Occupational accidents and isolated workers: the latest data

The subject of occupational accidents is always a topical one, affecting all categories, including lone workers. But how has the situation changed in recent years? Has there been any improvement? Are there regulations and technologies that can prevent accidents?

The changes taking place

According to the report on trends in occupational accidents and diseases published by theINAIL (National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work) in January 2021, 2020 was what in statistics would be called an 'outlier', i.e. a figure that deviates from the others because it has anomalous dynamics compared to the other figures. The reason for this figure is easily explained and is the pandemic which has affected the entire planet since February last year.

The number of overall cases is not very different from other years. However, the composition is completely anomalous. An increase in the number of accidents is seen in the health sector, and the reason is easy to guess. The accidents en route plummeted for nine months out of twelve, and here again the pandemic played a role. In fact, the exponential increase in smart working certainly influenced this specific figure.

The data provided by theEuropean Agency for Safety and Health at Work allow the analysis to be extended to the European horizon as well. From report it can be seen that Italy ranks among the top countries in Europe for the number of work-related accidents, behind only Germany, France and Spain. However, comparing data from the last decade one can see a significant improvementfrom 405,888 accidents in 2010 to 291,503 in 2018.

safety-at-workThe case of isolated workers

However, there is one particular category for which it is difficult to find data, that of the isolated workers. The term 'lone worker' refers to a person who is required to work alone, without direct supervision and therefore 'isolated' from others in the vicinity who can provide immediate assistance in the event of an accident or incident. This subject has no possibility of communication neither vocal nor visual with colleagues and other people in general.

The Consolidated Occupational Health and Safety Act (Legislative Decree No. 81/2008, in particular Articles 66 and 121) requires the employer to assess all the risks to which workers are exposed in order to adopt the necessary prevention and protection measures. The same document also contains several references to jobs considered riskyfor which the presence of at least two workers is required.

The feeling, in this case unsupported by data, is that accomplice to the pandemic the number of workers engaged in this type of activity has increased. Often, it is the belief of the employee, but also of his employer, that exposing oneself to less contact with others somehow reduces the risk of contagion. Consequently, the reluctance for smart working activities, which was widespread until last year, has diminished. However, engaging in solitary activities exposes the worker himself to a risk that is undoubtedly complicit in the data from the above-mentioned report.

Which technologies to choose for the safety of isolated workers?

Today, there are devices that have reached an established technological maturity. Such solutions allow protecting isolated workers in whatever sector they are used, avoiding the involvement of a second worker. These devices are in fact certified to withstand any environment, even the harshest ones such as cold stores e explosion-hazardous environments (ATEX). In particular, the devices for isolated workers of the Finnish brand TWIG are a guarantee in terms of reliability and efficiency, fundamental characteristics when it comes to safety at work.

Man-down devices enable the immediate alerting of rescuers, a factor that can make all the difference in emergency situations.

TWIG man-down devices for the protection of isolated workers are distributed exclusively for Italy by Irbema. If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact us, our experts will be on hand to answer all your questions.


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