The death of the young students in Spain, which struck Italy so hard, cannot and should not be attributed to a “tragic accident”. There is a wider argument to make, which this episode triggers – without concluding – and suggests beyond the single tragic episode.
It is the reckless and unscrupulous pursuit of retrenchment, which currently characterizes every workplace, in every social sector. The first victim of such a policy is ‘‘safety’’, which is always perceived as an expenditure and is often removed with a pencil stroke.
Laws prescribe, compel, and order… but in the real world shortcuts are sought to reduce the costs. Two drivers cost money too, hence it is necessary to cut down whenever it is possible. Less servicing, nothing besides the strictly necessary maintenances, and employees who are exploited at the limit of their productive capacity.
Both real and alleged economic crisis – the one we actually experience and the one people use as an excuse not to spend the money they do not want to spend – is the alibi with which the costs are increasingly reduced while service quality is expected to remain the same. Thus, drowsiness may happen to destroy a generation’s life and hopes, poor servicing may become herald of tragedies, and a piece that has not been replaced may lead to much higher economic and social costs.
After all, human beings have their limits and no service is able to modify them. Thus, the mechanism gets broken, stuck, and causes disasters.