Decree Law no. 149/2020 (Ristori-bis Decree”), the Italian legislation has implemented Directive 2020/739 of 3 June last (the “Directive“). The latter has amended Annex III of Directive 2000/54/EC on the protection of workers from health risks and safety arising, or likely to arise, from exposure during normal work to biological agents identified in the document. The new Coronavirus (“Covid-19“) has been classified as an agent responsible for serious diseases in humans, presenting a significant risk to older workers and those with a previous or chronic illness. Covid-19 is included in the list of biological agents that can cause infectious diseases in humans (biological agent – risk group 3). As a result of the Directive implementation the Legislative Decree has been amended. 81/2008 ( Consolidated Law on health and safety at work). The requirements imposed on employers who carry out activities that expose workers to this risk become stricter. Priority is given to laboratories, veterinary services and industrial processes involving the use of or exposure to the biological agent. Other employers cannot be considered completely excluded, since, under art. 28 of Legislative Decree 81/2008, the assessment under art. 17 of the same decree must concern “all risks to workers’ safety and health.”

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