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Open AccessArticle

The Safe Use of Pesticides: A Risk Assessment Procedure for the Enhancement of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Management

1
Department of Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fishery, DISR I, via XX Settembre 20, 00187 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Chemical Engineering Materials Environment (DICMA), Sapienza-University of Rome, via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy
3
Department of Technological Innovations and Safety of Plants, Products and Anthropic Settlements (DIT), National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL), Via Fontana Candida 1, 00078 Monte Porzio Catone (RM), Italy
4
Department of Technological Innovations and Safety of Plants, Products and Anthropic Settlements (DIT), National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL), Via R. Ferruzzi, 38/40, 00143 Rome, Italy
5
Department of Health Sciences of the University of Milan, International Centre for Rural Health of the SS. Paolo and Carlo Hospital, Via San Vigilio 43, 20142 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030310
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 January 2019 / Published: 23 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worker and Public Health and Safety: Current Views)
The attention paid to the use of pesticides has increased notably in recent years as demonstrated by the issue of laws and regulations requiring their safe and environmentally-conscious use (e.g. Directive 2009/128/EC and Regulation (EC) no. 1272/2008). Despite the benefits that can be achieved by pursuing the targets of stricter legislative framework, the difficulties for farmers in complying with it are remarkable, especially for small-sized companies. In fact, in contrast to other occupational health and safety (OHS) contexts, in the case of pesticides even a preliminary analysis on the relationship between pesticide use and the consequent exposure risks for the workers is a complex task. In order to reduce the above-mentioned gap, the present study is focused on the development of an easy-to-use tool for carrying out occupational risk assessment of agricultural activities related to the use of pesticides. The procedure was developed by starting from the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) approach and its improvements, and continuing to the thorough development of a tool for preliminary risk assessment, providing a simplified model for its practical application by farmers. A case study concerning olive cultivation was used for its first verification. The results achieved should be considered as an initial step for the promotion of safer practices when using pesticides, providing a consistent base for their further validation. View Full-Text
Keywords: occupational health and safety; risk assessment; chemical risks; occupational exposure; pesticides; occupational risk management; olive orchards occupational health and safety; risk assessment; chemical risks; occupational exposure; pesticides; occupational risk management; olive orchards
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Fargnoli, M.; Lombardi, M.; Puri, D.; Casorri, L.; Masciarelli, E.; Mandić-Rajčević, S.; Colosio, C. The Safe Use of Pesticides: A Risk Assessment Procedure for the Enhancement of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Management. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 310.

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