Ionizing radiation

What is ionizing radiation and why is it harmful to health?

Ionizing radiation is a type of energy that is able to remove electrons from atoms, creating ions. This type of radiation can cause damage to living tissues, increasing the risk of cancer, heart disease and other pathologies.

Ionizing radiation can be emitted from natural sources such as the sun, but also from human activities such as the use of radioactive materials in medicine or industry. The most common sources of ionizing radiation are X-rays, gamma radiation and beta particles.


Our body can handle a certain amount of ionizing radiation exposure without suffering permanent damage. However, exposure to high doses can be extremely harmful to health.

The tissues of our body are composed of cells that can be damaged by ionizing radiation. When cells undergo DNA damage, this can lead to the formation of genetic mutations that can cause diseases such as cancer.

Exposure to ionizing radiation can also affect the immune system and cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of heart disease and other pathologies.

To reduce the risks associated with exposure to ionizing radiation, it is important to take appropriate precautions when working with radioactive materials or performing medical procedures involving the use of X-rays or other radiation sources.

How do ionizing and non-ionizing radiation work?

Radiation is a type of energy that propagates in the environment in the form of waves or particles. There are two main types of radiation: non-ionizing and ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is able to remove electrons from the atoms of the human body, causing damage to cells and tissues. This type of radiation can be produced naturally (from radioactive rocks for example) or artificially (from nuclear power plants, atomic weapons).

Non-ionizing radiation does not have enough energy to remove electrons from the atoms of the human body. This type of radiation can be produced from natural sources (such as the sun) or artificial (such as mobile phones). However, non-ionizing radiation can cause health damage, such as overheating of body tissues.

In general, people are more exposed to non-ionising radiation than ionizing radiation: exposure to radio waves emitted by mobile phones is much more common than radiation exposure produced by nuclear power plants.

What is ionizing radiation?

Ionizing radiation can be divided into two categories: alpha and beta particles and gamma rays and X. Alpha and beta particles consist of particles of matter moving at extremely high speeds. Gamma and X-rays consist of high-energy electromagnetic waves.

Alpha radiation consists of charged particles of two protons and two neutrons (helium nucleus) that are emitted by some unstable atomic nuclei. Because of their high mass, they have a low penetration capacity in materials and can be blocked by a thin layer of paper or fabric.

Beta radiation consists of charged particles (electrons or positrons) that move at high speeds. They are emitted by some unstable atomic nuclei during radioactive decay. Beta radiation has a higher penetration rate than alpha radiation, but is still limited. They can be blocked by a thicker material than alpha radiation, such as aluminum foil.

Gamma radiation consists of high-energy photons that have no electric charge. They are produced by the decay of unstable atomic nuclei and can penetrate deep into materials. Gamma radiation is the most dangerous to human health, as it can cause DNA damage and increase the risk of cancer.

In addition to the three main types of ionizing radiation, there is also neutron radiation, which consists of high-energy free neutrons. This form of radiation is produced during some nuclear reactions and has a high penetration capacity into materials.

The effect of ionizing radiation on the human body depends on the amount of energy absorbed and the duration of exposure. Exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation can cause tissue damage, including cell mutation.

How to measure ionizing radiation?

There are several instruments used to measure ionizing radiation. The most common is the dosimeter, which is worn by people exposed to radiation in order to detect the amount of radiation to which they were exposed. This tool can be used in working environments such as medical centers or nuclear plants where the risk of radiation exposure is greater.

Another instrument used to measure ionizing radiation is the radiometer. This instrument is used to detect the amount of radiation present in the surrounding environment. This instrument is used to detect the amount of radiation present in the surrounding environment.

There are also more sophisticated instruments such as Geiger-Muller counters, which are mainly used in science and industry. These tools can detect even the smallest particles and can be used to monitor the radioactivity of soil or water.

In addition, it is possible to measure ionizing radiation through the analysis of biological samples such as blood or urine. This technique is mainly used in the medical field to monitor exposure to ionizing radiation by patients undergoing radiation therapy.

Exposure to ionizing radiation and protection

Ionizing radiation is present in different environments and situations: in nuclear power plants, in research laboratories or in industries that use radioactive materials. These radiations are produced by sources such as plutonium, uranium or caesium-137 and can cause health damage if not handled properly.

Other places where you may be exposed to ionizing radiation are hospitals. Here they are used to diagnose and treat certain diseases, through the use of X-rays, computed tomography (CT) or radiotherapy. Although these techniques can save lives, their repeated exposure can pose health risks.

Gli ambienti esterni possono anche contenere radiazioni ionizzanti, ad esempio a causa di eventi naturali come eruzioni vulcaniche o terremoti. In addition, cosmic rays from space can penetrate Earth’s atmosphere and cause exposure to ionizing radiation.

Even objects around us can emit ionizing radiation. For example, some types of minerals contain radioactive elements such as thorium or uranium. Even lamps with low electrical consumption emit ionizing radiation, although in very small quantities.

