The number of people infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome—coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), i.e. the virus causing coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is dramatically increasing worldwide to the size of a pandemic. At the time of writing Italy is ranking first among countries both in terms of number of COVID-19 confirmed cases and in terms of number of deaths. Such a wide spread of COVID-19 has led to concern among workers who are facing the risk of becoming infected during the execution of their duties. We believe it is useful to remark on the need for professional expertise in the field of Occupational Hygiene in this emergency context, in which the indications provided by national and international bodies, the available scientific literature and the legal provisions are constantly and rapidly evolving. It is of fundamental importance that there is an effective analysis of expert inputs, to provide essential guidance to Health, Safety and Environmental managers and other prevention managers in workplaces. In this regard, not only a constant update of the regulatory framework is needed, but also a development and circulation of operational guidance to all the stakeholders to translate general indications into clear operating procedures and implementation tools to be adopted in the workplaces. We believe that the scientific associations in the field of Occupational Hygiene play a crucial role in guiding and assisting prevention professionals. There is considerable expertise in the occupational hygiene and exposure science communities that can help employers and workers to contain and delay the spread of COVID-19. For this reason, the Italian Association of Industrial Hygienists (AIDII—Associazione Italiana degli Igienisti Industriali) published documents containing operational guidelines to provide correct and constantly updated information for: (i) workers employed in essential activities (with low and medium risk of contagion), (ii) health workers and other workers at high or very high risk of contagion, and (iii) for the correct use and handling of personal protective equipment for workers and for the population in general. It is worth pointing out that the documents produced are not intended to replace those produced by authoritative bodies, but to comply with and complete them by reporting an effective summary and further indications about the measures that should be taken in practice under the light of the Italian legislation. At present, the challenge is to produce scientifically sound knowledge, appropriate tools, and effective methodologies, by coordinating the initiatives of different scientific associations, with the final aim to effectively transfer them to employers and workers.

COVID-19 Outbreak in Italy: Protecting Worker Health and the Response of the Italian Industrial Hygienists Association

Andrea Spinazzè
Primo
;
Andrea Cattaneo
Secondo
;
Domenico Maria Cavallo
Ultimo
2020-01-01

Abstract

The number of people infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome—coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), i.e. the virus causing coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is dramatically increasing worldwide to the size of a pandemic. At the time of writing Italy is ranking first among countries both in terms of number of COVID-19 confirmed cases and in terms of number of deaths. Such a wide spread of COVID-19 has led to concern among workers who are facing the risk of becoming infected during the execution of their duties. We believe it is useful to remark on the need for professional expertise in the field of Occupational Hygiene in this emergency context, in which the indications provided by national and international bodies, the available scientific literature and the legal provisions are constantly and rapidly evolving. It is of fundamental importance that there is an effective analysis of expert inputs, to provide essential guidance to Health, Safety and Environmental managers and other prevention managers in workplaces. In this regard, not only a constant update of the regulatory framework is needed, but also a development and circulation of operational guidance to all the stakeholders to translate general indications into clear operating procedures and implementation tools to be adopted in the workplaces. We believe that the scientific associations in the field of Occupational Hygiene play a crucial role in guiding and assisting prevention professionals. There is considerable expertise in the occupational hygiene and exposure science communities that can help employers and workers to contain and delay the spread of COVID-19. For this reason, the Italian Association of Industrial Hygienists (AIDII—Associazione Italiana degli Igienisti Industriali) published documents containing operational guidelines to provide correct and constantly updated information for: (i) workers employed in essential activities (with low and medium risk of contagion), (ii) health workers and other workers at high or very high risk of contagion, and (iii) for the correct use and handling of personal protective equipment for workers and for the population in general. It is worth pointing out that the documents produced are not intended to replace those produced by authoritative bodies, but to comply with and complete them by reporting an effective summary and further indications about the measures that should be taken in practice under the light of the Italian legislation. At present, the challenge is to produce scientifically sound knowledge, appropriate tools, and effective methodologies, by coordinating the initiatives of different scientific associations, with the final aim to effectively transfer them to employers and workers.
2020
https://academic.oup.com/annweh/article/64/6/559/5820967
COVID-19, occupational health, occupational hygiene, SARS-CoV-2, workers’ health
Spinazzè, Andrea; Cattaneo, Andrea; Cavallo, DOMENICO MARIA GUIDO
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2095257
 Attenzione

L'Ateneo sottopone a validazione solo i file PDF allegati

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 27
  • Scopus 40
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 35
social impact