The Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools (FTS) has stood by its health and safety requirements after a Malian construction worker was left fighting for his life following a four-storey fall at one of their sites.
While the criticism of the construction industry is mostly directed at the private sector, the man was working on the construction of a state-owned school on Triq Annetto Caruana in Qawra.
The fall happened just after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced a temporary ban on excavation and demolition following the collapse of a third building in two months.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, a spokesperson at FTS said that the site in question is covered by local health and safety requirements; adding that they employ “a full-time Health and Safety Officer who visits the sites on a regular basis to ensure that health and safety legislation requirements are observed.”
FTS refrained from answering what sort of message the government is sending to the entire sector if it is failing to employ the safest practices on their sites, saying that the case is currently subject to a magisterial inquiry.
As it stands, most workplace accidents and deaths take place within the construction industry. Over ten years, 60% of all workplace fatal accidents took place in the construction industry.
Figures also indicate that injuries and fatalities adversely affect foreign workers, with six of the nine deaths in the last three years involving foreigners.