Contractor handed suspended sentence for breach of health and safety regulations

Contractor found guilty of neglecting health and safety of employees after construction worker severely injured in 2018 accident

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

A 62-year-old contractor from San Gwann was fined €2,250 and sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years, after he was found guilty of breaching occupational health and safety regulations. 

In April 2018, a foreign worker was severely injured in a Birkirkara construction site while working on the same site. The contractor responsible for the site was found guilty of neglecting the health and safety of his employees. 

He was also found guilty of failing to take precautionary measures to prevent deaths and injuries on the construction site in Birkirkara.

“In all workplaces, employers are obliged by law to see that regular evaluations of all risks to their employees are made. This is to be done so that all perils and risks concerning all aspects of work are identified and rectified,” the Occupational Health and Safety Authority said in a statement on Friday after the sentence was passed.

It added that in this particular Birkirkara incident, such a process had not been initiated and that the contractor in question had failed to ensure against any falls from significant heights. The OHSA noted that the site in question was not equipped with adequate handrails, nets, and proper scaffolding.

“In the case that such equipment cannot be used, the employer must ensure that safety harnesses or other means of anchorage are provided to the employees,” the OHSA said. 

It added that the client, the supervisors appointed by the client, the directors and managers all have an obligation to ensure the safety of employees on their construction sites. 

Magistrate Astrid May Grima presided.