[Risk assessment]

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] [Risk assessment]

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3 Citations (Scopus)


[Autom. eng. transl.] It was twelve o'clock on Saturday 4 December 2010. After four days of congress, the occupational physicians had finally reached the time set for obtaining the training credits, and with the answer sheet to the diligently compiled quizzes they had lined up in front of the release officer. Hundreds of doctors, perhaps more than a thousand, had quickly filled the room, the corridor, the stairs, derailing in a chaotic row and endless up to the upper floor. The twelve-thirty. In the almost motionless row, crushed in a corridor with no windows, already with the overcoat and the travel bag, the most vagotonic began to show signs of delirium. What could have reduced them in that state? It was not easy to find an answer. Of course the chaos, the discomfort, the waste of energy were not new experiences for any of them. Indeed, the unexpected conclusion of the 73rd National Congress was almost emblematic of the state of the discipline, suffocated by contingent interests and forced into paths forced by a normative delusion that has no confirmation in the world. In the days immediately preceding the Congress, for example, the Ministry had expressed its indications on the assessment of work-related stress, in accordance with the opinion of the Permanent Advisory Committee on Health and Safety at Work (2). The work of the advisory commission had been long and very, very hard indeed. The rest is almost always the case. In our country, the commissions that deal with occupational medicine are composed mainly of non-doctors. And if then it happens that there is an occupational physician among the members, care must be taken that he has no academic qualification or experience as a competent doctor and has never published anything on the subject. In the stress commission there was everything, even a mineralogy expert, except a stress expert. The problem then required a difficult balancing of interests. Psychologists had raised their antennas with the enactment of Legislative Decree 81/08, and claimed a leading role in the risk assessment process. The companies recalled that there is a crisis and that they could not bear additional burdens. Prevention services, so far engaged not without difficulty (3) in assessing physical, chemical and biological risks, insistently demanded enlightenment. The Legislator, for his part, had already made things more difficult than in the rest of the world, imposing criminal penalties not only on the global prevention process, but also on every single step. So, how to measure stress, a subjective and variable phenomenon over time, writing the result once and for all on a paper document signed by everyone, perhaps with a "certain date"? If the question had been addressed to any doctor, even belonging to that last category without specialization once referred to as "factory doctor", he would have proposed the method that medicine, from Aesculapius onwards, provides for subjective disorders: ask the interested parties. But, precisely, the Commissions proceed in a different way. The danger of a legion of psychologists hurriedly recruited to test workers or, even more seriously, that of engineers with psychological tests, was to be avoided. And the invention of objective indicators has been averted with a real stroke of Italian genius. In fact, who would have thought of measuring a subjective phenomenon using an objective indicator? Certainly not a doctor. No doctor would measure the frequency of headaches based on the sale of analgesics in the municipal pharmacy. But that's exactly what has been decided regarding work-related stress. The Commission in fact establishes that the evaluation consists of “the detection of objective and verifiable indicators, where possible numericamen
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] [Risk assessment]
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)297-298
Number of pages2
JournalMedicina del Lavoro
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Occupational Medicine
  • Risk Assessment
  • Stress, Psychological


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