fbpx

The risk of penalties and lawsuits

In Europe, current regulations require a correct hygienic management of air treatment plants. Disregarding them can create serious legal problems. With Alisea you can be sure to respect all of your countries’ legal requirements, today and tomorrow. It is our specialization.

With the promulgation of Legislative Decree No. 81/2008 concerning the protection of health and safety in the workplace, the issue of health and hygiene for HVAC systems was carefully considered. In Annex IV of the Decree, entitled "Workplace Requirements", in paragraph 1.9.1, dedicated to the ventilation of enclosed spaces, it is expected in fact:

1.9.1.4 The same systems must be periodically subjected to checks, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation for the protection of workers' health.

1.9.1.5 Any sediment or dirt that could cause an immediate danger to the health of workers due to the pollution of the breathed air must be eliminated quickly.

Both these provisions are mandatory in the art. 63 of the same Decree 81/2008, which states in paragraph 1: "Workplaces must comply with the requirements indicated in Annex IV".

The following article 64, paragraph 1, lett. a) of the Decree specifies that the person responsible for ensuring this is the Employer. The following letter. d) of the same paragraph also requires that "workplaces, plants and devices be subjected to regular cleaning, to ensure adequate hygienic conditions".

If instead the Employer and the Manager do not ensure compliance with these provisions, pursuant to the following art. 68, paragraph 1, lett. b) are punished with penal sanctions (two to four months of imprisonment or fines ranging from 1.096,00 to 5.260,80 euros).

In addition to the possible sanctions deriving from the legislation on health and safety in the workplace, we must also consider two other risk profiles linked to a pathology contracted due to the contamination of the air treatment plants.

The first is the civil law profile related to the possible compensation action for biological damage (ex art. 2043 civil code) and for non-material damage (ex art. 2059 civil code).

In addition to the special rules described above it must be remembered that our system, in any case, requires the business owner(art. 2087 cc) to "adopt the measures that, according to the particular nature of the work, the experience and the technique, are necessary to protect the physical integrity and the moral of the workers ": the violation of this rule entails the employer's obligation to pay compensation for the damage caused by his omission.

Moreover, even more generally, it should be remembered that the art. 2043 c.c. establishes that "Any offense or negligence, which causes unjust harm to others, obliges the perpetrator to pay damages".

Therefore, the damaged worker could ask the employer, for the violation of the articles just mentioned, for compensation for these types of damages:

  • Biological damage: it is an item of damage present in all cases of damage to the person, biological damage being understood as any permanent or temporary alteration of the person's state of health; alteration that prevents him from enjoying life to the same extent as he enjoyed it before the damaging event.
  • Moral damage: represents the compensation for all the physical and mental suffering caused by an illicit fact: therefore, all the anxieties, anguish, states of affliction and anxieties of an immediate and direct consequence of the injuries suffered.

The second is the criminal law profile resulting from the integration of some cases of culpable crime, such as the one envisaged by art. 452 cod. pen. (Culpable crimes against public health), by art. 590 cod. pen. (Culpable personal injuries) and by art. 589 cod. pen. (Manslaughter).

It cannot in fact be ruled out the possibility that ordinary criminal actions may be taken to punish the omission by employers of the crimes referred to in Articles 452 and / or 590 and / or 589 cod. pen. depending on the type of goods damaged in the specific case. Already in the eighties, after all, the Court of Cassation was called to decide a case of homicide and culpable personal injuries due to the failure to adopt efficient plants (Criminal Court, section IV, 8 May 1981).

The only way to prevent the penalties and lawsuits described in the preceding paragraphs is to know and be able to apply the technical rules, so as to be able to demonstrate at all times that they have maintained diligent behavior, “in good faith” or “buon padre di famiglia”, to use the typical expression of our civil code.

In fact, it is the technical standards that indicate when an air treatment plant is in a satisfactory hygienic state. They are always the ones who specify how and when to carry out the necessary checks and actions to take.

The technical standards in force today are numerous and come from international, European, national and regional sources. There is an important labyrinth of laws and regulations that govern the operating standards and responsibilities of the air system owner. It is therefore essential that those who take care of the hygiene of your air system know how to read, interpret and comply with the rules. We know how to do it and for this reason we can give you our legal guarantee on the systems (exclusive Alisea). For your convenience, in this section we present an overview of the various regulations governing the subject, so that you can assess the complexity in which those who take care of your plant's hygiene are able to operate.

Alisea guarantees that the intervention on your air system complies with European legislation:

  • UNI EN 15780: 2011 "Cleaning of ventilation systems".
  • UNI EN 12097: 2007 "Pipeline network: requirements relating to components to facilitate maintenance of pipeline networks".

 

Alisea sanitation operations are always carried out in full compliance with national legislation (in all its complexities):

  • Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Legionellosis, adopted April 4, 2000.
  • Guidelines for the protection and promotion of health in confined environments, adopted on 27 September 2001.
  • Guidelines containing indications on legionellosis for managers of tourist-receptive and thermal facilities, adopted on January 13th 2005.
  • Guidelines for the definition of technical protocols for predictive maintenance on air conditioning systems, adopted October 5, 2006.
  • Operating Procedure for the assessment and management of risks related to the hygiene of air treatment plants, adopted on 7 February 2013.
  • Guidelines for the prevention and control of legionellosis, adopted May 7, 2015.

Further regulatory complexity is given by the regional requirements in addition the national ones:

  • Liguria Region Law 2 July 2002 n. 24 with the related Implementation Decree of May 14, 2003;
  • Lombardy Region Law 30 December 2009 n. 33 (Consolidated Text of the regional laws on Health) and the relative Decree of the General Direction of Health 24 February 2009 n. 1751.
  • Molise Region Law 13 July 2011 n. 15 (Rules for the prevention of the spread of infectious diseases).

They are issued to give a complete technical and procedural regulation to the subject in question:

  • NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) - ACR 2013 “Assessment, Cleaning and Restoration of HVAC Systems”.
  • AIISA (Italian Association of Hygienist Aeraulic Systems) - "Operational Protocol for the inspection and sanitation of aeraulic systems" - 1.0 of May 2018.
  • ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning) - STD 62.1-2004 and Addenda "Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality".

Contact Us for more regulatory information

Copyright © 2019 Alisea S.r.l. – All rights reserved