Workers at one of Europe’s largest refineries in Italy have gone on strike after the latest in a series of fatal workplace accidents. The victims are thought to have inhaled poisonous gases after becoming trapped in a de-sulfurization unit while carrying out repairs at the plant in the Sardinian port of Cagliari.
One angry worker blamed the deaths on ever increasing pressure to work faster and cut corners. “The plant should’ve been shut down for 3 or 4 months for this type of maintenance, but there are workers swarming about everywhere.” The issue of security at work has become a national concern. Italy reportedly has the worst record for workplace deaths in Europe, with latest figures suggesting one person dies about every seven hours. Successive governments have introduced reforms but trade unions say there are not enough inspectors to enforce the new safety regulations.