Portable ladders: the most frequent accidents

Portable ladders are frequently used in the workplace, but can cause different types of injuries if they are not used properly.

Types of accidents

The most common types of injuries with portable ladders include falls, which account for most accidents. Falls can occur due to an unstable base, improper use of the ladder or lack of attention from the operator.

Other frequent accidents involve accidents related to the scale overload, which can cause the structure to collapse or sudden overturning. In addition, the risks of crushing the fingers are quite common when opening and closing the portable stairs. It is important to pay special attention to these operations to avoid injury.

Accidents involving damaged or defective ladders are also a significant category. Always use stairs in good condition and regularly check that they are intact and safe to avoid dangerous situations.

Factors contributing to injuries with portable ladders

One of the main factors, as well as very trivial, is the incorrect use of the scale, for example by placing it in an unstable way. Haste can lead operators to take risky actions, such as climbing too fast or ignoring safety regulations. In addition, the working environment can affect safety: slippery surfaces, uneven terrain or the presence of obstacles can increase the risk of falls.

Safety procedures for the correct use of the portable ladder

To prevent accidents by properly using a portable scale it is important to check that it is in good condition and that it is suitable for its intended use. Make sure that the ladder is placed on a stable and flat surface, avoiding to place it on slippery or unstable surfaces. When using the ladder, it is essential to always keep both feet steady on the steps and avoid leaning on one side or leaning too far forward. Be careful of sudden or sudden movements that could cause an imbalance and drop the ladder.

Types of portable ladders

The reference technical standard for portable ladders is UNI EN 131

According to the guideline “Use of portable ladders in temporary and mobile construction sites” of the Lombardy Region we can classify the portable ladders in:

  • Simple ladders: ladders that, once ready to use, rest the lower part on the ground and the upper part on a vertical surface, having no support of their own. hey can be single trunk or several trunks that can be grafted or removed.
  • Double ledders: self-stable ledders that, when ready for use, support themselves by placing the two trunks on the ground, allowing the climb from one or both sides, depending on the type.
  • Castle stairs: self-supporting stairs with a solid support base, a climbing log equipped with handrails and a large parking platform with normal parapet on three sides.

Proper use of portable ladders on construction sites

Suitability and training of workers

Workers in charge of using the ladder must be fit for the specific task issued by the Competent Physician and must have received adequate training and comprehensive training in the use of the equipment provided. The presence and accessibility of the user and maintenance manual must always be guaranteed.

Before using

The scale must be appropriate for the specific use and before each use must verify the integrity, state of preservation and efficiency. Any residues such as mortars, paints, oils, grease or ice must be carefully removed from the ladder. You have to check the maximum weight allowed by the scale and do not exceed it in any case.

The worker who ascends the ladder must wear appropriate clothing and any PPE provided by the Employer for the job.

Portable ladder carrying on the shoulder

When a worker carries a portable ladder on his shoulder, he must keep it tilted and never horizontal, especially if visibility is limited. It must also support the ladder with the arm avoiding inserting it inside the ladder between steps or rungs.

Location of the portable ladder

The steps or rungs of the ladder must at all times be horizontal with respect to the floor or base, while the ladder must be supported on a regular, fixed, stable and slippery surface. If necessary, it must be attached to the supporting surface.

For ladders equipped with height adjustable feet, positioning on inclined surfaces is allowed, with the obligation to adjust them so that the rungs or steps constantly maintain horizontality. The maximum distance of the first step or rung from the support surface shall be 315 mm, and the support surface shall be easily accessible.

In the case of placing on a scaffold, the increased risk of falling from a height must be taken into account, requiring the adoption of appropriate safety measures. Ladders must always be placed on their own stoppers or feet, and must not be placed on steps or rungs.

The placement of the ladder should be carefully evaluated, considering the risks of collision with any vehicles, doors, pedestrians, as well as away from power lines, vacuum openings, blunt metal objects and sources of heat or smoke. When used outdoors, the location of the staircase shall take into account potential weather hazards, and the area below shall be segregated.

The locking mechanisms shall be correctly positioned in accordance with the user and maintenance manual.

After using

After the activity on the staircase, it must be closed and placed in a covered place; if the staircase had become dirty with paints, oils or other things it must be cleaned. It is also important to check which maintenance is required and indicated in the user manual and to implement it regularly.

Hot work: fire risk and prevention

Hot work processes are those activities and operations that involve the use of open flames or the generation of heat that can easily cause fires if not handled properly. Examples of common hot work are welding, cutting, forging and melting of metals, thermodrilling of plastics, hot asphalt work, industrial drying operations.


The Confederation of Fire Protection Associations Europe (CFPA-Europe) is an association of national organisations in Europe concerned primarily with fire prevention & protection and also safety & security and other associated risks. It was founded in 1974 and in the guideline “fire safety basics for hot work operatives” CFPA-E Guideline No 12:2023 Fit provides the main guidelines to be followed and kept in mind for safety at work in hot work.