Ionizing radiation is a potential health risk and therefore there are a number of protective and preventive measures to reduce exposure. First of all, it is important to limit exposure to radiation sources. For example, if you are working in an environment where you are using machines that emit ionizing radiation, it is important to wear protective equipment such as protective screens or coveralls.

Secondly, it is important to monitor exposure to ionizing radiation. This can be done by measuring the radiation dose received by the body. There are specific tools for this purpose that can be used to monitor radiation exposure.


Stress at work is a physiological and psychological response to stressful events in the workplace. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including tight deadlines, work overload, interpersonal conflicts, lack of control at work and lack of support from colleagues or employers. The assessment of related work stress is part of the employer’s obligations.


Work-related stress can have a negative impact on the mental and physical health of workers, as well as on company productivity. Therefore, it is important to assess the risk of work-related stress in the company.

The risk assessment work related stress

The risk assessment of work-related stress is a fundamental process to ensure the well-being of workers and the health of the company that includes several stages. In assessing the risk of work-related stress in the company, it is important to take into account the indicators of work-related stress of content and context.

The content indicators concern the work itself, such as the amount of work, its complexity, working autonomy, tight deadlines, the repetitiveness of activities and the lack of control at work.

Context indicators, on the other hand, refer to the environment and interpersonal relationships in the workplace, such as social isolation, uncertainty of the job role and lack of support from colleagues or employers.

The assessment of the two types of indicators should be accurate and detailed in order to identify the workers most at risk of developing related work stress. This way you can plan the most appropriate interventions to reduce stress and improve the well-being of employees.

Preparatory stage

The preparatory stage involves identifying the risk factors present in the organization, from the work context to the management of human resources, to internal and external communication. In this phase, a first analysis of the company situation is carried out, evaluating the organizational and productive characteristics of the company and collecting information on the tasks performed by the employees.

The main objective is to identify possible stress factors related to work activities. At this stage, it is also possible to collect data on the presence of any stress signals among employees. It is important that the preparatory phase is carried out carefully and carefully, so that you have a complete picture of the work situation in which you will be operating later with the subsequent stages of risk assessment.

Stage of the preliminary assessment

The preliminary assessment phase examines the factors identified in the previous phase, analysing the sources of stress and the consequences for the people involved. At this stage, the necessary information is collected through the analysis of available data sources such as company documentation, absenteeism statistics, job satisfaction, etc. direct observation of the places of work and the environments in which work is carried out, as well as interviews with workers.

When the information is collected, it is analysed in order to identify possible risk factors for work-related stress which may be of an organisational or psychosocial nature. At this stage, it is important to involve all stakeholders in order to obtain a comprehensive picture of the situation and ensure a participatory approach to risk management. The correct preliminary assessment allows to identify in a timely manner the problems and the critical areas in which to intervene to prevent or reduce the related work stress.

Stage of the in-depth assessment

During the in-depth assessment phase, indicators of work related stress, both of content and context, are identified to better understand the causes of the problem. The data collected during the preliminary assessment are analysed in more detail and precisely to identify the main causes of stress in the company’s workers.

To best perform this activity, it is necessary to use specific tools that allow to collect information regarding the tasks performed, the working context and interpersonal relationships within the organization. The in-depth evaluation phase allows the identification of the critical aspects of the work that can generate stress and the definition of the objectives of the interventions to be carried out in the next planning phase.

Planning phase of the interventions

Finally, we move on to the planning phase of the interventions, where the most appropriate solutions to reduce related work stress are identified. Once the preparatory stages, the preliminary assessment and the in-depth assessment have been completed, it is time to draw up a personalised action plan for each worker or group of workers showing signs of work-related stress. This plan shall be based on the results of the risk assessment and shall include preventive and corrective measures appropriate to the individual situation.

The planning of interventions should involve all hierarchical levels of the company, so as to ensure effective collaboration between the employer and employees in the management of work-related stress. In addition, the action plan should be constantly monitored and updated according to the feedback received from workers and the evolution of working conditions within the company. Only through careful and targeted planning will it be possible to effectively reduce work-related stress and improve the quality of life of workers.

Work stress indicators can be reduced by targeted interventions on company internal communication, employee training and workload management.

How to reduce work-related stress?

To reduce related work stress, there are several strategies that can be adopted both at the individual and company level. First of all, effective time management is essential to organize activities so as to avoid work overload and stress. At the company level, good communication between colleagues helps create a more serene and collaborative work environment.

The electrical risk

Electrical risk assessment: definition, legislation, effects, employer obligations

Electrical risk is one of the main hazards in many working environments. It consists in the possibility of direct or indirect contact with electricity, which can have devastating effects on the health of the workers involved.

Legislative Decree 81/08 defines the electrical risk as the possibility that a person comes into contact with electrical parts under voltage directly or indirectly, due to the presence of a dangerous electrical potential. Legislative Decree 81/08 provides for the obligation for the employer to assess the electrical risk present in the workplace and to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of workers.


Among the mandatory measures provided by law, we find the grounding of the active parts, the installation of differential devices sensitive to residual current, the use of tools and equipment suitable for the work to be done and properly maintained.

