How to set up Health and Safety regulations before starting your business


A preliminary analysis aimed at defining the company’s needs is, undoubtedly, one of the preparatory tasks (needed) at the beginning of any entrepreneurial activity.

The analysis, carried out in a detailed and pragmatic way, will lead you to an efficient planning of the interventions to be put in place to start your business.

The primary needs will be those relating to the workplace and the spaces it requires. These spaces must be structured and organized with the necessary equipment for the type of business, also in accordance with the volume of business and in line with the number of units operating there (employees). It will also be important to define the skills and experiences required by employees for the proper use of the equipment provided.

Identify the level of business risk

Following the definition of primary business needs, it is fundamental to identify the risk class of a company. The identification of the level of risk is based on the work carried out by the company, which is classified with an Ateco code assigned by the Chamber of Commerce at the time of the establishment of the company. Each activity, in fact, has a risk index based on accident statistics elaborated by INAIL. Based on this index, you can find out if a company has: a high, medium or low risk.

We must then proceed to identify the laws and regulations on safety. In Italy, the health and safety regulations at work are contained in Legislative Decree no. 81 of 9 April 2008, updated later by the single text of June 2016 and May 2018.

Of course, having a low level of risk means that the regulations and training courses that staff must undergo are going to have less content and duration time than those provided for other risk classes.

Following the definition of the risk class, two figures will be required:

  • the Safety Officer (RSPP), which could be the entrepreneur him/herself;
  • a competent doctor.

These two are the reference figures for the correct management of risk conditions in the company. To avoid the onset of work-related disorders, the doctor must:

  1. make periodic on-the-spot inspections at the workplace;
  2. know the business organization;
  3. cooperate with the entrepreneur for a proper risk assessment.

In order to ensure safety at work, the current legislation requires that the staff as well as the owner of the company are subject to adequate training in health and safety at work. The competent authorities will monitor the necessary training courses and will penalise the company if the entrepreneur fails to comply with regulatory requirements.

The staff must also be in possession of a certificate attesting the training, before recruitment and no later than 60 days from recruitment. The certificate can be obtained only at the end of the training courses. The duration of such courses varies according to the class of risk established, through the Ateco code of its activity.

For more information, visit the website of INAIL.

Click here to download the updated version of the Consolidated Text on Health and Safety at Work (version May 2018).

Updated on 31/08/2020