Riders: duty to provide gloves, masks and sanitizers

Case Ref: Court of Florence, April 1, 2020 (R.G. 886/2020)

The Tribunal of Florence has ordered a well-known online home delivery platform to provide a Rider with personal protective equipment against the risk of COVID-19 (gloves, masks, disinfectant gels and backpack sanitizers products).
According to the Tribunal, the Principal who uses the platform, is bound towards the riders organized also through digital platforms “at his own expense, to comply with Legislative Decree no. 81 of 9 April 2008 and, therefore, also to comply with the provisions of art. 71 of the aforesaid Decree“.
Art. 71 of Legislative Decree 81/2008 states that the employer must “make available to workers, equipment that complies with the requirements set out in the previous article, which is suitable for health and safety purposes and for the work to be carried out, or adapted for such purposes, and must be used in accordance with the legislative provisions implementing EU directives“.
Therefore, in the case in question, the Court Order stated that “despite the worker’s requests in this regard” the Principal had not “made available to the individual protective equipment against the risk of COVID-19 (gloves, disinfectant gel and backpack cleaning products), the use of which (as far as gloves and mask are concerned) has been recommended by the company itself for the purpose of working during the epidemic outbreak “.
The Judge granted an injunction, without notice to the other parties, as “there is an imminent and irreparable detriment, since the continuation of the work activity in the absence of the aforementioned individual protective equipment could expose the plaintiff, during the time necessary for a ruling on the merits, to damage, even irreparable, to his health“.
According to the Judge “The nature of the right involved and the current risk of possible contagion from COVID-19 during the performance of the work activity are such that, summoning the other party could jeopardize the implementation of the measure“.
Therefore, in light of the health emergency and the risk of contagion in progress, the plaintiff was granted the right to have “the following personal protective equipment: protective mask, disposable gloves, disinfectant gel and alcohol-based products for backpack cleaning”.