The effects of electrical risk can be extremely severe: electric shocks, burns, ventricular fibrillation and cardiocirculatory arrest are just some of the examples. For this reason, the employer is obliged to provide its employees with the necessary information and training to avoid the risk of accidents.

In particular, the legislation provides for the obligation for the employer to instruct workers on the electrical risks present in the workplace, the preventive measures taken by the company and the procedures to be followed in case of emergency.

The electrical risk legislation

The reference Italian legislation is constituted by Legislative Decree 81/08 and the CEI 11-27 standard, which defines the safety requirements for the design, installation, management and maintenance of electrical systems and low voltage equipment. This standard provides guidance for the assessment of risks related to electricity, the definition of prevention and protection measures and requirements for the periodic verification of installations.

Shortly, the legislation provides that workers operating in the presence of electricity must be adequately trained and informed about the risks associated with the use of electricity. Also, electrical equipment and installations must be designed, installed and maintained to ensure maximum safety for operators. It also provides for the obligation to periodically carry out technical checks on the functionality of electrical systems to prevent any failure or malfunction that could cause accidents.

As regards the protection of workers from electric shocks, the legislation requires the use of suitable PPE such as insulating gloves, safety footwear and protective helmets. In addition, workers must be provided with appropriate emergency response equipment, such as fire extinguishers, first aid kits and explosion-proof telephones.

Electrical risk assessment

The electrical risk is always present in every working environment where electricity is used. Electrical risk assessment is a key activity to prevent accidents at work related to electricity. This assessment consists in identifying, evaluating and managing electrical hazards in a work environment, in order to ensure the safety of workers.

1. Identificazione dei pericoli

First, identify areas where there is a high risk of lightning strike, including areas where there is high voltage electrical equipment, such as components of the power supply system.

2. Risk assessment

Once the risk areas have been identified, the level of risk associated with each area is assessed. This includes assessing the potential for electrical voltage, the frequency of storms, and the type of terrain around.

3. Preventive measures determination

Based on the risk assessment, the preventive measures to be taken to minimise the risk are outlined. Such measures may include the creation of standard operating procedures, the use of personal protective equipment or the modification of the working environment in order to reduce the risk of accidents. a plan to reduce the risk of lightning strike.

4. Monitoring

At last, it is important to regularly monitor the plan to make sure it is effective in reducing the risk of lightning strike through periodic review and updating based on new risk information.

The system of protection from atmospheric discharges

The lightning discharge protection system, commonly known as a lightning rod, is a system installed on structures to prevent damage caused by lightning discharges during storms. The plant works by dispersing the electric charge generated by the atmospheric discharge into the ground through a system of electrical conductors.

The installation of the lightning rod ensures the safety of people inside the structures by protecting electrical installations and electronic equipment from damage caused by discharges.


In conclusion, the risk assessment of fulmination is important to reduce the risk of fulmination in a specific area. By following the steps described above, you can develop an effective plan to reduce risk and ensure the safety of staff working with electricity.


What is DUVRI and how it should be written?

The DUVRI means Single Interferential Risk Assessment Document and it is the document that identifies and evaluates risks in the workplace during a contract. It aims to eliminate or minimize interference that may arise from the activities of the companies involved and is regulated by art. 26 of Legislative Decree 81/08.

The responsibility for drafting the DUVRI lies with the principal employer for contract works and not with the undertakings or self-employed workers to whom the contract has been awarded. However, they are still required to cooperate and provide all the documents necessary to highlight possible risks. The DUVRI must be prepared or updated each time new contracts are concluded.

The DUVRI is not necessary for the yards where the PSC or Plan of Safety and Coordination has already been prepared and accepted by the executing Enterprises. In these cases, the contractors must prepare the Operational Safety Plan (POS) as the risks of interference have already been addressed by the PSC. The DUVRI must be set up only in situations where it is possible to eliminate or reduce the risk of interference between the contractor’s workers and those of the contractors. If this is not possible, the DUVRI will consist of a statement of the DLC formalizing the impossibility of eliminating or reducing these risks, together with specific justifications of the case. In these cases, the decisions taken during the coordination meeting between all the employers involved, primarily the Employer, will be crucial to ensure safety. It is important to note that the DUVRI is an obligation of the employer, but its drafting can be delegated to third parties.

When it is to be drawn up

According to art. 26 of Legislative Decree 81/08 you have the obligation to draw up the DUVRI when the Employer of a client company entrusts the performance of work or services within its workplace to a contractor or self-employed. But it cannot be drafted for:

  • Intellectual nature services,
  • supply of materials,
  • work or services of less than 5 man-days duration,
  • if there is the Security Plan under Coordination.

