Jamaica News: Building and construction industry stakeholders are being urged to adhere to the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) newly launched standards for structural steel products.
The call comes from Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, who said that observing the compulsory standards will ensure buildings are safe and of the highest quality.
“There is an expectation from the public that our buildings will meet the relevant international codes and standards. Loose specifications can give contractors a lot of latitude in how buildings are constructed and this, in turn, could lead to dangerous outcomes, such as the collapse of structures,” he said.
Mr. Shaw was speaking at the launch of the BSJ’s structural steel standards, at its Winchester Road offices, in Kingston on Wednesday (February 6).
He said given the recent surge in construction activities, the new standards are even more important in ensuring the safety of the public.
“With the common thread of safety for the lives of our citizens, it is important that industry players, such as contractors, importers, structural engineers, and regulators be invested in this process,” he said.
Mr. Shaw further pointed out that the need for codes and standards is paramount to protecting the industry, noting that the structural steel standards are among a number of standards that will support the local construction sector and the Building Code.
“These standards protect not only building owners and occupants, but also the reputation of the companies and people who manufacture and install steel building components,” he said.
In the meantime, Mr. Shaw said the Government is committed to ensuring that the relevant policies and legislative frameworks are in place to facilitate the safeguarding of both producers and consumers.
“The Government also remains committed to achieving international accord on all technical matters relating to the exchange of goods and services between our nation and others, which is the ultimate goal of standardisation,” he emphasised.
The new standards are adapted from ASTM International, which develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems and services.
ASTM steel standards are instrumental in classifying, evaluating and specifying the material, chemical, mechanical and other properties of the different types of steel.
Source: JIS News