The Malta Independent 25 August 2016, Thursday

'No stone left unturned’ – Minister Helena Dalli on health and safety public consultation

Helena Grech Saturday, 16 January 2016, 12:30 Last update: about 8 months ago

A report concerning health and safety measures during public activities has been submitted for public consultation this morning in the light of two tragic accidents which shocked the island towards the end of 2015.

An incident during Paqpaqli ghall-Istrina saw a supercar careen into a nearby audience and injured dozens of people, which sparked a public debate about the current health and safety regulations in place.

In addition to this, an accident at PlusOne club in Paceville saw 74 people injured after the glass stairwell collapsed and left Maltese society further questioning the need for action to be taken.

A joint press conference this morning with Civil Liberties, Social Dialogue and Consumer Affairs Minister Helena Dalli, Occupational Health and Safety Authority CEO Dr Mark Gauci and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Joseph Camilleri officially launched the public consultation.

The report, drawn up by Dr Gauci, makes a number of recommendations such as a regulatory authority which will assume all responsibility with regard to public health and safety, which will have executive powers to carry out its work.

Dr Gauci shed light on the “outdated” health and safety rules currently in place, providing examples such as the fact that asbestos was still listed as an anti-fire precaution.

Other recommendations include the undertaking of a risk analysis before a permit is awarded for public activities, and the development of a legal framework for anti-fire precautions and other emergent situations.

“No stone will be left unturned,” said Minister Dalli, adding that the report will not be the end of the line for health and safety precautions.

Dr Gauci said that in his view, the best solution for the current situation is one body assuming control, which will allow for the consolidation of current resources. He did not specify however whether this will be a whole new entity or whether it would mean the broadening of an existing one.

Any further queries or clarifications may be addressed to onlineconsultations.msdc@gov.mt or to Ms Davida Flores, Director Strategy and Support, 280, Level 3, Republic Street, Valletta.

 

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