Art. 29 also informs of obligations:

  • information: it concerns the obligation to inform the contractor about the characteristics of the context in which it will operate,
  • coordination: it refers to those actions that the employer of the client company must take
  • to prevent disagreements, overlaps and other occurrences that may affect safety,
  • cooperation: it means that both the employer and the employer must contribute to the preparation and implementation of the necessary preventive and protective measures

The interference risks

Interference risks are classified as risks placed in the contractor’s workplace by the contractor’s work (incoming risks) and as specific risks present in the contractor’s normal business, not normally present in the contractor’s business (risks on exit).

Risks from physical contiguity and space are those risks that arise from overlaps of multiple activities carried out by
several contractors, while the commission risks arise from particular implementing rules, requested by the client.

The DUVRI characteristics

The DUVRI must be integrated with the DVR, even if it is independent of it; it must be finalized to manage the interferential risks and to be single for all the contracts that involve interfering risks.

As regards the minimum content:

  • the criteria used must be identified,
  • there must be a description of the contracting company and the activities that take place during the contract,
  • the activities of the contractors and the working areas available to them shall be described.

Also there must be:

  • the chronoprogramme of activities,
  • the organisation of the preventive and protective measures to be taken,
  • the estimated costs of safety,
  • the coordination of work phases.

Update of the DUVRI

When an update of the DUVRI is required, the contracting employer must convene a coordination meeting with the operators involved to identify improvement measures. Some contracts can be affected and adjusted by redefining security costs, or a new contract may be required.

the safety trainer

What are the requirements of a safety trainer?

A certified safety trainer is a specialist who possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out teaching activities. He is trained to identify potential hazards, assess risks, and design safety training programs tailored to a company’s specific needs.


The figure of the safety trainer is regulated by Legislative Decree 81/08 and by Interministerial Decree 6th March, 2013. This decree sets out the requirements that safety trainers must have and identifies three different thematic areas relevant to health and safety at work:

  • regulatory/legal/organisational area,
  • area of technical/sanitary risks,
  • relations/communications area.

The qualified safety trainer

The qualified safety trainer is the teacher who has the prerequisite and at least one of the criteria indicated by the Interministerial Decree 6th March, 2013. The prerequisite is the secondary school diploma.

One of the questions that are most often asked is whether the RSPP is also a qualified trainer and the answer is yes if it complies with criterion 6 or: previous experience as a RSPP of at least 6 months or as an ASPP of at least 12 months together with one of the following specifications:

  • educational course of minimum duration of 24 hours;
  • previous experience as a teacher of at least 32 hours in the last 3 years as a teacher of safety;
  • previous experience as a teacher of at least 40 hours in the last 3 years as a teacher in any subject;
  • training courses in addition to a teacher of at least 48 hours in the last 3 years as a teacher in any subject.

Criterion 5 is useful for defining the qualified trainer where the candidate for safety trainer has at least three years’ work experience in health and safety at work together with one of the specific views above for criterion 6.

The designer of the training

Those who design a training course must not only possess the necessary skills on the subject, but must also have teaching skills that allow to optimize the learning path. A training intervention starts from the needs, is then designed and then carried out with a final evaluation. The training process consists of four phases: analysis, design, implementation and evaluation. Depending on the type of course, it is useful to integrate lessons, exercises and simulations.

Risk of falling from height

According to the Legislative Decree 81/08 art. 107 the risk of falling is when the worker is at more than 2 m above a stable floor while working.

Risk of falling from above: how to protect yourself


The risks associated with working activities at a quota level are mainly:

  • risk of falling from a height means a serious risk which can cause permanent injury or death:
    • injuries due to the stopping force,
    • injuries caused by impact with soil or other materials or obstacles,
    • injuries or more generally effects due to prolonged suspension.
  • risk of suspension,
  • environmental risks,
  • risks related to the manual handling of loads,
  • risks related to loads,
  • competing risks

risk of falling from a height means a serious risk which can cause permanent injury or death:

  • injuries due to the stopping force,
  • injuries caused by impact with soil or other materials or obstacles,
  • injuries or more generally effects due to prolonged suspension.

Types of fall

Free fall is a fall where the distance is more than 600 mm in the vertical direction, but also in a slope without the assistance of a handrail.

Limited free fall is the fall where the distance is equal to or less than 600 mm in the vertical direction and on a slope where there is no handrail.

When a person who is giving in is restrained by the action of a suitable retaining device, this is referred to as a contained fall. This drop shall never exceed 600 mm.

Fall totally expected is that situation in which a retention system prevents the worker from reaching the area presenting the risk of falling.

Pendulum effect

Pendulum effect is that phenomenon that occurs whenever a part of the weight of the operator is not balanced by the reaction of the cover and is misaligned with respect to the retaining rope. Due to the oscillation around the worker’s stopping position, the body can undergo rotations and oscillations, with the risk of bumping against projecting elements or the ground itself, especially if you are at a reduced height.

If there is a risk of the user encountering an obstacle during the pendulum effect, it is necessary to adopt a different configuration of the anchor line or an alternative system. To prevent the pendulum effect, it is important to know how to evaluate the air rod, the minimum vertical distance necessary for the worker to stop safely in a fall stop system. The air tie is the stopping distance increased by 1 m as a safety value. The air tie is the stopping distance increased by 1 m as a safety value.

