How to protect yourself?
Since January 2020, the measures and measures to prevent Sars-Cov-2 infection have changed frequently, progressively changing the relationship of citizens with the new virus.
Currently, the Covid-19 infection has become endemic in nature, with the rate of positivity and negativity of individuals on the ground constantly changing.
However, over time more and more tools have been acquired to react to the virus, which today no longer represents a health emergency.
The duality of the paths pursued by the institutions has so far seen, on the one hand, the containment of the uncontrolled spread of the virus and, on the other, the limitation of the pathological risk effects through the administration of vaccines.
New Covid protocol in the workplace
On March 31st 2022, the state of emergency ended by decree.
However, in order to continue to manage Sars-Cov-2 infection in workplaces, it became necessary to issue new intervention protocols.
On June 30th 2022, a revision of the 'Shared Update Protocol for Combating and Containing the Spread of Sars-Cov-2/Covid-19 in the Workplace', dated April 6th 2021, was signed.
The new update document focuses on the regulation of company safety protocols and aims to ensure minimum worker protection based on guidelines for all non-healthcare settings.
Personal Protective Equipment
Compared to the previous press release issued by the Ministry of Labour on June 30th, there is completely new wording regarding the prescription of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which is dealt with in section 6 of the decree.
The changes to the previous legal provisions are mainly represented by 2 factors:
- The cessation of the compulsory use of PPE in non-healthcare work contexts, with the recommendation that it be adopted in contexts with a higher risk of infection (enclosed and shared places, workers in contact with the public, activities for which the minimum distance of 1 m is prevented), as an 'important garrison' for contrast;
- The revision of the nature of the recommended PPE, which is now specifically indicated as FFP2 filtering face masks, thus excluding surgical masks.
Surgical masks can no longer be considered personal protective equipment appropriate for the containment of infection.
Previously, when there was an obligation to use PPE and not only its recommendation as an 'important device', the 'use of surgical masks or higher level PPE' was permitted.
In point 6 of the previous version of the decree, the text quoted:
The "surgical masks" referred to in Article 16(1) of Decree-Law No. 18 of 17 March 2020, converted, with amendments, by Law No. 27 of 24 April 2020, the use of which is governed by Article 5-bis of the same Decree-Law, are considered personal protective equipment (PPE), pursuant to Article 74(1) of Legislative Decree No. 81 of 9 April 2008. [...] Therefore, in all cases of sharing work environments, indoors or outdoors, the use of surgical masks or higher level personal protective equipment is still mandatory. Such use is not necessary in the case of activities carried out under conditions of isolation, consistent with the provisions of the Prime Ministerial Decree of 2 March 2021.
Point No. 6 of the same decree has been revised as follows:
Without prejudice to the obligations laid down in Article 10-quater of Decree-Law No. 52 of 22 April 2021 converted with amendments by Law No. 87 of 17 June 2021, as amended by Article 11, paragraph 1, of Decree-Law No. 68, the use of FFP2 filtering facepieces respiratory protection devices, even if currently compulsory only in certain sectors according to the current legal regulations, remains an important safeguard for the protection of workers' health in order to prevent contagion in work contexts in closed environments shared by several workers or open to the public or where, in any case, it is not possible to have a one-metre interpersonal distance due to the specific nature of the work activities.
To learn about the specificities of FFP2 and FFP3 filtering face masks read the dedicated article on our blog, or, learn more about how to select the most appropriate PPE.
Resta informato, resta al sicuro.