Accidents in the Workplace: decision of the Italian Supreme Court of Appeal

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Accidents in the Workplace: the Position of Guarantee in the Chain of Contracting and Subcontracting of Companies in the Scope of National and Transnational Service Providing.

With the decision no. 29442/2020, the Italian Supreme Court of Appeal recently expressed its opinion concerning worksite safety of personnel employed by several companies operating on the same worksite both in Italy and abroad.

In the event that several companies operate at the same time, within the framework of a contract or subcontract, on the same area, even in the context of transnational provision of services, it is mandatory that all the safety managers of the companies involved work to ensure that the obligations of safety in the workplace are respected. In particular, with regard to:

  • ACCIDENTS AT WORK: with particular reference to the occurrence of an accident, the safety manager of the companies involved has a guarantor’s position with regard to his employees working on the site. Therefore, each guarantor is the “full recipient of the obligation to prevent (and therefore preventively manage) the accident event until the relationship that gave rise to the individual position of guarantee is exhausted”. Moreover, there is a combination of causes for the failure to prevent the risk on the construction site if there was no cooperation between the companies involved.
  • SOCIAL SECURITY FULFILLMENTS: The scope of this decision must be interpreted taking into account the fulfilments provided for by the regulations on Social Security. For this purpose, the presence of the following documents is considered important: A1 Certificate, PD DA1 and the Workplace Risk Assessment Document.

As stated in the decision, the obligation to assess the risks on the construction site due to the concurrent presence of several companies lies with both the client and the contractor. Finally, the legal availability of the worksite sites makes the owner liable in the event of an accident involving an employee of a contractor.

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