Risk assessment at work and prevention strategies on COVID-19 in Italy.

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 5,072 words
Lexile Measure: 1550L

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Abstract :

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide, with considerable public health and socio-economic impacts that are seriously affecting health and safety of workers, as well as their employment stability. Italy was the first of many other western countries to implement extended containment measures. Health workers and others employed in essential sectors have continued their activity, reporting high infection rate with many fatalities. The epidemiological trend highlighted the importance of work as a substantial factor to consider both when implementing strategies aimed at containing the pandemic and shaping the lockdown mitigation strategy required for sustained economic recovery. To support the decision-making process, we have developed a strategy to predict the risk of infection by SARS-CoV-2 in the workplace based on the analysis of the working process and proximity between employees; risk of infection connected to the type of activity; involvement of third parties in the working processes and risk of social aggregation. We applied this approach to outline a risk index for each economic activity sector, with different levels of detail, also considering the impact on mobility of the working population. This method was implemented into the national epidemiological surveillance model in order to estimate the impact of re-activation of specific activities on the reproduction number. It has also been adopted by the national scientific committee set up by the Italian Government for action-oriented policy advice on the COVID-19 emergency in the post lockdown phase. This approach may play a key role for public health if associated with measures for risk mitigation in enterprises through strategies of business process re-engineering. Furthermore, it will make a contribution to reconsidering the organization of work, including also innovation and fostering the integration with the national occupational safety and health (OSH) system.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A655630203