Occupational safety and safety for a farm

18 November 2022

In terms of safety, the agricultural sector is one of the environments classifiedas an average risk for accidents in the workplace.

The fatal cases, taking into consideration the last five years (2016-2020), have had a fluctuating trend with peaks and decreases ranging between + 13.2% (2019) and -21.6% (2020).

Already within Legislative Decree 81/08 are explained and  the regulations and generic concepts on prevention for workers as well as training obligations and related risks. Specifically, those concerning the agricultural sector within the document,  although not exhaustive, are:

Chemical risk

Title IX of Legislative Decree 81/08 defines in three chapters the dangerous substances related to chemical risk or chemical agents (chapter I), carcinogens and mutagens (chapter II), and asbestos (chapter III). Please refer to the document  “Permanent Advisory Commission on Health and Safety at Work Committee 9 – Subgroup “Chemical Agents” for  the criteria, tools for the assessment and management of chemical risk.


Title X of Legislative Decree 81/08 defines, through ANNEX XLVI, all classified biological agents.

Physical Risk

For the purpose of protecting the health and safety of workers, Legislative Decree 81/2008 and subsequent amendments and additions defines as physical agents: noise, ultrasound, infrasound, mechanical vibrations, electromagnetic fields, optical radiation of artificial origin, microclimate and hyperbaric atmospheres.

Machine Risk

All those risks that are identified for the  entire life of the machine used during work.


This does not exclude other risk categories. We remind you that there is a mandatory analysis of the working environment through the compilation of the DVR (risk assessment document), title I chapter III sect. II art. 28 which cites:

“The assessment referred to in Article 17, paragraph 1, letter a), also in the choice of work equipment and chemical substances or mixtures used, as well as in the arrangement of workplaces, must cover all risks to the safety and health of workers, including those concerning groups of workers exposed to particular risks,  including those related to work-related stress, according to the contents of the European Agreement of 8 October 2004, and those concerning pregnant workers, in accordance with the provisions of Legislative Decree 26 March 2001, n. 151 (N), as well as those related to gender differences, age, origin from other countries and those related to the specific type of contract through which the work is performed and the risks deriving from the possible  discovery of unexploded ordnance of war in temporary or mobile construction sites, as defined in Article 89, paragraph 1, letter a), of this decree, affected by excavation activities55. “

So the risk, in any area,  is linked  to many variables, not least also of the perception of the operator during his activity related to the excess of confidence due to the high confidence with the operations carried out.  In fact, facing the same task every day, perhaps for several years, can lower the worker’s attention threshold.

Among the many cases there are some that can make it better understood to the various actors in the agricultural sector that even in the absence of specific rules it is necessary to prepare all the necessary measures to avoid the increase in the possibility of injury to the health and physical integrity of workers.


The Supreme Court in sentence 12110 reiterates the responsibility of the employer in preparing all the necessary measures for the safety of its workers.

The worker in question fell from a height of 8-12 meters, suffering lumbar trauma with a fracture that could be healed in thirty days, during the apple harvest without seat belts and on a scale that did not comply with current legislation. In addition, the judgment states:

“… the  accident was motivatedby the employer failing to take the specific measures necessary to protect his physical integrity on the basis of Presidential Decree no. 547/1955, art. 18, which provides for the characteristics of work ladders, and art. 386 on the obligation of the safety belt in case of work in which there is a risk of falling from a height and art.3 of Legislative Decree 626/1994,  which provides that the employer has the obligation to eliminate risks on the basis of the technical knowledge acquired and the technical progress achieved or in any case to reduce them to a minimum, in addition to the obligation to inform the worker about the ways in which to operate …”

It emerges that however simple the work may be, the risk is not excluded and it is right that all the precautions in question are taken.

Source: Civil Sent. Sec. L num. 12110 Year 2017

Work at height – Memorandum

The definition of work at height is well defined by Legislative Decree 81/08 Title IV Chapter II Section I art. 107 which cites:

  1. For the purposes of the provisions of this Chapter, ‘work at height’ means work which exposes the worker to the risk of falling from a height greater than 2 m above a stable floor.

The same consolidated text is a reference point for all measures and regulatory references in order to protect companies and workers who are part of it.

Fonte: D.lgs 81/08-INL


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