External RSPP: who is it and what does it do?



External RSPP (Health and Safety Manager): what are the requirements and tasks of an RSPP? When can an external consultant be appointed?

The Legislation on safety at work presupposes the presence of numerous figures who, together, deal with identifying and preventing present or potential risks in the company. Among the most relevant is the RSPP – Head of the Prevention and Protection Service: let’s deepen this figure and his duties.


Who is the RSPP?

The Head of the Prevention and Protection Service (or Health and Safety Manager) is a professional figure of great importance within the company, appointed by the Employer and mandatory in all cases where even one employee is present.

The Head of the Prevention and Protection Service plays a pivotal role within the company, as he reports directly to the Employer (as must also result from the company safety organization) and supports the same, as an Expert on health and safety in the workplace, in the definition of a correct company safety management system. Often in international realities it is called Safety Manager or HSE Manager.

The Employer has 3 opportunities to appoint its own RSPP:

  1. Directly cover the role of corporate RSPP following the execution of a training course as RSPP / Employer whose duration varies from 16 to 48 hours (depending on the level of business risk). The function of RSPP can be exercised by the employer in the case of companies:
    • craftsmen or industrialists, with up to 30 workers
    • agricultural or livestock, employing up to 10 employees
    • fish, with a limit of 20 workers
    • other sectors, up to 200 employees
  1. Identify a resource within your staff with adequate training and technical skills and make him follow the courses for the qualification to RSPP. Specifically, three modules are required: Module A (lasting 28 hours) Module B (lasting a minimum of 48 to which must be added a specialization module varying between 12 and 16 hours for some Ateco sectors) and finally Module C (lasting 24 hours)
  2. Entrust the task of RSPP to a consultant (external RSPP) who has adequate previous expertise and training requirements as indicated in the previous point.

In addition to the above, for each of the above figures it is mandatory to carry out refresher courses every five years whose duration varies between 6 and 40 hours.

The duration and periodicity of the courses indicated above is defined by the State-Regions Agreement of 7 July 2016.


What skills should the RSPP have?

In addition to the training requirements already indicated in the previous point, art. 32 paragraph 1 of the TUS specifies that “the skills and professional requirements of those responsible for prevention and protection services …. they must be appropriate to the nature of the risks present in the workplace and related to work activities“. From this it can be deduced that the Employer must carefully evaluate the skills of the RSPP on the basis of the CV and previous experience, in relation to the size and complexity of his company, in order to avoid co-responsibility related to the “culpa in eligendo“.


When can an external RSPP be appointed?

The TUS (Legislative Decree 81/08) in art. 31 c. 4 provides that “The use of external persons or services is mandatory in the absence of employees who, within the company or production unit, are in possession of the requirements of art. 32“.

In paragraph 6 of art. 31 The TUS also excludes the possibility of an external RSPP by specifying the obligatory nature of an internal RSPP in the following cases:

  1. in industrial companies referred to in Article 2 of Legislative Decree no. 334 of 17 August 1999 (relating to the control of major-accident hazards)
  2. in thermal power plants
  3. in the plants and installations referred to in Articles 7, 28 and 33 of Legislative Decree no. 230 of 17 March 1995 (relating to ionizing radiation)
  4. on undertakings for the manufacture and separate storage of explosives, powders and ammunition
  5. in industrial companies with more than 200 workers
  6. in extractive industries with more than 50 workers
  7. in public and private shelters with over 50 workers

In relation to the above, the debate about the obligation that the internal RSPP was an employee of the company or alternatively could be a professional in possession of the legal requirements, was clarified with the question no. 24/2014 of the Ministry of Labor. In this regard, the Ministry has specified that the term “internal” cannot be understood as equivalent to the definition of “employee”, but must refer to a worker who ensures an adequate presence to carry out his activity “.

In relation to the above, it is clear that the Employer always has the possibility to identify a company or professional as an external RSPP.


What does an RSPP do?

The Head of the Prevention and Protection Service coordinates (where present) the other figures belonging to the SPP (service employees or ASPP), in order to identify and assess the risks present in the workplace and develop prevention measures and effective protections against accidents at work and occupational diseases.

Specifically, as indicated by art. 33 of the TUS, the SPP must:

  • Identify hazards and assess risks in the company
  • Collaborate with the Employer for the preparation of the Risk Assessment Document
  • Develop safety measures suitable for the prevention of diseases and accidents at work
  • Develop safety procedures for individual work steps
  • Propose information and training programmes for workers
  • Participate in consultations on occupational health and safety protection, as well as in the annual regular meeting (when scheduled)
  • Provide workers with information on the risks present in the company


What are the advantages of an external RSPP?

As mentioned, companies can choose to appoint an internal resource to the team or, alternatively, opt for an external RSPP. This second hypothesis is particularly advantageous for companies that do not have adequate internal skills in the field of security and for all those of significant size or that carry out potentially dangerous activities, in which the support of specialists in the sector becomes indispensable.

In this case, in fact, choosing an external RSPP allows you to rely on a professional who, in addition to the tasks mentioned above, deals with:

  • Maintain relations with Supervisory Institutions and Public Authorities
  • Dealing with insurance institutions
  • Interpret and apply current legislation (with any updates)
  • Prepare documents and material to train and inform staff on safety rules to be followed within the company
  • Carry out all the bureaucratic obligations required by law

Last but not least, it allows the Company to transfer to an external part civil and criminal liability that would otherwise remain internal to it.


Do you need an external RSPP or support for your SPP? Let’s stay in touch

If your company is looking for an External Prevention and Protection Service Manager or needs advice to support the current SPP, Safetyone Ingegneria Srl is the solution you were looking for. Thanks to twenty years of experience in the sector, we offer a professional, effective and company-friendly service, carried out by qualified and highly qualified technicians.



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