Risk assessment

The main risks associated with hot work include fire, burns and exposure to harmful substances. It is therefore essential to identify and classify possible hazards so that appropriate preventive and protective measures can be taken. In order to correctly identify the risks in hot work, a careful analysis of the environmental conditions is useful, evaluating the presence of flammable materials, the ventilation of the work area and the possibility of spreading fires.

Once potential risks have been identified, operational procedures can be established and activities planned. It is also important to provide the personnel involved with specific training regarding the safety measures to be taken in the event of an emergency and the correct use of personal protective equipment.

Hot work PPE

Among the most common PPE used for this type of work are heat insulating gloves, which protect hands from high heat and burns. It is crucial that the gloves are quality and adequately sized to ensure effective protection. It is also advisable to use fireproof overalls or heat-insulating jackets, which protect the body from the risks of burns, and non-slip and puncture-proof footwear.

Another important PPE for hot work is the face masks with a gas and vapour filter, which protect the respiratory tract from harmful agents emitted during welding or thermal cutting. To protect the eyes from splashing molten metal during welding, there are transparent face shields or specific anti-uv and infrared goggles.

Safety precautions and training

Before starting any hot work you must ensure that all personnel involved is properly trained and aware of the risks associated with hot work. It is important to wear appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment, such as sweat suits, heat insulating gloves, non-slip shoes and goggles. Before starting any operation, it is essential to carefully check that the instruments and equipment are in good condition and that they have been subjected to the necessary inspections and maintenance.

During hot work, it is essential to maintain adequate ventilation at the workplace to prevent the accumulation of harmful gases or toxic vapours. It is also important to keep the temperature of the tools and hot surfaces under control to prevent burns or accidental fires. All workers involved must be aware of the emergency procedures to be followed in an emergency.

Hot work permit

To ensure a safe working environment during hot work operations, safe temperature limits must be established to prevent overheating of equipment and to prevent fire. In addition, it is important to maintain adequate ventilation in the areas where hot operations will be carried out to prevent the accumulation of toxic gases or harmful vapours. The hot work permit is the work permit itself which should be issued only after assessing the risks and having taken all necessary safety measures.

Below is an excerpt from the hot work permit form from the CFPA-E Guideline No 12:2023 F.


During the authorisation process, it is also important to take into account the level of experience and training of the workers involved, making sure that they are able to safely handle hot operations. During hot work operations, it is essential to strictly comply with all established safety procedures, avoiding negligent or non-compliant behavior. In case of emergency during hot operations, all workers must be able to act promptly according to established safety protocols. Finally, it is important to conduct regular inspections of equipment used during hot operations to ensure compliance and proper operation.

Near accident: identification and management

A near miss is an important warning signal not to be ignored. Proper management of near accidents is crucial for health and safety in the workplace.


Identification of the near miss

A missed accident can be defined as an accident that has not caused damage. To identify missed accidents or injuries, companies must implement an accurate and continuous monitoring system. This can include using incident reports, assessing the causes and risk factors that could lead to an accident, as well as analysing trends over time. It is important to involve all workers in the identification of missed accidents.

It is also useful to analyse the frequency of accidents. This indicator measures the number of accidents for a given number of hours worked or for a given period of time. A low frequency rate may indicate good management of safety at work, but it could also hide problems of under-reporting of accidents by workers. Therefore, it is important to analyze the data critically, taking into account all the factors that can affect the accuracy of the results. Identifying missed accidents is an important step in the effective management of occupational safety. Once identified, it is important to analyse the root causes and take measures to prevent future accidents.

Analysis of causes and risk factors

There are several categories of causes that can contribute to an accident at work. The immediate causes are directly related to the accident itself, such as human error or unsafe working conditions. The underlying causes, however, are deeper and rooted in the security management system. These may include organisational problems, such as lack of adequate training, ineffective communication or lack of oversight.

In addition to the causes, it is also important to consider risk factors that can contribute to occupational accidents. Risk factors are the conditions or situations that increase the likelihood of an accident occurring. They can be divided into two main categories: physical factors and psychosocial factors.

Physical factors include the use of dangerous machinery, the lack of adequate safety devices or incorrect posture during work. Psychosocial factors, on the other hand, concern relational and psychological aspects of work, such as excessive workload, lack of social support or lack of control over one’s work.

To carry out an accurate analysis of the causes and factors of risk, it is necessary to collect detailed data on accidents, examine operating procedures and interview workers. This information is essential to identify the main causes of accidents and develop effective interventions to prevent them.

