Nine years after the publication of the Italian decree on safety and health in the workplaces, a failure to comply with the obligations that employers should fulfil to ensure the health and safety of workers still remains.
In survey, conducted through farm site inspections, authors were able to highlight the management criticalities can be addressed through organizational interventions. These interventions can allow a company to increase the quality of workers "working life".
The study took into account 25 agro-livestock farms (36 % livestock, 28 % cereal, 24 % hazelnut, 8 % fruit, 4 % vegetable) in the territory of Lazio region, central Italy.
The research shows that over half of the farms (66 %) has not performed the obligations related to the appointment of the figures responsible for work safety and health.
But the most worrying aspect is the lacking of workers' training: it appears to be in rule only in 33 % of monitored companies, and it dramatically decreases (4 %) if we look at the specific training for workers.
Even from the point of view of the required documentation many farms (39 %) are not compliant: the employer should ensure the immediate availability in case of inspection by the supervisory boards.
The last item analysed by the survey is the one concerning the verification of some technical and structural aspects for which 40% of farms is not in compliance with laws. In addition to endangering the safety of workers, this kind of lacking also jeopardizes the health of citizens, as it is often observed the presence of structures whose roofs contain potentially carcinogenic asbestos fibres.
The framework outlined by the research highlights a situation nothing short of disheartening, since it refers to obligations linked to an Italian law (Legislative Decree 81/2008, transposition of several European directives, including 89/391/EEC) that all employers must comply to ensure the health and safety of their workers in the workplace.
This geographical situation, which probably does not differ from the national context, is the demonstration that the incomplete fulfilment of legal obligations of Legislative Decree 81/2008 does not guarantee the safety of those who daily carry out their tasks on the farm; and the confirmation of this can be seen in the Italian annual injury trend with more than 600 000 injuries and more than 500 deaths in the workplaces.