Dangerous machinery sign on blue machine.

La Russa denounces stream of work-related deaths

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Senate Speaker Ignazio La Russa said that everyone needs to do more to counter the steady stream of work-related deaths in Italy today. This follows the death of three workers in an explosion at the Esplodenti Sabino plant in the Abruzzo town of Casalbordino on Wednesday.

“After this latest tragedy, which comes on top of many others, we adhere to the words of the President of the Republic on the need for everyone, government, majority, opposition and all State institutions, to do more to counter this steady stream of deaths and tragedies that strongly affects not only our humanity, but the civil coexistence of our nation,” said La Russa.

“In memory of these three latest victims, I invite you to join me in a moment of condolence,” he told senators.

Three people also died in an accident at the Esplodenti Sabino plant in December 2020.

The company’s website describes itself as “a world leader for the recovery of materials from military ammunition of demilitarization activities, remediation of contaminated sites, disposal of products containing explosives (airbags, safety belts, signal flares)”.

Wednesday’s accident comes on the heels of a rash of recent work-related deaths. This includes the death of five rail maintenance workers who were hit by a train and killed on the night of August 30th.

What happened at Esplodenti Sabino?

At least three workers have died in an explosion at a facility in charge of treating pyrotechnic material.

The explosion was also felt in the town closest to the facility, Casalbordino. Reports from local media say the explosion also left several injured. The reasons for the tragedy are not yet known.

The company is no stranger to these types of incidents. At the end of 2020, an explosion killed three employees between 45 and 54 years old. Also, in 1992, another operator died when the trigger of a fuse failed. And in 2009 another explosion left two people seriously injured.

According to Italy News 24, tomorrow there will be a hearing preliminary hearing for the 2020 explosion before the preliminary hearing judge of the Vasto Court. The main charge for all ten defendants, including the company, is negligent cooperation in manslaughter.

Latest workplace deaths

Since the railway tragedy of August 30th, there have been many more workplace deaths. Yesterday, a 50-year-old worker died after falling from scaffolding at a private construction site in Scala Torregrotta, in the province of Messina. Carabinieri police are investigating.

Earlier, Inail reported it had received reports of 559 work-related fatal accidents in the January-July period. A drop of 1.8% compared to the 569 registered in the first seven months of 2022, it is still too large a number.

Separately, President Sergio Mattarella said in a message to Labour Minister Elvira Calderone that deaths in the workplace “injure our soul”.

“They injure the greatest value of a person’s existence – the right to life,” he said. “They injure their families. They injure society as a whole. Working is not dying,” added Mattarella.

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