At the end of 2021, an important regulatory update supplemented the Legislative Decree 81/2008 regarding the “Criteria for the identification and use of Personal Protective Equipment”. This update made effective the UNI EN 529:2006 standard, which is applied in Italy through the UNI 11719:2008 standard.
Important innovations have been introduced to the workplace safety regulations in particular with regard to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with the publication of the text of the decree-law of 21 October 2021, no. 146, containing “Urgent measures in economic and fiscal matters, to protect the work and for non-postponable needs” modified with conversion law n. 215 of 17 December 2021 and published in the Official Gazette General Series 301 of 20 December 2021.
The main regulatory changes to supplement the Legislative Decree 81/2008
In a nutshell, the main regulatory changes of the UNI 11719:2018 standard, limited to what pertains to PPE, concern three main aspects:
- Training of workers and their representatives
- Criteria for the identification and use of PPE
- Obligations of the employer and the manager
Training of workers and their representatives
In this context, through the integration of Art. 37 of Legislative Decree 81/2008, it is specified that:
- the training consists of the practical test for the correct and safe use of tools, machines, plants, substances, devices, equipment, including the one for individual protection;
- The training activity must be recorded in a specific register;
- The related training activities must be carried out entirely in presence
The repetition of the training must take place at least every two years and in any case whenever it is necessary due to the evolution of risks.
Criteria for the identification and use of PPE, integration of the Legislative Decree 81/2008
With regards to PPE, paragraph 2-bis is amended, indicating that the Ministerial Decree 2 May 2001 needs to be updated with the most recent editions of the UNI standards, which means:
- For respiratory protection PPE reference is made to the UNI11719:2018 standard, which includes new criteria for choosing, use and maintenance, and a description of how the fit test must take place for all face-tight respirators, regardless of the activity performed.
- For ear protection PPE reference is made to the EN458:2016 standard, which includes new selection and use criteria, as well as an assessment of the mitigation.
Obligations of the employer and the manager
The main changes affecting Companies are indicated in Article 13 of Law no. 215. In particular, attention is focused on combating irregular work and protecting the health and safety of workers, with a significant revision of the role of the Supervisor and his/her activities, and for all training which will be updated with the obligation of training also for Employers.