Working in Italy is war

Marketplace Staff Oct 15, 2007


Doug Krizner: In Italy, they’re known as “morti bianche” — white deaths. People killed each day on the job. As Megan Williams reports from Rome, new research is shedding light on the dark reasons behind Italy’s risky workplaces.

Megan Williams: Worse than a war. That’s what one of Italy’s top independent research centers is calling the high number of workplace deaths in Italy.

An average of almost 1,400 people die each year in industrial, construction and agricultural accidents. That’s almost four workers a day. Between 2003 and 2006, that was more than the number of coalition troops who died in the Gulf War.

Both researchers and the Italian government are pointing their fingers at the thriving black labor market and jobs controlled by organized crime. Italy is upping the number of safety inspectors, but until it seriously tackles the black market, workers’ lives will be on the line.

In Rome, I’m Megan Williams for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.