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Two workers die of CO inhalation near Como

Brazier kills men in latest in long spate of fatal accidents

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 21 - Two workers died of carbon monoxide (CO) inhalation near Como overnight, local sources said Wednesday.
    The workers lit an artisanal brazier to keep themselves warm in a container where they weer sleeping in a building site near Lake Como.
    The accident happened at Moltrasio.
    The alarm was raised by workmates after they failed to turn up for work.
    The tragedy happened in Via Ranzato, where a container has been turned into an office and sleeping quarters.
    The men were said to be in their early 60s.
    Emergency teams rushed to the scene but were unable to do anything for the men.
    Autopsies have been ordered.
    They are the latest in a long string of workplace accident deaths in Italy.
    Four other workers died on the job in one recent week including one at the foreign ministry in Rome.
    The government has taken several steps to try to stem the tide of deaths but the spate, which grabbed public attention 18 months ago with the death of a 22-year-old mother of a five-year-old boy, Luana D'Orazio, in a textile mill accident near Prato on May 3, 2021, has continued unabated.
    The recent fatalities were the latest in a shocking wave of workplace accident deaths in Italy that saw 1,221 perish last year and which has spurred government action.
    Such deaths are a national tragedy, outgoing Justice Minister Marta Cartabia said on October 22.
    She said the government had intervened by increasing the number of inspectors and checks, but a new law on administrative responsibility would be even more useful in stopping the rash of fatalities.
    Premier Mario Draghi said on October 17 that workplace safety norms recently approved by the government sent the "unequivocal signal that you cannot save (money) at the expense of workers' lives" after the spate continued with four more deaths in one day.
    "As the government, we committed ourselves to doing everything possible to prevent these episodes happening again," Draghi said.
    "The norms are the realisation of this promise. We are increasing the numbers of workplace inspectors, we are stiffening sanctions, we are boosting computerization to improve checks." Despite this, as the deaths continued, Italy's big three trade-union confederations, CGIL, CISL and UIL, held a major demonstration in Rome in mid-December to demand further urgent action on health and safety.
    Turin held a day of mourning on December 21 for three workers who died when a large crane collapsed in the northern city the previous weekend.
    Re-elected President Sergio Mattarella said in his second inaugural address in February that such deaths must stop, while Pope Francis has also joined the chorus against the phenomenon.
    The outgoing government recently unveiled a fresh set of measures to up workplace safety. (ANSA).


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