I am familiar with the Facebook page titled ‘Are you being served?’ Notwithstanding, it has never appeared in my feed. I suspect that I have neither joined, liked, nor followed the said page. Evidently, certain images disseminated on this page have precipitated this article on Times of Malta. This narrative delves into the safety considerations surrounding a metal structure situated upon columns, seemingly elevated from the floor.
My erstwhile lecturer, Marc Bonello, was approached for commentary and exercised great caution in his response. Just as I would have, he refrained from definitively categorizing the structural integrity of the aforementioned construct as secure or hazardous. Reasonably so, he posited that temporary structures bear significance comparable to permanent ones, which are engineered to stand the test of time.
In the realm of temporary constructions, my focus narrows primarily upon steel frameworks and platforms, erected intermittently for spans of days or weeks, often serving as venues for entertainment events such as concerts or fairs. When it comes to such temporary structures, their safety aspect holds equal, if not greater
My take on the matter is that the Building Construction Authority to imminently assume jurisdiction in this matter. During my involvement in formulating the Building Construction Authority Act, I ensured the establishment of a framework precisely for such occurrences to be addressed.
A legal stipulation necessitating those concerned with the erection of such structures to furnish certification underpinned by comprehensive structural calculations prior to utilization emerges as a cornerstone requirement. The legislation should also clearly indicate the authorized individuals for conducting these certifications, specifically determining whether it is restricted to periti, mechanical engineers, or open to both professions.
In all fairness, the owner of the Bugibba structure has affirmed the engagement of a qualified engineering professional who has granted clearance for its safety. However, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) should possess a copy of that certificate and ideally subject it to thorough examination as well.