Risk of suspension

Suspension or harness syndrome is a condition that can occur when an inert person remains suspended. In this position, blood tends to accumulate in the legs and lower body, as the force of gravity hinders the venous return to the heart. This can cause cardiovascular failure and cerebral ischemia.

Even conscious suspension, particularly if prolonged and continuous, may pose risks to the health of the worker due to the compression of the vessels of the lower limbs. But in inert suspension following loss of consciousness there is a rapid deterioration of vital functions.

Environmental risks

Despite the work at height can be carried out only if the weather conditions do not endanger the safety of workers (D.Lgs. 81/08 art. 111 c. 7), there are various risks related to environmental conditions such as the fall of objects or structural parts from above, collapses, uncontrolled felling, slipping of the supports, structural failure, exposure to atmospheric lightning, fire.

Risks related to the manual handling of loads

Manual handling of loads causes damage if you lift weights by curving your back, if a fixed position is maintained for a long time, and if you are pulling or pushing.

Competing risks

Concurrent risks are those hazards that can occur simultaneously or in rapid succession, increasing the overall risk of an adverse event or accident. These risks can come from different sources, such as environmental conditions, equipment. In work at height, the main competing risks are poor shoe grip, glare, rapid cooling, reduced visibility, heat stroke, dehydration, dizziness and balance disturbances.

Types of PPE

Art. 111 of D.Lgs. 81/08 indicates first of all to give priority to collective protection measures and secondly to equipment suited to the nature of the work, foreseeable stresses and a risk-free circulation. PPE for work at height is chosen according to some fundamental criteria:

  • the operator must work and move easily,
  • assessment of the compatibility of the device with the specific work to be carried out,
  • compatibility assessment of all system components,
  • preparation of a procedure for the recovery of the worker in the event of a fall.

PPE for the retention

They prevent falls from above by limiting the operator’s displacement so that it does not reach the areas where it is possible to fall.

PPE for the positioning

They allow the operator to work tension-supported.

Systems to stop the fall

They consist of several elements: harness, energy absorber, lanyard, connector and anchor point. The lanyard can have a maximum length (including connectors) of 2 m. The function of the energy absorber is to dissipate kinetic energy during the fall; the requirements are laid down in the standards UNI 355 and UNI 364. Connectors can be automatic or manual locking.

The harness is designed to distribute tension on the body during fall and fall. It consists of the following elements: shoulder straps, front strap, belt adjustment buckle, thigh, shoulder adjustment buckles, positioning belt, back hook, thigh adjustment buckles, marking.

Restraining systems complying with EN 358 and work positioning belts shall consist of a belt positioned at waist level, with a support back and at least two attachment points to connect a positioning or restraining cord, which can be adjustable or fixed.

The leg belt, in accordance with EN 813, is used in restraint, work positioning and rope access systems, but only when activities are not at risk of falling from the top or tipping over, as it is not suitable for stopping free falls safely. It consists of a belt and padded thighs of adequate size to ensure optimal comfort to the operator and has a central attachment.

A fall arrester system with retractable devices consists of a harness and a retractable fall arrester attached to an anchorage point with self-locking reel and retractable cord. The retractable device blocks movement when exceeding the speed of 1,5 m/s and has a maximum stopping distance of 2 m.

Finally, between the PPE can not miss the helmet for the protection of the head and the shoes that can be of type SB, S1, S2 or S3.


The anchorages consist of three elements: support structure, anchor and element to be fixed.

The type of anchorages corresponds to the standards that meet:

  • UNI EN 795: temporary anchoring devices:
    • designed exclusively for fall-proof PPE,
    • usable by a single worker,
    • removable from the anchoring structures without damaging them.
  • EN 11578: permanent anchoring devices:
    • designed exclusively for fall-proof PPE,
    • also usable for multi-user,
    • removable from the anchoring structures without damaging them.
  • UNI EN 516 and 517: safety hooks.
  • Circular MLPS 85/78, 44/90, 132/91: anchorages for scaffolding.
  • ETAG 001: concrete anchors.
Marking of anchorages

Permanent anchorages do not fall within the scope of Legislative Decree 475/92 and are therefore not PPE and therefore should not be CE marked. On the other hand, non-permanent anchorages are considered PPE and must therefore be CE marked.


Preventing the risk of falling from a height at the workplace is a priority in protecting the health and safety of workers. The implementation of appropriate safety measures, in combination with the use of the most appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), is a crucial factor in ensuring a safe working environment. The implementation of appropriate safety measures, in combination with the use of the most appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), is a crucial factor in ensuring a safe working environment.

Biorisk assessment

Biorisk assessment: how to protect yourself

Three years after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and with the experience that follows, We are now all aware of how potentially dangerous exposure to biological risks is and how there are working environments where the biological risk is greater than others: laboratories and health facilities present exposure to biological risk quite different from that of an office. Through an in-depth assessment, the sources of biological risks can be identified, the risks involved can be assessed and effective strategies developed to prevent and control their spread.


