Covid-19: Protecting Worker Health

  • Andrea Spinazzè DiSAT - Università  degli Studi dell'Insubria http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0371-3164
  • Mariella Carrieri Servizio di Igiene Industriale, Dipartimento di Scienze Cardio-Toraco-Vascolari e Sanità Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova
  • Francesca Borghi Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta Tecnologia Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Como
  • Andrea Martinelli Servizio di Igiene Industriale, Dipartimento di Scienze Cardio-Toraco-Vascolari e Sanità Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova
  • Andrea Cattaneo Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta Tecnologia Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Como
  • Domenico Maria Cavallo Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta Tecnologia Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Como
Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Occupational Hygiene, workers' health

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 (to date, the global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 exceeded 4 million cases, and the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 exceeded 300000 cases). At the time of writing Italy is ranking among the most affected 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. 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.

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Published
2020-06-11
Section
Papers