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Object: The activity of rubber extruding machine operator, on whether is can be qualified as involving risks to the safety, security, and health conditions of thirds, as per President of the Republic Decree, Art. 125, No. 309/1990, so as to make it mandatory, for workers appointed to said position, to undergo medical tests ascertaining their state of drug addiction.

To adequately respond to the object of this opinion, we?ll first give an overview on the body of laws on the subject of harmful drugs, found in President of the Republic Decree No. 309/1900, particularly Articles 124 and 125.

In ruling the complex question of harmful drugs, the abovementioned articles make specific mention of workers for which is ascertained a status of drug-addiction, indicating, in line also with the main collective work contracts or to public employment contracts, a series of specific and concrete cautionary actions for workers who, among them, may wish to undergo proper treatment at public structures (A.S.L or S.E.R.T.) of competence.

n ruling the complex question of harmful drugs, the abovementioned articles make specific mention of workers for which is ascertained a of drug-addiction, indicating, in line also with the main collective work contracts or to public employment contracts, a series of specific and concrete for workers who, may wish to undergo proper treatment at public structures (A.S.L or S.E.R.T.) of competence.

In such framework, Art. 125 of the aforementioned President of the Republic Decree requires to ascertain the absence of a state of drug-addiction, both before and after the assumption of harmful drugs, but only relating to activities (identifiable through Ministerial Decree) involving risks for the safety, health, and wellbeing of thirds.

The question arises on which are the specific tasks requiring medical examination, and if, in particular, a worker assigned to operate a rubber extruding machine is to be included in the categories for which said examination is mandatory.

In dealing with this issue, firstly the doctrine, and then the jurisprudence, as ruled in with Art. 8 of Law 300 of 1970, have determined the tests meant to ascertain a worker?s state of drug addiction as generally non forbidden, if relevant in view of formulating an evaluation of his professional capacities and/or attitudes.

Nonetheless, in the directives detailed in the mentioned President of the Republic Decree, Art. 125, both doctrine and jurisprudence appear to assume that a state of drug-addiction does not have particular relevance in matters related to work.

In any case, clearly the norms taken under exam are meant not only to avoid discriminations, but also to prevent the creation of conditions for new "mass categorizations" that could find justification in a false protection of contractually weak subjects.

However, in actual fact the list of "high risk" work activities, mentioned, among others, in Art. 15 of Law 125/2001 (framework law on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems), and Art. 125 of President of the Republic Decree No. 309/1990, is yet to be issued, and, instead, the said list has been replaced by a joint proposal made by S.I.A. (Italian Society of Alcohol Studies) and A.N.Me L.P. (National Association of Public Employment Practitioners), drafted in 2004, according to which alcohol consumption is forbidden.

By way of illustration, we here report a non-exhaustive list of activities for which the ban is applicable, which include: operating street and railway transport vehicles, air transport and vessels; machinery for the transport of dirt or goods, farming equipment, machines manoeuvring (also by remote-control) equipment for lifting and transporting goods; controlling complex and/or robotized equipment;, operating of tools machines of every kind; activities in the construction industry; duties carried above ground; all the activities concerning the transport of goods; work performed in foundries and ore manufacturing plants, in the wood industry, in electric plant manufacturing, in the chemical industry at risk to cause significant harm, in all manufacturing plants subject to certificate of fire prevention, in quarries and mines, in cement plants and furnaces, in duties of security and/or care of other subjects (such as teachers, health socio personnel, etc.).

With regard to such activities, it was also additionally prescribed the application of Articles 124-125 of President of the Republic Decree No. 309/1990, regarding the administration of personnel suffering from alcohol abuse.

As for the case at hand, it appears that the activity of rubber extruding operator, at present, is not included in the categories for which control is mandatory, per cui consequence that the worker is relieved from said controls, and the employer is not required to make any monetary contributions for such periodic tests, nor shall he remove the worker from his duties, or be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with the obligations detailed in Articles 124-125 of President of the Republic Decree No. 3



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