Biological hazards are infectious agents or other substances derived from living organisms that can cause harm to humans and the environment. These dangers can be present in different forms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. These dangers can be present in different forms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. The risks associated with biological hazards depend on various factors, such as the type of hazard, the route of exposure and the susceptibility of the individual.

Deliberate use of biological agents and potential exposure risk

A biological agent is a microorganism, cell culture, endoparasite that can cause infections, allergies, intoxications. Microorganisms are a microbiological entity capable of reproducing or transferring genetic material. Cell culture is the result of in vitro growth of cells derived from multicellular organisms.

According to the Legislative Decree 81/08 art. 271 there is deliberate use of biological agents when they are deliberately introduced into the working cycle to undergo various treatments and exploit their biological properties. As an example some activities with deliberate use of biological agents are the laboratories of universities and research centers, health, zooctenia and veterinary, pharmaceutical companies. If, on the other hand, the presence of the biological agent is not intentional because it is not a specific object of the activity itself, then we talk about activities that involve a potential risk of exposure.

Transmissibility and vehicles of infection

Biological agents may be transmitted for respiratory (aerodispersi microbes), oral, cutaneous, parenteral (introduction of substances into deep tissues by means of scalpels, needles, scissors and other sharp instruments), via passive vector arthropods (organisms that passively carry pathogenic microorganisms) or active type (for example mosquitoes, lice, fleas).

The vehicles of infection are air (closed and poorly ventilated working environments), contaminated water, soil, hands, blood and blood products.

Types of biorisk assessment

The biological risk is the probability that an individual comes into contact with a pathogenic organism, becomes infected and contracts a disease. There are basically two levels of assessment: assessment of the intrinsic dangerousness of the biological agent and assessment of the risk of infection of exposed workers. In other words, it is both qualitative and quantitative.

Potential biological hazards in a workplace or environment are identified through observations, interviews and literature analysis. The objective is to identify sources of biological risk, routes of exposure and probability of exposure. The level of exposure to biological hazards shall then be quantified. This assessment is based on the measurement of the biohazard concentration and the duration of exposure. The objective is to determine the level of risk posed by biological risk and to develop effective control measures.

Stages of the biorisk assessment

The biorisk assessment process shall include several steps, including the identification and assessment of biological risks, the development of effective control measures and periodic biorisk assessments.

The first phase of the biorisk assessment involves identifying potential sources of biorisk in the workplace or the environment. This assessment shall include an assessment of the likelihood of exposure, the routes of exposure and the consequences of exposure. The assessment shall also include the identification of the subjects most at risk of exposure, such as health professionals and laboratory technicians. Once the risks have been identified, the next step is to assess their severity and probability.

The second phase of the biorisk assessment involves the development of effective control measures to prevent or minimise exposure to biological hazards. Control measures may include administrative controls, such as policies and procedures, and technical controls, such as ventilation systems and personal protective equipment. The effectiveness of control measures should be regularly assessed to ensure that they are still effective in preventing exposure to biological risks.

There is also a third stage, which applies to all risk assessments, with periodic assessments to ensure that control measures remain effective and that new risks are identified and addressed. Regular evaluations should be conducted regularly and the results used to update the risk assessment and control measures. In addition, new employees or changes in working practices must trigger a new assessment to ensure that risks are still properly controlled.

PPE for biological risk

The objectives consist in the reduction of the dangerousness and the exposure also through the use of suitable DPI which:

  • gloves: must be CE marked as PPE and meet the requirements of EN 374 for protection against micro-organisms;
  • disposable masks, masks with filter, self contained breathing apparatus;
  • tyvec suits;
  • goggles and visors: with CE marking as PPE according to the requirements of UNI EN 166.

Biorisk assessment tools and techniques

Biorisk assessment requires expertise in various disciplines, including microbiology, toxicology, and epidemiology. There are several tools and techniques used in biorisk assessment, including:

  • risk assessment checklists,
  • exposure monitoring,
  • air sampling and analysis,
  • sampling and analysis of areas,
  • health surveillance.

The choice of tools and techniques depends on the type of hazard and the environment in which it is present. Air sampling may be more appropriate for the biological risks carried by air, while surface sampling may be more useful for the biological risks present on surfaces.

The assessment of noise risk

Noise risk: methodology for its understanding

Noise is a constant in our daily and working lives: we are constantly surrounded by sound. Some noises can be harmful to our health. Prolonged exposure to high noise levels can cause bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.


The sound is produced by regular and periodic acoustic waves with equal frequency, while the noise is irregular and not
periodicals that cause an unpleasant and annoying sensation.

The assessment of noise risk

Legislative Decree 81/08 art. 189 defines the exposure limit values and art. 190 obliges the employer to assess the noise exposure of workers by considering a number of parameters such as the level, type and duration of exposure, limit values, the effects that noise can cause, direct and indirect effects, existing PPE for hearing protection.

