Moviment Graffitti pushes for reform in the construction sector |  Moviment Graffitti Malta.
03/03/2020

Moviment Graffitti pushes for reform in the construction sector

Moviment Graffitti has deplored the current state of the construction sector, wherein a system of shoddy practices, lack of enforcement and policies designed to favour the development lobby have led to yet another tragedy, this time fatal.


“The sector is in shambles. There were many collapses last year and the lessons from them have been ignored. A hasty legal notice was drafted and branded as a reform, with the sole intention of allowing the construction lobby to do as it pleases – and the construction lobby has a direct interest in not letting any serious reforms see the light of day. The residents’ rights are being systematically ignored. We are now staring at a national tragedy, with a woman killed under the rubble of her own home.”


Moviment Graffitti has also issued a set of proposals for an overhaul of the laws and regulations in the construction sector, as part of a wider set of proposals tackling planning, the environment, the ecosystem, transportation and large-scale projects. The full document, titled Reforming Planning and Construction in Malta, has been drafted with the participation of legal and technical experts and will be presented to the authorities in the coming weeks.


The proposals related to the regulation of the construction industry are as follows:


Contractors’ Registration

  • A contractors' register must be created with criteria for the licensing and classification of each contractor, while legal provisions for developers to enter into a formal contract with building contractors should be stringent and enforced in order to ensure accountability;
  • The creation of a government-run registry of developers’ companies and contractors effectively revoking the agreement between the MDA and the Building Regulation Office (BRO) for the administration of this registry;
  • The creation of a public complaints system and a register of these complaints that ensures transparency, whereby proven repeated complaints should lead to the blacklisting of contractor/developer by the use of a penalty points system.


Issuing of Permits

  • The number of permits executed concurrently in a set area should be limited. Where permits  involve the use of heavy vehicles and machinery for purposes including but not limited to demolition and excavation works, a delay of the commencement of works by a suitable period of time should be imposed so as not to inconvenience residents with an excessive amount of construction work in their area;
  • A limit on the number of road closures and parking slots stolen from residents.


Health and Safety 

  • A set of laws that impose decent standards to safeguard the residents’ health and safety in areas close to construction sites;
  • A serious enforcement of the laws regulating construction, to give, without exception, protection and dignity to workers and residents alike;
  • The amendment of the law to allow no more than eight hours of construction work during the day, commencing from no earlier than 8am;
  • Costs for accommodation and compensation for the property and contents lost, as well as legal, psychological and logistical support for residents affected by accidents, should be paid for from a fund until responsibility is legally established. Whoever is found to be responsible is then to refund all expenses taken from the fund.
  • An ongoing audit of all construction sites in activity;
  • Risk assessments to be carried out when handling construction waste so as to minimise particulate matter emissions;
  • Any reasonable costs incurred by residents in ensuring their own safety should be billed to the developer.


Workers’ Rights

  • The provision of adequate resources to the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA) and to the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER) to ensure that construction workers are not exploited. The exploitation of workers should be heavily penalised and contractors who exploit workers should have their license to operate withdrawn;
  • Employers in the construction industry to be legally obliged to pay accident insurance for their workers. This measure:   

i. ensures that workers who suffer injuries receive compensation in a speedy manner 

ii. puts the responsibility on contractors and developers to uphold health and safety standards, since insurance companies will not accept to pay claim settlements for sites that do not conform with these standards.


General Provisions

  • The strengthening of the resources and enforcement powers of the Police, DIER, OHSA and the BRO in relation to illegalities and unsafe practices, and the rights of citizens to have recourse whenever these entities do not act on their complaints.


Moviment Graffitti reiterates its call to the authorities to ensure proper enforcement of all building sites in Malta, until a proper, fully-fledged reform is launched to put an end, once and for all, to these tragedies brought about by greed and bullying.


