The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
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New rules for construction of freestanding buildings to be introduced

Thursday, 22 February 2024, 18:07 Last update: about 3 months ago

New rules for the construction of freestanding buildings are being introduced, the minister in charge of construction sector reforms, Jonathan Attard, has said.

A number of legislative amendments dealing with various legal notices regarding the Building and Construction Authority Act have been drafted and will be introduced.

The public inquiry into the death of Jean Paul Sofia had uncovered a number of loopholes for such sites.


"These amendments will continue raising standards and establishing clear responsibility in the interests of third parties and construction site workers," a government statement read.

Through these amendments, stand-alone sites that do not touch other properties not only need to adhere to certain conditions provided at law when it comes to times, hoarding, excessive dust, noise, cleaning of the area, pavements, roads and site notices, but will also need to have insurance, the government statement read.

"This will mean that Clearance/Acceptance Notices will not be issued by the BCA unless there is insurance coverage in place and the documentation has been presented to the authority. In cases where the conditions provided at law are breached, the authority would be able to stop works and impose sanctions."

This means that the BCA will have clear oversight over such sites.

"Through the amendments being implemented into law, the authority is continuing to assume a bigger role, including when it comes to stand-alone sites," the government statement read.

The minister said that through this legal change, they are "providing peace of mind" to people who can be affected. "At the same time while strengthening the obligation for there to be Employers Liability Insurance," he said, adding that "employers who complain that they are not finding insurance services, assume clear responsibility at law."

In cases where one has a license, works but does not have insurance that covers employees, the person or company together with the directors and those who lead the company, will be held civilly liable for any damages third parties or employees suffer, it read. "This will lead to higher standards in the sector and, above all, provide a more effective and efficient remedy for workers and their families in cases of injury or death."

Minister Attard said that there is nothing more important than the lives of health of workers, highlighting that there was the need to change the law so that a worker or their family following a judicial case establishing damages due to injury or death, are not left without remedy in cases when a company has no assets, and would have more of a chance to receive it.





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