Exposure and action limit values for daily noise exposure and peak sound pressure (art. 189 Legislstive Decree 81/08):
a) exposure limit values LEX = 87 dB(A) and ppeak = 200 Pa (140 dB(C) respectively referred to 20 μPa);
b) higher action values: LEX = 85 dB(A) and ppeak = 140 Pa (137 dB(C) respectively referred to 20 μPa);
c) lower action values: respectively LEX = 80 dB(A) and ppeak = 112 Pa (135 dB(C) referred to 20 μPa).

There are two types of noise: continuous and impulsive. Continuous noise is a constant sound, like the hum of a car. Impulsive noise is a sudden, short sound, like an explosion or a shot. Both types of noise can cause hearing damage. However, impulsive noise can cause more serious damage due to its sudden nature.

More specifically, the noise risk assessment shall consider:

  • emission,
  • spread,
  • reception.


If it is considered during the assessment that the lower action values can be exceeded, the employer must measure the noise levels to which workers are exposed. For measurements it is necessary to use methods and instrumentation appropriate to the characteristics of the noise to be measured, the duration of exposure and environmental factors, in compliance with the specifications of the technical standards. Sampling may also be used, provided it is representative of the worker’s exposure.

You can also consult noise databases, collections of information about the noise level present in certain places or situations. These databases can be made up of a variety of sources, including measurements made by noise measuring instruments, estimates based on mathematical models and reports from citizens and institutions.

The noise assessment process consists of three phases: source identification, noise level measurement and risk assessment. The first phase involves identifying sources of noise at the workplace. The second phase involves measuring noise levels with a sound level meter. The third phase involves assessing the risk of hearing damage based on measured noise levels.

The risk assessment shall take into account the duration of exposure, the individual susceptibility to hearing loss caused by noise and the use of hearing protectors.

Quantification of exposure to noise

To quantify workers’ exposure to noise we use:

  • the equivalent level, measured in dB, of a constant imaginary noise which, if replaced by the noise actually present for the same period of time T, would produce the same total amount of sound energy;
  • the daily noise exposure level means the average value of the noise exposure levels, calculated in a time-weighted manner, during a normal 8-hour working day;
  • peak acoustic pressure (ppeak).

possible scenarios

Not exceeding the value below:

LEX8h <dB(A) – 135 dB(C)
Obligations of the employer:

• risk assessment
Exceeding the lower action value:

LEX8h >dB(A) – 135 dB(C)
Obligations of the employer:

• measurement of exposure levels
• information and training
• health surveillance
• use of PPE
Exceeding of the upper action value:

LEX8h => 85 dB(A) – 137 dB(C)

Obligations of the employer:

• health surveillance
• programme of measures
to reduce noise exposure
• use of PPE
• appropriate signs
Exceeding the exposure limit value:

LEX8h > 87 dB(A) – 140 dB(C)

Obligations of the employer:

• immediate reduction of exposure
• identification of causes
• changes in preventive and protective measures

As can be seen from the table, there are several strategies that can be used to reduce noise exposure, including the use of suitable PPE, noise barriers and roadworthiness tests. PPE, such as earplugs and headphones, can be used to reduce noise exposure. Noise barriers, such as curtains, walls and fences, can be used to block or absorb noise. Roadworthiness tests, such as soundproofing equipment and machinery, can be used to reduce noise at source.

Information and training of workers is essential for effective noise risk management. Workers must be instructed on the risks associated with exposure to noise and trained on the correct use of PPE. The employer must provide regular training on the use of roadworthiness tests and noise reduction measures.

Health surveillance

The health surveillance requirement for the prevention of the auditory effects of noise is activated if the upper LEX action level of 85 dB(A) and/or LCpeak >137dB(C) is exceeded.

If the LEX level of 80 dB(A) is exceeded, health surveillance may be activated at the worker’s request or if the competent doctor considers it necessary to do so.


Exposure to noise can also cause deaf effects on our health. Prolonged exposure to noise can cause stress, sleep disturbance, and hypertension. Noise-induced stress can cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, resulting in cardiovascular disease.

Work at high with scaffolds

Scaffolds an work at height: practical guide

The scaffold is a type of equipment widely used to provide a stable platform but at the same time to move quickly. It is normally used to deal with some work at height that does not take much time and that must be carried out at a height not particularly high, less than 12 meters.

UNI EN 1004:2021

The use of mobile scaffolding defined by Legislative Decree 81/08 as a bridge equipped with wheels is regulated by UNI EN 1004:2021, in force since December 2021. The standard provides a complete overview of the use of the trabattello and in particular is the reference for:

  • definitions (scaffolding, component, installation, maintenance, etc.);
  • safety requirements for the design, production and use of mobile prefabricated scaffolding. These include load requirements, stability, weather resistance, safe access, fall prevention, etc.;
  • design and production: you will find the specifications of the materials, dimensions and workloads allowed;
  • requirements for installation and dismantling, including assembly procedures, stability checks, protection against electricity hazards, etc.
  • maintenance and inspection: cleaning procedures, stability and operation checks of components, etc.

Then it is necessary to distinguish the scaffolds from the small scaffolds defined and regulated by UNI EN 11764:2019.


