The Stories We are, Matteo: “No more deaths at work”

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“You work to live, not to die”. A phrase tattooed on the chest that for Matteo Mondini, 39 years old, it has become a mission. That of sensitizing people and companies as much as possible so that safety at work is always guaranteed. It wasn’t like that for him ten years ago.

“It was October 29, 2010 and I left the house to reach a shop where I would have to carry out work to reinforce the door.” Matteo was a blacksmith, passionate about that profession like his father, the teacher from whom he had learned it.

“When the job was finished, the shop owner asked me to help her lower the shutter but when I touched the remote control to operate it, I was instantly shocked”. The lifesaver was missing.

Since that day and over the years, Matteo underwent 37 surgeries, all under total anesthesia. These include the insertion of a pacemaker and finally the amputation of the limb most affected by the discharge of electricity. It was October 11, 2017, seven years after the first hospitalization and first surgery.

“When I went back to the hospital room after the amputation, I saw my father. He was sitting there looking at me, crying and repeating that that day he should have been there in my place ». By his side, from the first moment after the accident, Matteo has always had Alice, the woman he married despite the difficulties and with whom he became a father twice.

“The first thought after the amputation was for my children. How would I have explained to them that I had returned home without an arm? ‘ Matteo found the words shortly after returning to the walls of his house and sitting with his children on his lap. “I became Iron Man.” Thus the greatest tragedy, for Matteo, became a profound force. A new beginning.

“Although I had a permanent contract I decided to change everything in my life and dedicate myself to the promise I made to myself in the hospital: to fight so that no one has to live what I lived “. So Matteo, who despite having won the trial has not received any compensation, has started going to schools and companies to talk about job safety. «It’s my Safety Tour. There is still a lack of real awareness on this issue. Too often I see bricklayers on roofs without a helmet or harness. And the deaths are still too many ». About three a day: in 2020, there were 1,270 injuries with fatal outcome, 16.6% more than in 2019. “How long does it still have to happen?”.

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