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Il-Moviment Graffitti jagħfas għal rifroma fis-settur tal-kostruzzjoni


Il-Moviment Graffitti kkritika bl-aħrax l-istat attwali tas-settur tal-kostruzzjoni, fejn sistema sħiħa ta’ prattiki bl-addoċċ, in-nuqqas ta’ infurzar u politiki maħduma sabiex jiffavorixxu lil-lobby tal-iżviluppaturi wasslu għal traġedja oħra, din id-darba bit-telf ta’ ħajja.


“Is-settur jinsab f’kaos assolut. Kien hemm ħafna tiġrif ta’ binjiet is-sena l-oħra iżda l-lezzjonijiet li kellhom jittieħdu ġew injorati. Ġiet abbozzata notifika legali ta’ malajr u ddawret bħala riforma, iżda l-intenzjoni tagħha kien biss li l-lobby tal-kostruzzjoni tibqa’ tagħmel li trid – u l-lobby tal-kostruzzjoni għandha interess dirett li r-riformi serji jibqgħu ma jsirux. Issa qed naraw quddiemna traġedja nazzjonali, fejn mara inqatlet taħt it-tifrik ta’ darha stess.”


Il-Moviment Graffitti ħabbar ukoll set ta’ proposti għal bidla radikali tal-liġijiet u regolamenti fis-settur tal-kostruzzjoni, bħala parti minn sett ta’ proposti aktar wiesa’ li jittrattaw l-ippjanar, l-ambjent, l-ekosistema, it-trasport u l-proġetti fuq skala kbira. Id-dokument sħiħ, bl-isem ta’ Reforming Planning and Construction in Malta, ġie abbozzat bl-għajnuna ta’ esperti legali u tekniċi, u se jiġi ppreżentat lill-awtoritajiet fil-ġimgħat li ġejjin.


Il-proposti relatati mar-regolamentazzjoni tal-industrija tal-kostruzzjoni huma kif ġej:


Ir-reġistrazzjoni tal-Kuntratturi

  • Ir-regolamentazzjoni u r-reġistrazzjoni tal-kuntratturi. Jeħtieġ li jinħoloq reġistru tal-kuntratturi bi kriterji għal-liċenzjar u l-klassifikazzjoni ta’ kull kuntrattur, filwaqt li d-dispożizzjonijiet legali sabiex żviluppaturi jagħmlu kuntratti formali ma’ kuntratturi tal-bini għandhom ikunu stretti u jiġu infurzati biex tkun aċċertata l-kontabilità; 
  • Il-ħolqien ta’ reġistru mmexxi mill-gvern ta’ kumpaniji ta’ żviluppaturi u kuntratturi, li effettivament jirrevoka l-ftehim bejn l-MDA u l-Uffiċċju dwar ir-Regolament tal-Bini (BRO) għall-amministrazzjoni ta’ dan ir-reġistru;
  • Il-ħolqien ta’ sistema ta’ lmenti pubbliċi u ta’ reġistru ta’ dawn l-ilmenti sabiex tiġi żġurata t-trasparenza, u meta jiġu murija lmenti ripetuti, dawn għandhom iwasslu sabiex kuntrattur/żviluppatur jiġi blacklisted, permezz ta’ sistema ta’ punti penali.


Ħruġ ta’ Permessi 

  • In-numru ta’ pemessi esegwiti fl-istess ħin f’żona partikolari għandu jkun limitat. Fejn il-permessi jinvolvu makkinarju u vetturi goffi għal skopijiet li jinkludu, iżda mhumiex limitati għal, xogħal ta’ skavar jew twaqqigħ ta’ bini, għandu jkun impost dewmien adegwat għall-bidu tax-xogħlijiet sabiex ir-residenti ma jbatux l-inkonvenjenzi mill-ammont eċċessiv ta’ kostruzzjoni fl-inħawi fejn jgħixu;
  • Limitu fin-numru ta’ toroq magħluqin u postijiet tal-parkeġġ misruqa mir-residenti.


