On March 19, 2024, took place a flash mob in Rome, promoted by the UILone of our country's leading unions, which, to raise awareness of the issue of workplace deaths, he “covered” the historic Piazza del Popolo with one thousand and forty-one coffins. Numerous deaths have been confirmed over the past year. A certainly strong image, which clearly reflects the seriousness of the situation.

The same day, The first school in Italy focused on occupational safety was inaugurated at Bologna Airport. Named after Yaya Yafa, a 22-year-old worker who died there during his third shift in May 2023 without a day of training, the structure aims to be a pioneer in the field of logistics, place where she was born, but also in the varied world of work.

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These two images, although crude in their premises, they leave a decisive mark on the path to be takenmade of awareness and future resolution.

A law on safety at work

Recently, the On March 2, it was approved in Parliament, within the framework of the PNRR quater decree, the measure which regulates the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, a law which marks progress in terms of safety at work, in this case, on temporary or mobile sites [1]. You will need a “permit”, such as a driving license, which will certify compliance with the obligations to be able to travel safely.

A detailed measurement but at the same time Very important -if we consider that construction sites are among the places where the risk of accidents is highest- e which aims above all to create a culture of safety and prevention in the workplace in order to stem the number of deaths which, although being in constant declinestill remains too high.

Workplace safety law, the UIL flash mob

Piazza del Popolo during the Uil flash mob

A positive but still slow trend

Current data from INAILthe organization which manages the compulsory insurance of workers against illnesses or accidents at work, recorded a decrease, albeit slight, in deaths in 2023: 1,041 (4.5% less), compared to 1,091 in 2022 and 1,156 in 2019, knowing that the 2020-21 reports are almost reset to zero and invalidated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A continuous decrease which represents, in terms of numbers, a greater attention from businesses than in the past.

However, looking at the percentage decrease, we see that in 2019 it was 8.5% less than in 2018, while today it stands at -4.5% compared to 2022. Indeed, it seems that after the years of the pandemic, the curve is in constant decline, but slower. What are the causes ?

The first is the impact of the cost of security compliance. Many small businesses are recovering today fear of costsincluding bureaucratic protocols, equipment, training of each employee and they don't adapt, thanks to the few controls. That is to say, in a difficult situation, the “security” budget item is one of the most affected by budget cuts. Yet the aforementioned law is the latest in a broad series of regulations that protect workplace safety. AND tall, like these, are obligatory. What is missing?

Costs and culture of prevention

An authoritative voice responds, that of President Sergio Mattarella on the occasion of the 73rd National Day of Victims of Work Accidents: “Security is not a cost, nor even a luxury: but a duty which corresponds to an inalienable right of every person”.

The law on safety at work constitutes new progress, even if it is not sufficient. Culture, rather than obligations, rights rather than burdens. But above all consciousness. It's an ethical question. And it must be said that the most important associations, in cooperation with social partners and unions, are working to “do more”. With projects, promote the culture of training, invest in it, so that safety is no longer a problem to be solved, but a normality.


[1] PNRR law decree: employment measures

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