The Malta Chamber of Construction Management has warned that tragic accidents in the construction industry are likely to continue happening unless it adopts a holistic approach to improve professionalism and quality assurance, in comments made after a building collapse over the weekend resulted in one death and several hospitalisations.

The building was being built on Government land in Corradino, allocated by the state-owned industrial site management entity INDIS. Due to recent legislative changes to expedite the development of industrial buildings, the project did not need to go through the regular application process to obtain a permit.

Its collapse claimed the life of 20-year-old JeanPaul Sofia.

“In light of recent tragic events that hit the construction industry, the Malta Chamber of Construction Management would like to emphasise the need for professionalism within the construction industry,” it said.

It noted that over the last months it has concentrated on raising the standard of quality through several channels, including by highlighting the necessity of continued professional development.

“Obtaining a degree is good, but not enough,” it said. “The construction industry is continuously evolving. Thus, all stakeholders working in it must remain alert and upscale their knowledge through further training.”

The Chamber of Construction Managers said that one of the main responsibilities of the construction project manager is the setting up of a quality assurance structure that monitors all the activities that will be taking place during the whole life cycle of the development.

This includes making sure that all the stakeholders involved are following the checks and balances set at the early stages of the development.

The statement echoes that made by Malta Developers Association president Michael Stivala, who said that “warranted professionals are duty-bound to oversee works being done and where they notice a deviation from the standard procedures, techniques, and craftsmanship, they should stop the works immediately.”

Similarly, the Chamber of Construction Managers said: “Unless such a professional is in place thus taking responsibility of this process, the probability of accidents happening increases.”

It argued that rather than having professionals who work in “silos”, it is clear that the industry requires professionals who work hand in hand.

“By working together, professionals that concentrate their efforts and expertise in their specific fields can creating an environment whereby these specialisations and knowledge are combined, allowing for the achievement of results of the highest quality.

“The construction industry cannot keep accepting mediocrity and poor quality,” said the organisation. “The price being paid is too high.”

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Members of the Chamber of Construction Managers together with Minister for Public Works and Planning Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi

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