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Call for quality backing

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BCSA National DinnerThe BCSA has launched a campaign calling for the constructional steelwork supply chain on all government funded or endorsed and Private Finance Initiative infrastructure projects to be procured using a registered quality scheme.

Speaking at the BCSA’s National Dinner President Ivor Roberts said: “We want Government and its project teams to understand the benefits of using the BCSA’s quality schemes.  Whether it is BCSA membership for buildings or the Register of Qualified Steelwork Contractors for Bridgeworks, we believe they should be specified right from the start of the procurement process.”

Mr Roberts said the Highways Agency is an exemplar in this regard, requiring all steelwork contractors for bridgeworks to be on the RQSC, a requirement that has paid dividends in terms of quality and project delivery.

BCSA President Ivor Roberts addresses the National Dinner

“With over £30-billion of proposed investment in UK infrastructure as part of the Government’s Infrastructure Growth Plan, it seems incongruous that this much needed infrastructure investment designed to kick-start the economy could leave the country via foreign contractors who may not operate as responsibly as UK and Irish based companies.”

Mr Roberts highlighted the steel construction sector’s continued commitment to its high health and safety, quality and sustainability standards despite the economic downturn, as well as investment in continuous improvement.  The industry is mobilising for the imminent introduction of CE Marking of structural steelwork.

Mr Roberts said he was impressed as he travelled the country meeting other BCSA members by the resilience of the steel construction industry in the face of the economic downturn. “If I had been told at the start of the downturn that it was going to drag on for four years, I would not have expected to have seen so many survivors. The reason is that members have invested wisely to improve processes and their products.”

Mr Roberts said BCSA members were head and shoulders above others in their investment in quality assurance. The association was making sure that all members were ready for the introduction of CE marking in 2014. “It can take between nine and 24 months to get it in place, so be careful not to delay the start of implementation too long.”

Derek Tordoff (Right), former BCSA Director General receives his Fellowship from BCSA President Ivor Roberts.

At the dinner recently retired Director General Dr Derek Tordoff was made a Fellow of the Association in recognition of his 35 years service.

Guest Speaker Major David Blow of the Royal Engineers described the complexities of the infrastructure construction task involved in creating Camp Bastion, the main UK base in Afghanistan, which is the logistics hub of operations in Helmand province.  Started in 2005, Camp Bastion houses 21,000 troops and is the fifth busiest UK controlled airport, with a 2,350 metre long runway that was built from scratch in the desert location.

Guest Speaker, Major David Blow

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