Sorveglianza Sanitaria

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Main risks to which the students can be exposed during the attendance at the courses

  • Biological agent risk: during the lab activities, you could come into contact with biological materials contaminated by infective agents (virus, bacteria, fungi…) which lead to infective diseases. Some of these can be prevented by obligatory vaccinations (e.g. TBC) or by not obligatory but strongly recommended ones (hepatitis B, influenza, rubella, etc.)
  • Chemical agent risk: in the procedures of cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of the diagnostic or lab tools and the work surfaces, you are exposed to the contact or the inhalation of substances toxic or irritating for the skin and the respiratory tract. In addition, it is necessary to work under a hood (fume hood) or to use some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks, etc.
  • Risk due to exposure to sensitizing agents (allergy): some biological materials of human, animal, vegetal, food origin can sensitize our organism developing allergic diseases: allergic rhinitis (e.g. hay fever), bronchial asthma, some skin diseases (hives), etc. Simple chemical substances (of low molecular weight) can develop allergic diseases bonding to the proteins of our organism too. It is also possible a skin sensitization to other chemical agents present in cleaners, detergents, disinfectants, manipulated substances, etc. that cause contact dermatitis.
  • Risk due to exposure to drugs: the manipulation and the preparation can develop some problems: a) sensitizing phenomena described in the previous paragraph, b) pharmacological effects due to “chronic” absorption of these products, c) the tumor risk also exists and it is due to a manipulation of substances called “antineoplastics” (used in the tumor treatment) without personal protective devices.
  • Physical agent risk: during the lab procedures, sources of ionizing radiations (RI) and non-ionizing ones (NIR) are used and they are potentially damaging for the health (bone marrow, gonads, crystalline). The equipment (sources of exposure) and the areas of use are strictly controlled, supervised and defined. Radioactive substances, that represent a source of RI risk, can be used for research. In addition, you have to consider that electric systems, current sockets and the equipment with network connection represent a potential source of electric injury: the rigid preventive and protective measures, the education and the information of the users are fundamental to avoid this kind of accidents.
  • Visual involvement: during the educational course and the occupational activity, an involvement of the sight can be required for optical microscope examinations or for the use of the display screen. The existence of ocular diseases or refractive disorders (myopia, astigmatism, etc.) can worsen the visual fatigue phenomena in these activities. In addition, these disorders and/or diseases must be reported.
  • Psychological involvement: furthermore, the interpersonal relationships (human, hierarchic ones, relationships with colleagues, etc.) can be sources of problems.
  • Injury risk: the work-related injury is a damage or a lesion to the person due to a violent cause (=cause that acts in a concentrated way in the time) in the performance of the work. In the labs and in the enclosures the most frequent accidents are due to needle-stick or to sharp injuries (cutting tools), but other types of injury can be possible because of falling, slipping, accidental contact with carrying conductors, burns made by heat sources or open flames, ergonomics factors such as “strain related back pain”, etc. It is important to remember that in our country, for some categories of workers, the infective diseases are considered as “injury at work”, because the “virulent” cause (virus or bacterial or other agents) is recognized as violent one.

The Occupational Physician.

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Informazioni aggiornate al: 25.11.2014 alle ore 12:48