Health and Safety of Food in the Workplace
The topic of health and safety of food in the workplace must include food and beverages that are distributed in many public and private companies.
According to the provisions of art. 28 of Legislative Decree 81/2008, the Employer is required to carry out a risk assessment within the company that must cover “all risks to the safety and health of workers”, the so-called Risk Assessment Document (DVR), with the aim of protecting the physical and moral integrity of its employees.
Despite express talk of assessing “all risks”, the vast majority of DVRs ignore the potential risks of poor nutrition in the workplace.
According to a 2005 report by the International Labour Office, healthy eating would be able to reduce accidents at work and sick days. In fact, chronic non-communicable diseases (cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, etc.) are closely linked to people’s unhealthy lifestyles and therefore also to their incorrect diet. In Europe alone, these diseases would be responsible for 86% of total deaths.
According to the trade associations on accidents at work, 34.7% of accidents occur not due to technical malfunctions but due to slips, stumbles and falls. Therefore, intervening on nutrition also means being able to prevent possible attention deficits and weakness that can potentially be responsible for these accidents.
It is also natural to foresee that in the face of fewer accidents and illnesses there will also be considerable economic savings that would also support all the investments necessary to improve the feeding program of companies and public and private bodies.
THE ROLE OF FOOD
The consumption of healthy and sustainable food would therefore guarantee a significant gain in terms of health for us and for the environment, ensuring the reduction of the amount of packaging, waste and CO2 emissions. In perfect line with the principles of the circular economy and ecological transition.
It is for this reason that it would be necessary to expand the investigative and risk management activities by also integrating the field related to nutrition as it is directly responsible forthe health, safety and performance of workers.
These issues are now being studied by the Ministry of Labour and are therefore not mandatory. Instead, they are, as coherence and responsibility, for companies that have active sustainability and welfare programs.
We at PIÚINFORMA have been supporting for years the importance of health and food safety in the workplace, with the hope that even the laws on the subject can evolve in support of a society in continuous change and increasingly attentive to its health and that of the environment.