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Ensuring compliance to minimise risk
The supply of an unacceptable degree of non-compliant, unsuitable and often faulty structural steelwork is being seen increasingly in major development projects in Australia, pointing to the weakness of Australian compliance regimes compared with other developed nations like the US, Canada and the UK.
Besides feedback from ASI members, the problem has also been acknowledged by the Australian Procurement Construction Council, Queensland Transport and Main Roads and NSW Roads and Marine Services in having to deal with the repercussions of structural failures in the field in costly rework and greater public safety risks.
There is currently little regulatory onus for independent testing of materials in construction contracts or on design professionals or procurers to take responsibility for construction products meeting specifications.
Conversely, the new harmonised Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 puts more significant shared responsibility on all parties in the construction value chain, specifically including manufacturers, importers, suppliers, designers and constructors. The ASI maintains and is supported by the safety authorities that rigorous material and product compliance is necessary to construct safe structures.
Through its seminar program, regular technical notes and working with other industry bodies, the ASI communicates the risks associated with non-compliance and the steps necessary to ensure structures are built according to design and regulatory requirements for both local and imported steel components.
The ASI engages with members and industry around steel quality as the advisory body, publishes technical journals and notes and organises training courses supporting the compliance imperative. The Institute is also represented on numerous Standards Australia committees.
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