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Light at the end of the tunnel

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BCSA President Jack Sanderson

British Constructional Steelwork Association members are looking forward to a recovery starting in 2012 after the capacity reductions of the past two years, President Jack Sanderson said at the association’s Annual Dinner.

Mr Sanderson said: “We expect that 2011 will be another very difficult year, but hopefully we can see some light at the end of the tunnel and recovery will get under way in 2012.”

Mr Sanderson said it was disappointing that amendments to the Construction Act that will improve payment practices in construction have been postponed until October, but this would at least give more time to the BCSA to give detailed training to members’ staff in how to get full value from the changes.

The sector’s health and safety performance continues to improve, ahead of government targets for a 60% reduction in reportable injuries over ten years. There were no reportable injuries involving BCSA members resulting from falls from height for the second year running. “We place great emphasis on eliminating accidents and injuries and health and safety of our people is always at the top of our agenda,” said Mr Sanderson. “Our recent performance is particularly creditable against a background of difficult contractual conditions and the current economic climate.”

The joint BCSA/Tata SteelTarget Zero initiative led by AECOM to provide designers with fully costed solutions to make sustainable zero carbon building aspirations a reality, had successfully produced guidance for five non domestic building types – schools, warehouses, supermarkets, offices and mixed use developments. Three of these are available now on the Target Zero website and the others are due soon.

CE marking of structural steelwork arrived in January and becomes a legal requirement in summer 2013. Mr Sanderson said the clock is ticking and the industry only has only 28 months to complete preparations.

BCSA and the Steel Construction Certification Scheme have developed guidance for member companies on what they need to do in terms of changes to their factory production control procedures and welding quality management plans. Regular courses are now being held for BCSA members and BCSA has published a CE Marking version of the National Structural Steelwork Specification. Some member companies have already gone through the necessary audit and accreditation procedures and are now able to CE mark.

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