Vatican City, Jan 20, 2022 / 11:30 am
Pope Francis said Thursday that human life is the most important asset to protect in the workplace, and lamented the many lives lost in work-related accidents or disease every year.
“People are the real wealth: without them, there is no working community, no enterprise, no economy,” the pope said Jan. 20 in an audience with the Italian Association of Private Construction Contractors.
“Workplace safety means safeguarding human resources, which are of inestimable value in the eyes of God and also in the eyes of the true entrepreneur,” he added.
In 2021, 1,404 people died in work accidents in Italy, according to the Independent National Observatory on Work Deaths. Of these, 695 happened in the actual workplace, as opposed to off-site — an 18% increase from 2020. Just over 30% of deaths were in the agricultural sector, while 15% were in construction.