What is it?
Safety at work means a working condition where the worker is insured with a work environment in which the risk of accidents is close to zero. The workplace must therefore be equipped with the necessary instruments to ensure a certain degree of protection against the possibility of such accidents occurring. In legal terms, safety at work means activities aimed at ensuring preventive and protective measures taken by the employer and the workers themselves.
We can thus summarise the main objectives as follows:
- To prevent the occurrence of accidents that may occur in your company;
- To prevent the occurrence of occupational diseases, which may also occur at the end of a working career;
- To protect workers, through the use of appropriate procedures and instruments, from the consequences of a harmful event and to limit its effects.
Even though fatality and unpredictability are intrinsic factors of an accidental event such as accident, that does not mean that they cannot be avoided. It is the employer’s duty to adapt his company to the best safety standards in order to promote the well-being and health of his employees, thus limiting exposure to diseases whose damage is latent. The latter may be difficult to detect as their damage does not occur immediately, nevertheless it should not be overlooked by the employer.
Since, as already mentioned, the employer is responsible for safety at work, there are different responsibilities in which the employer may incur:
- liability derives from art. 2087 of the Civil Code, under which you are required to take all necessary measures to protect the physical integrity and moral personality of those who work in your organisation;
- criminal liability arises first, from art. 582 of the Penal Code, under which you are liable to prosecution, in the event that the work should cause injury in the body or mind of your workers;
- moral responsibility does not derive from laws or regulations, but from the awareness of what is right to do to generate a situation of well-being in your business.
Making your company a safe place to operate not only helps to preserve the health and physical integrity of employees, or to ensure a serene, comfortable and therefore productive working environment, but also helps to make the most of business productivity in terms of efficiency. In addition, reducing the costs of accidents and diseases is also an aspect that should not be underestimated.
The economic benefits may not be limited to the lower costs to be incurred but may be relevant in terms of revenue and therefore improve the reputation of a company that operates in line with all the regulations to protect the safety of workers.