Cover photo: Composites from TVM, Times of Malta
Malta was shocked to see a video of a young Libyan man hanging onto a single rope after unsafe practices at his construction workplace led to his death.
However, anyone with any experience with Malta’s construction industry knows that this type of wanton disregard for the safety of the lowly construction workers is the norm of the day.
With a surplus of foreign workers hungry to find a decent job in Malta, employers are at an advantage when choosing who will work on their sites.
This means that when employees are faced with a dangerous situation at work – spending hours on shaky ladders without a harness, atop high walls with nothing to grab onto on either side, or, as in Akram’s case, thrown over the side of a building with nothing but a rope keeping him from certain death – they have very few options.
They can complain to the boss and be told to go home, or they can suck it up and risk their lives for some euros.
In light of the impunitive culture pervading the Maltese construction industry, Lovin Malta is launching the #SafetyWatch initiative to begin combatting the spread of these illegal, dangerous, and inhumane practices.
Lovin Malta’s #SafetyWatch is aimed at exposing cases of health and safety abuses on construction sites in Malta and Gozo
If you see an unsafe case of a worker in the construction industry, stop, take a photo or film it, and send the case to [email protected] with the subject line #SafetyWatch.
Lovin Malta will be investigating each and every case sent in.
Until Malta begins to treat its workers with dignity, more and more young men and women will be placed directly in life-threatening situations, just to earn their employers more money.
As the tragic case of Akram Almshay shows, it is just not worth it.