Occupational Health and Safety Authority inspectors were accompanied by European Labour Authority officials during recent inspections of local construction sites, it said on Wednesday.

In a statement highlighting its work, the OHSA said its inspectors identified “several issues… including issues with scaffoldings, risks of falls from heights, and non-compliance with labour laws such as unpaid overtime and lack of proper contracts.”

The statement, however, did not state how many inspections were carried out, when or where they took place or how many infringements were identified.

The OHSA said the inspections were part of a broader ELA initiative to ensure the enforcement of health and safety regulations as well as working conditions within the EU.

They also involved the cooperation of the Department for Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER), JobsPlus, the immigration police, and Bulgarian labour inspectors as observers

The OHSA said it is committed to working alongside other entities, such as the ELA, to conduct such inspections.

"The joint inspections not only streamline the enforcement process but also foster a culture of compliance and safety that protects all workers.

"The OHSA urges all stakeholders in the construction industry to prioritise health and safety and to comply with all regulations.

"By doing so, we can ensure a safer working environment for everyone involved and continue to build a resilient and responsible construction sector," it said.

The OHSA was among various regulatory authorities singled out for specific criticism by a public inquiry into the construction sector and the construction site death of Jean Paul Sofia.

That inquiry had noted that the OHSA had a miserably low enforcement presence, despite having well over €1 million in its bank account, and was aghast at testimony arguing that OHSA inspectors were not qualified to identify dangerous construction shortcomings. 

It lambasted the agency's former CEO, who had since retired, and said its chairperson should "consider his position". He subsequently tendered his resignation. 

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