• Sun. Oct 24th, 2021

Smart working generates smart problems, not just physical ones

Byeditorial

May 20, 2021

According to the analysis of Health and safety at work in the pandemic, conducted and presented today by Fondazione Studi of labor consultants, “The pandemic has had a significant impact on almost every dimension of the world of work, but the one that has been most disrupted by it is been health and safety “. The companies are committed to “guaranteeing the minimum prevention measures (from sanitization, to the distribution of masks, as many as 98% of Italian companies have done so), but also in providing adequate information to employees (94.7%), providing specific training (90.4%), rotate staff or schedule staggered access and exits (70%), make different types of tests available to collaborators (52%) and exempt the most fragile workers or workers with specific assistance problems from ‘presence obligation (46.2%) “. The epidemic had an important effect on the accident dynamics of the last year, which “were significantly influenced by the infections from Covid, considered by Inail to be accidents at work. Out of 554 thousand reports of accidents made during the year, 131 thousand, or 23.6% was attributable to Covid “. Logically, the measures aimed at containing the epidemic, especially those related to lockdowns and the spread of work from home “had a profound impact on the year’s budget”. Although it is not yet possible to accurately assess the effect produced by smart working on the accident phenomenon, “since the information relating to 2020 is also influenced by the closures of many activities during the lockdown, the data show a significant effect both with reference to cases reported that to mortality. In fact, between 2019 and 2020, the number of accidents while traveling went from about 100,000 to just over 62,000, recording a decrease of over 38,000 cases, equal to 38.3%. A reduction that affected equally both accidents with means of transport (-38%) and those without (-39%) ”. The trends that emerged in 2020 also appear to be confirmed by the recent data disclosed by Inail with “reference to the first quarter of 2021, which indicate a further decrease in the accident phenomenon (-1.7%).” However, the evolution towards a agile work, “made up of growing hybridization between face-to-face and remote activities, poses new challenges in terms of health and safety management of workers, the effective implementation of which sees, beyond the responsibility of the employer, a growing responsibility of the worker , who are asked to collaborate to better organize their domestic work station, in order to guarantee adequate safety and prevent the occurrence of accidents or the onset of illness “. In short, beyond the provisions of the law, the protection of the health and safety of workers in smart working is largely entrusted to the worker: “think of the necessary electrical and fire safety to be guaranteed within the home chosen as a place of work, at the workstation, which must be defined and equipped according to ergonomic criteria (from the seat, to the desk, to the positioning of the PC, to the obstruction of cables), or to the possibility of carrying out work remotely from places and contexts other than habitual “. In essence, smart working generates smart physical problems:” The same survey shows that almost half of those employed who work from home (48.3%, estimated at 2.6 million employees) complain of the onset of problems physical resulting from this aspect; an element that is particularly accentuated among men (50.4%) and among young people, where 53.6% report this type of problem. A datum attributable to the presumed less attention in respecting procedures and precautions aimed at protecting health, which grow in contrast with advancing age “. In fact, “49.7% of agile workers complain of the greater stress and performance anxiety produced by smart working. Even the distortion of relationships with colleagues, bosses, customers, based on physical distancing, in the long run has counterproductive effects for about one worker out of two. In fact, 49.7% reported the worsening of the climate in the company, the weakening of working relationships; 47% feel marginalized with respect to the dynamics of organizations, while about 40% begin to report real disaffection towards work. Finally, about a third (33%) declares that remote work is penalizing their career and professional growth ”.

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