dangerous substances in the workplace

Dangerous substances (chemicals, asbestos)

The chemical risk assessment must be made prior to the beginning of the activity in which there is presence of chemicals hazardous to health and safety, and begins with an inventory of all substances and preparations involved in the business cycle.

The DVR must contain the following informations (art. 223):
1. analysis of the work process and job classification;
2. identification of hazardous chemical agents;
3. hazardous properties of chemicals identified;
4. information on health and safety provided by the manufacturer or service provider through the safety data sheet prepared in accordance with the decrees February 3, 1997, n. 52 and 16 July 1998, n. 285 and subsequent amendments, or, alternatively, the information obtained from the scientific literature;
5. the level, type and duration of exposure;
6. the circumstances in which work is performed in the presence of such agents, including their amount;
7. occupational exposure limit values or biological limit values;
8. the effects of preventive and protective measures taken or to be taken;
9. any health surveillance already undertaken;
10. the indication, for each substance (or mixture), of the quantity and the manner and frequency of exposure that allow, through the use of models and/or algorithms, to define the level of “low risk irrelevant to health”, as identified by art. 224, co. 2.



The measurements should be performed according to the UNI-EN in Annex XLI of D. Lgs. 81/2008; in particular the UNI-EN 689/97, Appendix C, provides an example of application of a formal procedure for the assessment of worker exposure.

The conditions for implementing this procedure are provided in Section C.2 of the standard.

Worker exposure is below the limit values if:

• on a single measurement (one shift) the exposure value is certainly less than 1/10 the threshold value;

• on surveys carried out in three different shifts and in the same workstation, the exposure value is certainly less than 1/4 of the limit.

Applying Appendix C of the UNI-EN 689/97 it can be then determined if the exposure is below the limit, but nothing can be said about the “insignificant risk”. Conversely it is reasonable and practicable to indicate that, at least, these values are the threshold above which you should classify the risk of the inhalation of a chemical agent as “not insignificant”.






AsbestosisThe presence in a building of materials containing asbestos, used for several years on a large scale in construction and industry, requires an evaluation by qualified technical personnel of the building conservation state and potential risks of the release in the environment of highly dangerous fibers for the health of persons, responsible for Lung Cancer, Asbestosis, Lung and Pleural Mesothelioma and Pleural Plaques.

LABORAD srl technicians make quantitative determinations of airborne asbestos fiber concentrations in indoor environments (using MOCF) or the presence of asbestos in bulk samples as per Ministerial Decree 6 September 1994.