TMID Editorial: Isn’t It Time to License Your Contractors?

At last year’s budget reading, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana announced that the process of licensing building contractors should begin. He’s a month away from the next budget reading, but there are far more questions than answers surrounding the construction industry.

Contractors are certainly not a rare sight in Malta, and with Tom, Dick, and Harry all being given permission to demolish their homes and replace them with flats, they certainly aren’t short of work.

However, there are few real restrictions on their practices.

In a speech last October, Mr. Caruana referred to the importance of licensing contractors to regulate the construction methods and aesthetics of buildings and impose ethical and responsible development practices.

While the above factors are important, the health and safety of workers is the most important reason for introducing licenses to developers. While it should be recognized that construction is an inherently dangerous job, it should be recognized that this industry has his second highest accident rate of any occupation.

Overall in 2021, there were a total of 362 non-fatal occupational injuries in the construction industry. This year alone, a total of 151 accidents were reported between January and June, with two fatalities in his first four months.

As a nation, we have reached the point that these accidents happen virtually every day, are taken for granted, and that each victim (especially if they are foreigners) is just a number. There are faces behind these numbers and those faces have the right to provide the safest working environment possible, with the proper equipment required.

Although the construction industry boasts a workforce of over 17,000 people, it is less regulated than other employment sectors with fewer workers. Given that he has the second highest non-fatal accident rate, it’s time to do something about it.

In his budget speech, Caruana said the licensing system should be fearlessly enforced and “attack abusers with an iron fist.” , the promise so far has not been fulfilled.

Over the past few years, dark clouds have been looming over the construction industry, with people falling to their deaths from heights, homes collapsing, and severely injured construction workers left on the side of the road. did. site.

In some cases no action has been taken and some contractors continue as if the incident was just another notch in the national statistics. There is a higher risk that contractors will not be allowed to work in the industry again, giving them more and more reasons to do things right. first place.

This expressly does not mean that all contractors fall into the same category, but the government, the Building and Construction Authority, and the Occupational Safety and Health Authority work together to ensure that everyone’s best interests are at heart. . TMID Editorial: Isn’t It Time to License Your Contractors?

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