Strategies for the prevention of near misses

The training of workers and the role of internal communication are fundamental elements for the management of accident avoidance within organizations. Training covers both accident prevention and management, providing employees with the necessary skills to avoid risky situations and to take appropriate action in the event of accidents. This training may include safety training, the correct use of instruments and equipment, as well as evacuation and first aid procedures.

Internal communication plays a key role in ensuring that all employees are aware of company security policies and any changes or updates. Internal communication must be clear, timely and accessible to all employees, using different channels such as group meetings, newsletters or corporate intranets. In this way, the dissemination of relevant information is encouraged and a climate of awareness and responsibility among employees is stimulated.

Training and communication shall be integrated into an accident management system that also includes the collection and analysis of accident data and related corrective actions. This makes it possible to identify the causes of accidents and to take preventive measures to avoid similar situations in the future.

Monitoring, evaluation and adaptation of preventive measures

Through monitoring it is possible to identify any shortcomings in the preventive measures taken, in order to be able to take timely action to correct the situation. Monitoring can be carried out in various ways, including the analysis of data on accidents and incidents at work, the analysis of warnings or near-accidents, and direct observation of working conditions.

Once monitoring has been carried out, it is necessary to assess the preventive measures taken. The evaluation can be carried out through the analysis of the data collected during the monitoring and by comparing these data with the set objectives. The objective of the evaluation is to identify any critical issues or areas for improvement.

Subsequently, on the basis of the results of the evaluation, the preventive measures are adjusted. This can be done by modifying or implementing new preventive measures in order to minimise the risks to the health and safety of workers.

Monitoring, evaluation and adaptation of preventive measures are a continuous and dynamic process. Working conditions can change over time, as can the associated risks. Therefore, it is crucial that the organization is able to adapt and modify preventive measures according to new needs. In conclusion, monitoring, evaluation and adaptation of preventive measures are essential tools for ensuring safety at work. Through constant monitoring, accurate assessment and timely adaptation of preventive measures, a safe and efficient working environment can be created, minimising the risk of accidents and injuries.

The defibrillator: when it is obligatory and how to use it

The defibrillator, a device that can save lives, but still too often is underestimated or ignored: when it is mandatory to have one available and especially how to use it in an emergency? Every year lots of people are affected by sudden cardiac arrest and part of them lose their lives because they were not rescued promptly. What are the regulations regarding the obligation of defibrillators in public and private places? Which structures must be to provide? If not, what are penalties?


Requirements and regulations for compulsory defibrillators

The defibrillator can be manual, automatic, semi-automatic or implantable, and serves to defibrillate a patient affected by cardiac arrest or ventricular fibrillation by delivering an electric discharge to the heart.

External automatic or semi-automatic defibrillators (AED) are an important first aid tool in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. Their dissemination and the mandatory presence of AED in public or private places is subject to specific requirements and regulations. The AED is mandatory only in some contexts: for example, in workplaces with over 15 employees, in gyms with more than 300 square meter2 area, sports facilities with a seating capacity of more than 500, high-traffic areas such as airports or railway stations with an average of at least 500 people per day, in accommodation facilities such as hotels with at least 25 beds and in medical transport.

Pertanto, l’acquisto e l’utilizzo dei DAE deve essere effettuato seguendo specifiche normative che regolamentano la qualità del dispositivo e la formazione necessaria per il suo corretto utilizzo. These regulations are dictated by the Ministry of Health, the Italian Society of Emergency Medicine and the Italian Federation of Cardiology. Shortly, AED must comply with EC standards and EN 60601-1.

In addition, for the use of the AED, specific training is required by personnel holding a certificate of first aid and a specific course for the use of the defibrillator. This training must be renewed periodically and ensure adequate knowledge of the procedures for use and the actions to be taken in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.

Positioning and maintenance of the defibrillator in public and private places

It is essential that the defibrillator is easily accessible, visible and strategically located. First, it is important to assess the frequency and type of activity carried out at the place where you intend to place the defibrillator. The ideal place for placing the defibrillator is an easily accessible, clearly visible and possibly protected place in a suitable case.

The defibrillator must be regularly maintained so that, for example, the batteries must be checked to ensure they are fully charged and replaced when necessary. Also, check that the conductive wires are in good condition and that the adhesive bearings are properly attached, replacing them if necessary.

Who can use the AED?

The defibrillator can be used by doctors and non-medical health personnel, but also by non-health personnel provided they are trained specifically.

Training for the use of the AED

Mandatory training for the use of the AED is essential to be able to intervene promptly in case of sudden cardiac arrest. The Italian legislation provides for the obligation for certain categories of people, such as health professionals, school staff and staff of companies, to be trained in the use of the AED.

The training consists of a theoretical and a practical part, so that participants acquire the necessary skills to use the DAE correctly. The theoretical part examines the basic concepts on the physiology of the heart, the causes of cardiac arrest and the modalities of intervention with the AED. In addition, the operation of the external semi-automatic defibrillator and the precautions to be taken during the intervention is explained.

