The Malta Developers' Association (MDA) and the Malta Chamber of Geologists (MCG) want the government to start issuing state warrants for geologists and create a national geological service to map the ground.
In a joint position paper released on Wednesday, the two associations argued that in the context of the increased complexities of the modern construction and quarrying industries and the lack of a comprehensive geological map of the islands, warranting would enhance public safety in construction and the geological service would increase awareness of the country's mineral resources and their potential.
"It is timely for the recognition of the profession of the geologist by the Malta government," they said in a statement, adding that neighbouring EU states like Italy and Spain have long issued warrants to their geologists and Malta is still waiting to get in line with standards employed by other EU states.
"Geologists are the experts on rock and its excavation, which is an activity that presently is not assessed and monitored by Geologists and has resulted in several tragic accidents in the past few years."
They have demanded a warranting board, composed of members from the relevant ministry and the Malta Chamber of Geologists, which would select the candidates that merit a geologists' warrant.
"The professional geologist holding a state warrant will be designated as the competent person to provide services on matters related to rock excavation, quarrying, on-site and laboratory testing of rock materials and mineral resources assessment and extraction," they said.
They also urged the government to establish a Malta Geological Service - an agency run by geologists which would be "responsible for the mineral resources of the country, their geological and geotechnical assessment and economic and sustainable exploitation".
The agency would update the geological map of Malta, assess ground and slope stability in the interest of public safety, assist in safer rock excavation, safeguard areas of good quality limestone suitable for use in construction, and promote the transition to renewable energy sources, among others.
"Malta remains the only European country without a geological service, which has resulted in developers and the public remaining unaware of the problems and hazards related to the ground where they live or want to develop," they said.
"It is now the responsibility of the government to safeguard public safety by recognising the profession of the geologist."
The associations said that the position paper is being promulgated considering the recommendations of the 2020 Report of the Building Industry Technical Committee.