The Occupational Health and Safety Authority have released a statement clarifying that they received reports regarding unsafe working conditions in Swieqi following yesterday’s collapse that left one construction worker grievously injured and reportedly buried under rubble for an hour.
“It can be confirmed that OHSA did receive a number of complaints regarding this area, which involves three adjacent properties (belonging to three different clients) which are being demolished,” OHSA told Lovin Malta.
“For the sake of explanation, the sites will be referred to as site A (where the accident happened), site B and site C (on which work has not yet commenced),” they continued.
“The first complaint (concerning site B) was received on the 4th of April and an inspection was carried out on the same day. An order to cease work activity was issued by the Officers. A follow-up inspection was carried out on the 10th, to ascertain compliance with the order, but no work activities were noted,” they said.
“During the first visit, OHS Officers also took note that demolition work at Site A had been commenced, without OHSA having been notified as per regulations in force,” OHSA continued. “An order to stop all work activities was also issued in respect of this site.”
Though it was widely reported that the worker was buried under rubble for an hour, OHSA refuted this claim
“OHSA was informed of an accident involving site A, yesterday at around 14.00, and OHS Officers started their investigations into this accident. It should be highlighted that contrary to media reports, no one was ‘buried under construction rubble’ – a worker suffered leg fractures. However, the root cause of the accident could not be ascertained as yet, as OHSA has not finalised its investigation,” they said.