GUEST POST: ‘This is Malta’

A post on social media by Robert Zammit, after a worker fell to his death from a seven-storey building in Sliema on Monday. The Shift News is reproducing it in full. 

“A young man with his whole life ahead of him died in a workplace tragedy in Malta that – like so many others before it – could have so easily been avoided.

A plank of wood left hanging, just like the many questions that will remain unanswered.

Questions like how the project supervisor ever signed off on those site safety regulations, or how often they inspected the site?

Questions like why our country’s newspapers think the most important question today is whether they should have shown a video of a worker falling to his death, instead of whether they have done enough to expose systematic failings in enforcement.

Questions like why our sorry excuse of an Occupational Health and Safety Authority – chaired by a politician and a consultant to the Prime Minister (Labour MP Manuel Mallia) – claimed, in 2017, that it was a ‘victim of its own success‘.

Questions like why none of us can name a single Maltese property company blacklisted by the authorities, or a single lesson from countless magisterial inquiries into workplace accidents.

So this is where we find ourselves, Malta, in 2018. A country awash with money, fast cars, gaming companies and sushi restaurants, a country that wants to rewrite its Constitution, wear the Blockchain crown, tunnel under the sea and grant citizenship to robots, but where manual workers keep dying because our hollowed out, State-captured institutions are unable to provide for the safety of their own people.

Who did you work for, Akram?”


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