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Worker, 43, dies in accident near Benevento

Shocking spate of workplace deaths continues in Italy

(ANSA) - ROME, FEB 14 - A 43-year-old transport company worker died in an accident near Benevento on Monday as a spate of fatal workplace accidents continued in Italy.
    The man, from San Giuseppe Vesuviano near Naples, lost his life in the industrial zone of Puglianello.
    Police said he may have fallen and hit his head on the tarmac or may have been hit by metal sheets that fell off a lorry.
    An autopsy has been ordered.
    Italy is in the middle of a spate of workplace fatalities.
    Three more fatal workplace accidents occurred in Italy on February 4 as a worker fell to his death from scaffolding near Venice, a farmer was crushed to death by a tractor that overturned near Mantua, and a 57-year-old worker was struck on the head by a wind-blown roof panel at Sora near Frosinone between Rome and Naples.
    The 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, 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 urgent action on health and safety to stem the tide of deaths.
    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.
    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 inaugural address recently that such deaths must stop, while Pope Francis has also joined the chorus against the phenomenon. (ANSA).


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