• Insights

Workplace health and safety training

7 April is UN World Health Day and one way employers can protect their employees' health and wellbeing at work is through regular training. We take a look at new training duties for employers in Italy, and the position in other countries.

Health and safety law in Italy

In Italy, according to the legal provision aimed at preventing accidents at work (Legislative Decree n° 81/2008), employers must:

  • draw up a Risk Identification and Assessment Document (DVR);
  • provide training for workers;
  • guarantee health monitoring;
  • adopt an evacuation plan and put up safety signs;
  • appoint people to be in charge of accident prevention and health and safety protection and supervisors.

People and responsibilities

The regulation also identifies the duties and responsibilities of different actors involved, specifically:

  • the employer;
  • the head of the prevention and protection service;
  • worker’ ‘safety representatives;
  • the competent doctor;
  • people in charge of fire prevention, fire-fighting, first aid, emergency, medical care, evacuation of workers in case of danger;
  • the health and safety supervisor (preposto).

The new training obligations

Recently, new rules concerning workplace health and safety training obligations were introduced by Law – Decree no. 146/2021, with the aim of reducing the number of accidents in the workplace. The new regulation will be in force from 30 June 2022. 

Firstly, the Decree imposes new specific training obligations on the employer. For the first time, employers, together with the health and safety supervisor, must receive adequate and specific training and periodic updates in the field of health and safety at work.

In addition, it will now be mandatory for the health and safety supervisor, to receive an update to his or her training every two years (or more frequently, if required by the employer or workplace specific circumstances). This is more frequent than under the previous regulation which required refresher training every five years. Health and safety supervisors will also have extended powers, including the power to suspend employees’ activity when necessary for OHS reasons, and to start disciplinary procedures against employees in the event of violations of OHS rules.

Finally, the new regulation also introduced additional elements concerning the content of mandatory training. It will not be sufficient to simply provide theoretical training: practical and ‘in the field’, hands-on training on the correct and safe use of equipment, machines, plant, substances and devices will become mandatory. Moreover, the training carried out must be recorded in a special register, and be followed by specific practical tests on its content.

The importance of training

The new rules confirm the increased importance of, and attention given to, health and safety in the workplace and, specifically, to the importance of training employees to guarantee a safe working environment.

For more information about health and safety

The view from other places.

Czech Republic:
Written by
Toffoletto de Luca Tamajo, working in employment law since 1925.
Stefano de Luca Tamajo
Partner - Italy
Toffoletto De Luca Tamajo