Workplace deaths a national tragedy says justice minister

Law on administrative responsibility could be decisive-Cartabia

(ANSA) - ROME, OCT 20 - Workplace deaths in Italy are a national tragedy, Justice Minister Marta Cartabia said Wednesday amid a months-long spate of fatal accidents at the workplace across the country.
    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 Friday 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 shocking spate of workplace accident deaths continued with more more fatalities, one near Milan in Lombardy, one near Modena in Emilia-Romagna, one at Sassari in Sardinia and one at Barletta in Puglia.
    " I wish to express the government's, and my, satisfaction over the workplace safety norms," said the premier.
    "Over the past months we have witnessed an unacceptable number of deaths.
    "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." taly's three big trade-union confederations, CGIL, CISL and UIL, will hold a major demonstration on Rome on November 13 to demand action on health and safety to stem the tide of deaths.
    Some 667 people lost their lives in workplace accidents in the first seven months of the year, sources said last month.
    The issue has been top of public debate in Italy since the death of the 22-year-old mother of a five-year-old boy, Luana D'Orazio, in a textile mill accident near Prato on May 3.


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