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ITALY: Malpensa, the first important result for the complaints of USB and Rete Iside. The ATS writes to SEA and handler: what measures have been taken to safeguard the health and safety of airport workers? 

The Unione Sindacale di Base and Rete Iside ONLUS at the beginning of June denounced the health and safety risks that airport operators are forced to face in all Italian airports. The ATS Insubria, which is headed by Malpensa airport, collected the complaint and took a diligent part by writing to the companies belonging to the SEA group, manager of the airport, and to all handling companies asking

What preventive measures they want to implement in order to safeguard the health and safety of workers involved in the manual loading-unloading of baggage and goods in the holds of aircraft, considering that this activity, for the design of the aircraft itself, determines incongruous postures, difficult to modify “.

It is a first result that validates our work. In recent months, together with the workers of some of the major Italian airports, we have in fact carried out an assessment of the musculoskeletal risks (for the arms and spine) to which one is exposed during the loading and unloading of baggage in the holds of the aircraft. . The result was a high risk to the health of workers, who were forced to work in prone positions by lifting weights; for this reason we have made reports to companies and complaints to the supervisory bodies for the airports of Naples Capodichino, Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa. Specifically, we requested the adoption of prevention measures suitable for the protection of health.

With its letter, ATS Insubria confirmed the veracity of our analysis. But this first result is not enough for us. We ask the supervisory bodies of Naples, Rome and Milan, now that they are aware of a high risk situation, to fulfill their institutional role by issuing precise prescriptions. They serve to oblige employers to immediately take the right preventive measures for the health of workers. In our complaints we have requested two types of intervention:

1. Structural measures to eliminate the risk at source: this is achieved by providing for the use of aids and by mechanizing the loading-unloading of baggage in the holds of aircraft.

2. Organizational measures to immediately reduce the level of exposure to risk of workers: reduction of workloads, through the redistribution of tasks among several workers, reducing the number of aircraft to load-unload in a shift for the single worker; increase breaks to at least 15 minutes every hour and other similar initiatives.

Our action will not stop until we have achieved the goal we set ourselves: the adoption of effective prevention measures for the protection of the health of airport workers.  

Unione Sindacale di Base

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