Current Affairs
Second reading of Amendment for the establishment of a Building and Construction Authority

The Chamber of Deputies has commenced discussing the Second Reading of the Amendment for a building and construction authority to regulate such aspects as the issue of a code that enshrines all the regulations tied to this sector that are spread over different Ministries and institutions.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Lands and Construction, Chris Agius, who had forwarded the Amendment, said the new Authority wanted to assure all the phases of building are strongly regulated according to EU standards while at the same time reducing risks of incidents on construction sites. He said all the regulations will be included in a code to assure that standards are maintained, particularly during demolitions and excavation and the engineering used, among other aspects. He said that all site developers of new buildings will be given a booklet that contains building services and permissions issued by the Authority.

PS Agius said the new Authority will assume most of the functions of the consultative board for the construction industry as well as that of the board’s office procedures.

He spoke of incidents and said that 15% of incidents while at work in 2018 occurred in the construction industry. Unfortunately last year there were two incidents that resulted in fatalities including the death of Miriam Pace in Ħamrun and a foreign employee at Cospicua. Agius said that regulations cannot guarantee any incidents. However, if regulation are followed these will be greatly reduced.

PS Agius said there had been an addition of inspectors on contraction sites last year as well as other administrative officials. New systems have also been introduced applicable to construction workers and constructor contractors also have to have a licence.

Agius said last year four cases had been referred to Court and four construction sites were sealed off. In addition, 43 Enforcement Notices were issued as well as 38 fines. The construction agency had also received about 2,500 complaints.