside this sector, and therefore which had not considered this type of risk.
In this case, there is no risk assessment review envisaged, but rather the creation a specific anti-contagion safety protocol consistent with the company’s RAD (as provided for in the Prime Ministerial Decree of 11 March 2020). The Decree also underlines, again with regard to PPE, that surgical masks available on the market, regulated by article 34 of DL no. 9 of 02/03/2020, are also considered as such, and that, given the scarcity of masks currently available, devices not bearing the CE mark can also be used (if positively assessed by the National Health Institute).
Employer obligations with regard to PPE
Even more so in this delicate period, it is therefore worth recalling some of the fundamental employer obligations with regard to safety. First of all, it must be underlined that it cannot delegate the assessment of all the risks involved to anyone, with the consequent preparation of the RAD. Likewise, employers also cannot delegate the appointment of the Health and Safety Manager. It is this person who is responsible for identifying the necessary PPE to be distributed to employees, based on the risks previously assessed and the different jobs, and is also subsequently responsible for verifying its effective use by workers.
The role of safety management software
There is no doubt: personal protective equipment is the first and irreplaceable protection for the health of workers. It is therefore essential that companies choose the right PPE case by case and subsequently monitor its use and effectiveness, as well as compliance with current legislation, far from static over time. This is where the best safety software solutions come to the aid of employers: Zucchetti’s Safety Solution can be integrated with access control devices based on RFID technology, which allow the constant monitoring of the actual use of PPE, while communicating to workers the need for specific protection equipment on entering certain areas of the company.