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Kamra Tal-Periti Bracing Itself For Potential Lockdown, Gives Advice On How To Secure Construction Sites

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Malta’s Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers has submitted advice to the government on how construction sites should be closed down in the case of a potential lockdown.

Simone Vella Lenicker, President of the Kamra tal-Periti, told Lovin Malta that any potential ban on construction works shouldn’t be announced from one day to the next.

“Our biggest concern is that if the government decides it needs to impose a lockdown on the construction industry, there are certain works that would be more dangerous left pending,” she said. “If you’re halfway through demolishing a house, it would be better to continue demolishing it than to leave it at the mercy of strong winds or heavy rain, for example.”

Indeed, she said the Chamber has already started studying ways to reduce the risks of construction works, particularly demolition and excavation works, in the potential case of a lockdown.

“We want periti to think ahead in case there’s a lockdown,” she said.

Vella Lenicker said that construction workers are also exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus, especially when working in confined spaces, although there are several situations where works are carried out on open sites where risks are less. Nevertheless, these risks still exist since contact between workers is inevitable.
Simone Vella Lenicker

Simone Vella Lenicker

However, architects have been instructed to implement social distancing measures such as ensuring adequate distance from construction workers when they arrive on site, sanitisation, and ensuring with contractors that none of the construction workers on site had been abroad recently.

Moreover, she said the industry has naturally slowed down because several foreign construction workers have returned to their home countries since the start of the outbreak.

The Kamra tal-Periti has also teamed up with the Chamber of Advocates, the Malta Notarial Council, the Malta Institute of Accounting and the Dental Association of Malta to present the government with a set of short-term and long-term economic proposals on behalf of regulated professionals.

“We were originally only looking at the interests of our own members but we very quickly realised that we all depend on our clients,” she said. “The economy is a big chain and shouldn’t be looked at in a sectorial manner so we’ve issued proposals for the entire private sector, around 160,000 people of whom professionals represent around 10,000 people.”

She was unwilling to divulge any details about the proposals, stating she would rather discuss them internally with the Prime Minister before making them public.

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