Saħħa u Sigurtà

  • Sett ta’ liġijiet li jimponu standards diċenti sabiex jissalvagwardjaw is-saħħa u s-sigurtà tar-residenti fl-inħawi qrib siti ta’ kostruzzjoni;
  • Infurzar serju tal-liġijiet li jirregolaw il-kostruzzjoni sabiex tingħata, mingħajr eċċezzjoni, protezzjoni u dinjità kemm lill-ħaddiema kif ukoll lir-residenti;
  • Emenda fil-liġi sabiex ma jkunx permess li jsir xogħol ta’ kostruzzjoni għal aktar minn tmien sigħat matul il-ġurnata, u li dan ma jibdiex qabel it-8.00 ta’ filgħodu;
  • L-ispejjeż tal-akkomodazzjoni u l-kumpens għat-telf ta’ propjetà jew kontenut, kif ukoll appoġġ legali, psikoloġiku u loġistiku lir-residenti affetwati minn inċidenti, għandhom jitħallsu minn fond sakemm tiġi stabbilita r-responsabbiltà b’mod legali. Kull min jinstab responsabbli, ikun obbligat li jħallas lura l-ispejjeż kollha maħruġa minn dan il-fond; 
  • Awditjar kontinwu tas-siti kollha tal-kostruzzjoni attivi;
  • Għandha ssir valutazzjoni tar-riskju fl-immaniġġjar tal-iskart tal-kostruzzjoni sabiex jitnaqqsu l-emissjonijiet ta' materja partikulata; 
  • Kwalunkwe spejjeż raġjonevoli li jagħmlu r-residenti sabiex jiżguraw is-sigurtà tagħhom għandhom jitħallsu mill-iżviluppatur.


Drittijiet tal-Ħaddiema 

  • L-għoti ta’ riżorsi adegwati lill-Awtorità tas-Saħħa u s-Sigurtà (OHSA) u lid-Dipartiment tar-Relazzjonijiet Industrijali u tal-Impjieg (DIER) biex jiżguraw li l-ħaddiema tal-kostruzzjoni ma jkunux sfruttati. L-isfruttament tal-ħaddiema trid tkun penalizzata sew u l-kuntratturi li jisfruttaw lill-ħaddiema għandha tittieħdilhom il-liċenzja biex joperaw;
  • L-impjegaturi fl-industrija tal-kostruzzjoni għandu jiġi obbligat bil-liġi li jħallas għall-assigurazzjoni kontra l-inċidenti tal-ħaddiema tagħhom. Din il-miżura:

i. tiżgura li l-ħaddiema li jweġġgħu fuq il-post tax-xogħol jirċievu kumpens fi żmien qasir;

ii. tqiegħed ir-responsabbiltà fuq il-kuntratturi u l-iżviluppaturi biex jirrispettaw l-istandards tas-saħħa u s-sigurtà, peress li l-kumpaniji tal-assigurazzjoni    mhumiex se jaċċettaw li ħallsu kumpens meta t-talbiet ikunu jikkonċernaw siti ta’ kostruzzjoni li ma jikkonformawx ma’ dawn l-istandards.


Dispożizzjonijiet Ġenerali

  • It-tisħiħ tar-riżorsi u l-poteri tal-infurzar tal-Pulizija, id-DIER, l-OHSA u l-BRO fir-rigward ta’ irregolaritajiet u prattiki perikolużi, u d-drittijiet taċ-ċittadini li jkollhom fejn jirrikorru kull meta dawn l-entitarjiet ma’ jiħdux azzjoni fuq dawn l-ilmenti.


Il-Moviment Graffitti jtenni t-talba tiegħu lill-awtoritajiet sabiex jiġi żgurat l-infurzar xieraq tas-siti kollha tal-kostruzzjoni f’Malta, sakemm titlesta riforma sħiħa u jintemmu, darba għal dejjem, dawn it-traġedji li huma riżultat tar-regħba u l-prepotenza.