ROME, July 4 (Xinhua) — The Italian government is set to hire 1,600 new inspectors in an effort to slow rising numbers of accidents in the workplace, many of which are fatal, the country’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced Thursday.

Meloni made the announcement during a parliamentary ceremony commemorating victims of workplace accidents.

The hiring of the new labor inspectors will double the amount of workplace inspections carried out this year. The government has also revealed a compliance standard for workplace safety, and made certain types of workplace abuses criminal offences.

In February, five workers died in a collapse at a construction site near Florence, while another employee died at an automobile parts site near Naples. In May, five more workers lost their lives when toxic gas was released into underground sewer works in Sicily. Most recently, a worker died in June from on-the-job wounds suffered on a farm near Rome.

This year, trade unions have gone on strike to call for better workplace safety guidelines.

Minister of Labor Marina Calderone said this week that government inspectors had carried out more than 300 workplace inspections on Wednesday, finding irregularities during two-thirds of these investigations.