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Alisea News

05/11/2015

Legionellosis risk at schools: how to prevent it?

Legionellosis often represents a not considered risk in biological risk evaluation of schools, but epidemics have been discovered in environments like schools, hotels and hospitals

24/10/2015

Evidences of legionellosis in a Capannoli plant

Security measures has been immediate for the infected rooms. These measures have been activated by a major's decree to debilitate the dangerous bacterium


Regulations

Numerous regulations require periodic hygienic maintenance of air systems to protect the health of workers and for those using public spaces.

National Regulations

Italian regulations require specific and precise handling of safety and maintenance of systems to protect the health of workers.

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Regional Legislation

Under the reform of Title V of the Italian Constitution, since 2001 the matter is also regulated by existing regional legislation that typically provides for more precise and detailed measures but are only valid within the specific geographic region.

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Guidelines from the State Regions and Autonomous Provinces

Even if they are situated at a lower level on the hierarchy of sources of law these dispositions are very important because they technically specify the contents of the state regulations. Indicating the behaviour and practices to be followed they constitute the most up to date and valid tools for planning action.

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Italian (UNI) and European (UNI EN) technical regulations

In defining the regulatory system the bodies, both Italian and international must be born in mind as they are the first promoters of the quality of regulations of individual states. Through a strict relationship with these bodies Alisea has always promoted quality of the working environment.

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National Regulations

The need to ensure a good quality of breathed air inside confined environments was last interpreted in the publication of the Official Gazette on May 15 2008, of the New Consolidated Text on matters relating to health and safety in the workplace (Leg. Dec. No. 81/2008), which deals with the phenomenon of contamination and the bad state of hygiene of aeraulic systems in-depth.

In particular, in Attachment IV point 1.9.1. dedicated to the ventilation of workplaces, it is textually indicated with regard to aeraulic devices:

  • 1.9.1.3.
    “The same systems should periodically undergo controls, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation to protect workers’ health.”
  • 1.9.1.4.
    “Any sediment or dirt which could cause an immediate danger for the health of the workers due to pollution of the breathed air should be eliminated swiftly.”
Article 63 of the Decree, dealing with health and safety requirements at places of work, indicates in paragraph 1 that “workplaces must conform to the requirements indicated in attachment IV”.
Those bound to see to this, in terms of subsequent article 64 paragraph 1, are Employers. Should they not do so, they can be punished pursuant to article 68 paragraph 1 letter b) “with detention from three to six months or with a fine from 2,000 to 10,000 Euro”.

Along with these penalties a further two can be added as follows:

  1. that of a civil nature connected with possible action for compensation for biological damage (pursuant to article 2043 of the Italian Civil Code) and for moral damages (pursuant to article 2059 of the Italian Civil Code).
  2. that, of a more appropriately penal nature, deriving from the integration of some cases of criminal negligence, as for example that provided for by article 452 of the Italian Criminal Code (Criminal negligence against public health), by article 590 of the Italian Criminal Code (Negligent personal injuries) and by article 589 of the Italian Criminal Code (Manslaughter).
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Regional Legislation

Even if it refers to a well defined geographical area the dispositions issued from three different regions are equally valid:

  • Regional Law no. 24 of Liguria dated 2 July 2002 and the Relative Implementation Decree dated 14th May 2003;
  • article 59 of Regional Law no. 33 of Lombardy dated 30 December 2009 (Consolidated Text of Regional Laws relating to Health) and the relative Decree no. 1751 of the Lombardy General Health Administration dated 24 February 2009.
  • Regional Law no. 15 of Molise dated 13/07/2001
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Guide Lines from the State Regions and Autonomous Provinces

At a lower level in the hierarchy of source laws, reference should ultimately be made to the collection of Technical Rules or Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health in the form of complete technical and procedural regulations on the matter in question and then adopted by the Permanent Conference for relationships between the State, the Regions and the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano:

  • “Guidelines for the Prevention and the Control of Legionellosis”, adopted on 4 April 2000;
  • “Guidelines for the protection and promotion of health in confined surroundings”, adopted on 27 September 2001;
  • “Guidelines giving indications on Legionellosis for the administrators of tourist-reception and thermal structures”, adopted on 13 January 2005;
  • “A Guidelines Plan to define the technical protocols of predictive maintenance on air conditioning devices”, adopted on 5 October 2006.
  • “Operating Procedures to evaluate and manage risks connected to the hygiene of air treatment systems” adopted on 7 February 2013
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Italian (UNI) and European (UNI EN) technical regulations

Yet still in the same line of thought, the following provisions could also be considered:

  • UNI EN 12097:2007 (Building Ventilation – Duct Network. Requirements relating to components to facilitate maintenance of the duct network) that specifies the requirements relating to size, shape and the criteria for the location of access hatches for cleaning and maintenance of the systems in the duct network;
  • UNI EN 15239:2008 (Building Ventilation- Energy Performance of Buildings)
    Guide lines for inspecting ventilation systems) that describes the required procedures to inspect mechanical and natural ventilation systems with reference to energy consumption;
  • UNI EN 15240:2008 (Building Ventilation- Energy Performance of Buildings)
    Guide lines for inspecting air-conditioning systems) that describes the common procedures for inspecting air-conditioning systems in buildings for cooling or heating environments from the point of view of energy consumption;
  • UNI EN 15780:2011(Building Ventilation-Ducts-Cleaning ventilation systems) applied to both old and new ventilation and air-conditioning systems and specifies the evaluation criteria and cleaning procedures for these systems;
  • UNI 10604:1997 (Maintenance- Planning, managing and control criteria of building maintenance services) that supplies instructions for activities connected to building maintenance;
  • UNI 10147:2003 (Maintenance-Additional terms to UNI 13306 and definitions) that integrates the definitions of UNI 9910:1991 and must therefore be considered an addition to the same. This can be applied to all fields of maintenance activity;
  • UNI 10144:2006 (Classification of maintenance services) which focuses on classifying maintenance services under aspects of type, specialisation , manner and purpose of maintenance in order to have a sole reference point for all regulations relating to maintenance contracts;
  • UNI 10224:2007 (Maintenance-Processes, sub-processes and main activities and fundamental principles) which indicates the principles, criteria, and procedures to set up, organise, manage and improve the maintenance process of an organisation;
  • UNI 10366:2007 (Maintenance- Criteria for planning maintenance) which specifies the general criteria and procedures for planning maintenance in order to assist in the choice of: maintenance policies, on the basis of the characteristics and behaviour of the goods in coherence with company objectives; resources and operating tools necessary to set up the policies identified. In order to optimise costs and company results;
  • UNI 11414:2011 (Maintenance-Guide lines for maintenance system qualification) that supply the guide lines to qualify a maintenance system through comprehensive , structured and transversal procedures;
  • UNI 11420:2011 (Maintenance-Qualifications of maintenance personnel) which defines the knowledge, skills and expertise necessary to define maintenance personnel. The regulation is usually directed at maintenance firms that work for third parties. It can nevertheless be applied in the field of complex organisations that have a specific maintenance department within the company.
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