Purpose Social life cycle assessment (SLCA) was the last tool to be developed within the framework of life cycle thinking, and since the beginning, there has been a struggle to reach a consensus on a standardized methodology. In fact, many different methodological proposals have been published, diverging on many points. The main difference lies in the epistemological position underlying these proposals. The aim of this study is to propose an impact pathway for assessing the social consequences of a product’s life cycle—the psychosocial risk factor (PRF) impact pathway. The epistemological posture of this methodology is post-positivist, because it is based on an objective assessment of the possible consequences of the functioning of the life cycle, and therefore, it is in line with environmental LCA. Methods Possible impacts on workers’ health were measured in terms of risks, i.e., using the odds ratio, a statistical measure of the intensity of the association between two variables. Odds ratios explaining the relationships between working conditions and health troubles were retrieved from previously published empirical studies. These statistical relationships were used to build an impact pathway that links the product’s life cycle to possible social impacts in a quantifiable and probabilistic way. Results and discussion The PRF impact pathway was applied to citriculture in the Calabria region of South Italy. The results showed that the life cycle, from cradle to farm gate, of industrial oranges exposed workers to a risk for about 43,088 h against 54,110 h for the clementine life cycle. In general, musculoskeletal disorders are the highest concern for both products, followed by osteoarthritis, disability, and cardiovascular diseases. For all impact categories, the industrial oranges’ life cycle showed the best performance, mainly due to the shorter duration of a single operation. The results are generalizable to other evaluation contexts. Conclusions The PRF impact pathway was applied to the stakeholders group Bworkers,^ but can be extended to other typologies of actor, such as consumers and local residents. Further, it allowed for an objective assessment of the impacts principally linked to the functioning of the citruses’ life cycles, by quantifying and qualifying the hours of work, and can be extended to other fields of application.

Psychosocial risk factors’ impact pathway for social life cycle assessment: an application to citrus life cycles in South Italy

Iofrida N.;De Luca A. I.;Stillitano T.;Gulisano G;Strano A.
2019

Abstract

Purpose Social life cycle assessment (SLCA) was the last tool to be developed within the framework of life cycle thinking, and since the beginning, there has been a struggle to reach a consensus on a standardized methodology. In fact, many different methodological proposals have been published, diverging on many points. The main difference lies in the epistemological position underlying these proposals. The aim of this study is to propose an impact pathway for assessing the social consequences of a product’s life cycle—the psychosocial risk factor (PRF) impact pathway. The epistemological posture of this methodology is post-positivist, because it is based on an objective assessment of the possible consequences of the functioning of the life cycle, and therefore, it is in line with environmental LCA. Methods Possible impacts on workers’ health were measured in terms of risks, i.e., using the odds ratio, a statistical measure of the intensity of the association between two variables. Odds ratios explaining the relationships between working conditions and health troubles were retrieved from previously published empirical studies. These statistical relationships were used to build an impact pathway that links the product’s life cycle to possible social impacts in a quantifiable and probabilistic way. Results and discussion The PRF impact pathway was applied to citriculture in the Calabria region of South Italy. The results showed that the life cycle, from cradle to farm gate, of industrial oranges exposed workers to a risk for about 43,088 h against 54,110 h for the clementine life cycle. In general, musculoskeletal disorders are the highest concern for both products, followed by osteoarthritis, disability, and cardiovascular diseases. For all impact categories, the industrial oranges’ life cycle showed the best performance, mainly due to the shorter duration of a single operation. The results are generalizable to other evaluation contexts. Conclusions The PRF impact pathway was applied to the stakeholders group Bworkers,^ but can be extended to other typologies of actor, such as consumers and local residents. Further, it allowed for an objective assessment of the impacts principally linked to the functioning of the citruses’ life cycles, by quantifying and qualifying the hours of work, and can be extended to other fields of application.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/4630
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