Both scaffolds and small scaffolds are classified according to the following factors:

  • Load class: For bogs the load classes can be 2 and 3 respectively with a uniformly distributed load of 1,50 and 2,00 kN/m2. For small scaffolds the maximum load is 150 kg including a single worker, equipment and material.
  • classes of use: there are only two or inside or in the sternum and in turn imply respectively the absence or presence of wind.
  • height classes :
    • scaffolds can have class H1 ≥ 1,85 m or H2 ≥ 1,90 m;
    • small scaffolds h < 2 m o 2 m ≤ h < 4 m.
  • access classes:
    • access type A: ramp staircase,
    • type B access: staircase,
    • type C access: inclined ladder,
    • type D access: vertical ladder.
  • Access mode: for normal trabattelli you can access it from the outside or from the inside. Outside access is allowed if the highest height is less than 2 m. For the small scaffolds the modalities of access are classified as follows:
    • Type E access: outside,
    • Type I access: inside,
    • EI type access: outside and inside.

Designation and label

Scaffold in accordance with UNI EN 1004:2021 must have its designation in which the following information and indications are indicated:

  • the product: scaffold,
  • the reference to the standard: UNI EN 1004:2021,
  • the load class: 2 or 3,
  • the maximum height outside and inside: 8 and 12 m,
  • access classes: A, B, C or D for trestles with a single type of access; ABCD if there are four types of access; or if there are two accesses, the missing ones must be indicated interspersed with an X (for example if the accesses are B and D with XBXD),
  • height classes: 1,85 m (H1), 1,90 m (H2).

The label of scaffold visibly placed must indicate the designation, the name of the manufacturer, the words “read the instruction manual”.

The small scaffold similar to the scaffold must have in its designation the same indications according to UNI EN 11764:2019. The label is also similar.


Once mounted or transformed the scaffold must be equipped with a visible sign with some essential minimum information:

  • name of the supervisor,
  • assembly date ,
  • load class,
  • if the scaffold is ready for use,
  • if the scaffoldis exclusively for indoor use.

Scaffold choice

The scaffold choice must be made considering different aspects such as the dimensions of the scaffold, whether the work is to be done indoors or outdoors, whether there is wind or not, the load class, the type of access, if the loads are horizontal or vertical as they can destabilise the trap itself, the conditions of the ground, the possible use of stabilizers, external projections, ballast or if there is a need for anchorages.

the greatest risks

The greatest risk is represented by the fall of the operator, who can fall both during the assembly or disassembly phase, and during the work at height, but also during the ascent and descent between the various bridges.

During assembly/disassembly, the risk of manual handling of loads is present because these phases require the handling of prefabricated frames and boards for assembly.

Accidental dropping of material such as tools or other objects can occur while performing work. The presence of tools or other obstacles on deck planes can cause the worker to slip or stumble and fall with the risk of accident.

Risks associated with moving the scaffold

There is also the investment risk: you have to pay attention also in the displacement of the scaffold to avoid investing any other workers on the path. Shocks can occur with electrical cables or structural elements such as beams, bridge cranes or other suspended elements, causing the possibility of electrocution or damage to the worker involved.

Rollover risk

Overloading or incorrect positioning or the absence of stabilizers or anchoring can cause the overflow to overturn and workers to fall.

The oscillation of the scaffold can be due to an ineffective locking of the wheels; oscillation that would be amplified by the presence of load on top.


Accurate inspection of the metal components allows optimal maintenance. It must be carried out by qualified personnel and in particular it must monitor:

  • surface layer,
  • state of wear and corrosion,
  • state of the welds,
  • status of moving parts,
  • state of screws, pins, nuts, bolts, rivets.

While for the maintenance of the wooden components you must check:

  • presence of cuts or abrasions,
  • usury,
  • damage caused by heat or aggressive substances,
  • deterioration caused by sunlight.

These checks must take into account the frame, the diagonals, the currents, the intermediate and thermapidal protection, the access openings, the decks, the wheels, the stabilizers and the feet.

Documentary aspects and training

The mandatory instructions must be provided by the manufacturer and are indispensable for the correct assembly, disassembly and transformation of the scaffold. For this last phase, the transformation, we mean the transition from one configuration to another, if allowed by the manufacturer for the single model.

Before proceeding with the installation of the scaffold, it is of fundamental importance to carry out an inspection of the site chosen from the assembly to verify the soil conditions, the slope, any obstacles, weather conditions, possible presence of overhead power lines.

Scaffolds should not be marked CE because there is no product directive.

Often when we speak of scaffolds we also speak erroneously of PIMUS (Assembly Plan, Use and Disassembly), but it refers exclusively to the scaffolding itself and not to the scaffolds.

Finally, a mention of the training that is not necessary in itself for the use of the scaffold, but for the type of work that takes place in it or work at height as required by Legislative Decree 81/08. In any case, the workers in charge of the assembly, disassembly and transformation of the scaffold must be trained to the task in accordance with Legislative Decree 81/08.