On the other hand practical practice consists of exercises on a dummy to simulate the various situations in which sudden cardiac arrest may occur. Participants learn how to place the adhesive plates on the patient’s chest, how to activate the defibrillator and how to follow the voice instructions provided by the device.

Procedure for proper use of the defibrillator during a heart emergency

First you need to verify that the defibrillator is able to work properly and that it is loaded at least 50% of its capacity. Next, you have to access the adhesive pads, removing the protective paper and placing them on the chest of the person to be rescued, following the instructions on the device.

Una volta posizionate le pad, è necessario collegare il defibrillatore mediante i cavi forniti e accendere il dispositivo, seguendo le istruzioni riportate sul display. The defibrillator automatically performs a heart rhythm analysis and, if a ventricular fibrillation or a ventricular tachycardia without a pulse is detected, it will beep indicating to press the discharge button.

Before you press the discharge button, you should make sure that all the people present are far away. Then press the button firmly and wait until the defibrillator emits an electric discharge. After discharge, the defibrillator will resume the analysis of the patient’s heart rate and will indicate whether it is necessary to repeat the procedure. If no more electrical heart activity is detected, it will be necessary to immediately begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Effective privacy management

5 best practices for effective workplace privacy management

Privacy management is a critical concern for businesses of all sizes. With the increasing frequency and severity of data breaches and cyber attacks, protecting sensitive information has become a top priority for businesses across all industries. Di conseguenza, la gestione efficace della privacy è diventata una componente essenziale delle operazioni sul posto di lavoro.


Workplace privacy management has become a very important aspect at a time when personal and sensitive data has become a valuable resource for companies. Information can be collected in an unauthorised manner or misused and may cause significant harm to the individuals concerned, businesses and society as a whole. To protect sensitive information, companies must implement policies and procedures to ensure data privacy and sensitive information.

Importance of effective privacy management

Effective privacy management is important for several reasons. First, implementing privacy management practices ensures that sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access or misuse. Secondly, companies that do not comply with privacy regulations may be subject to penalties and fines. Third, a privacy breach can damage the reputation of the company and the trust of customers.

Legal and regulatory requirements for privacy management

Companies must comply with privacy laws and regulations to protect the sensitive information of their users and customers. In Italy, privacy laws are defined by the Privacy Code and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union. The Privacy Code sets out the rules for the collection, storage and use of personal data, while the GDPR sets out the rules for the processing of personal data within the European Union. Companies that do not comply with these laws may be subject to penalties and fines.

1: implementation of a comprehensive privacy policy

A comprehensive privacy policy is essential for effective management of privacy in the workplace. The policy must be written in a clear and precise manner and must define rules for the collection, storage and use of sensitive information. In addition, the policy must define procedures for notifying and responding to privacy breaches. The policy must be distributed to all employees and must be periodically reviewed and updated.

2: employee training on privacy practices

Regular employee training on privacy practices is another effective practice for managing privacy in the workplace. Training should be provided to all employees, especially those working with sensitive information. Training must include the importance of privacy, the company’s privacy rules, procedures for notifying and responding to privacy violations. Training should be provided to the intake and periodically reviewed.

3: privacy audits and risk assessments

Conducting regular privacy audits and risk assessments is another effective practice for managing privacy in the workplace. Privacy audits and risk assessments help identify areas of vulnerability and develop risk mitigation plans. The privacy audit may include reviewing the company’s privacy policy, security procedures, employee training, and data management. Risk assessments can identify areas of vulnerability and develop plans to mitigate risks.

4: use of sensitive data protection technology

Using technology is another effective practice for managing privacy in the workplace. Businesses can use technologies like data encryption, firewalls, and antivirus to protect sensitive data. In addition, companies can use privacy management software to monitor data usage and identify suspicious activities. Technology can help businesses improve data security and mitigate privacy risks.

5: an appropriate response to any privacy breaches

Responding appropriately to privacy breaches is another effective practice for managing privacy in the workplace. Companies must have procedures to notify privacy breaches, investigate breaches and respond to issues. In addition, companies must identify the causes of privacy breaches and develop plans to mitigate risks. Appropriate response to privacy breaches helps protect sensitive information and ensure compliance with privacy laws.


In conclusion, privacy management has become a critical concern for businesses of all sizes. Breach of privacy can cause significant harm to data subjects, businesses and society as a whole, so privacy management must be a priority for all companies. Implementing best practices for privacy management, such as implementing a comprehensive privacy policy, regular employee training, conducting privacy audits and risk assessments, By using technology to protect sensitive data and responding appropriately to privacy breaches, companies can protect sensitive information and ensure compliance with privacy laws.

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.