In an effort to strengthen and support the building and construction industry in Jamaica, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, in collaboration with the Building and Associated Materials Technical Committee, has developed and established eight standards for adaptation, which will provide minimum requirements for structural steel products.
Speaking at the official launch at the BSJ’s Multi-purpose Facility on February 6, 2019, Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw said, “These standards are an indication of Government’s commitment in ensuring that the relevant policies and legislative frameworks are in place to facilitate the safeguarding of both producers and consumers.”
He added that the Government remains committed to achieving international accord on all technical matters relating to the exchange of goods and services between Jamaica and other countries which, he said, is the ultimate goal of standardization.
“The need for codes and standards is paramount to protect our construction industry. 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. There is an expectation from the public that that our buildings will meet the relevant codes and standards. Loose specifications can give contractors a lot of latitude in how buildings are constructed and this, in turn, could lead to very dangerous outcomes such as the collapse of structures,” added Minister Shaw.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Standards Council, Senator Matthew Samuda, said that the launch of the structural steel standards is timely and coincides with the enforcement of the Building Act, which came into effect on January 19, 2019. He added that previously there was no regulatory framework in place for the importation of structural steel.
“It is our desire to see these standards have the impact they are intended to in order to foster a safe built environment where Jamaicans can live, work, raise families and do business,” added Senator Samuda.
The Standards are the JS ASTM A36/A36M-14 Standard Specification for Carbon Structural Steel; JS ASTM A/6/A6M-17a Standard Specification for General Requirements for Rolled Structured Steel bars, Plates, Shapes and Sheet Pilling; JS ASTM A242/A242M-13 Standard Specification for High-Strength Low-Alloy Structural Steel; JS ASTM A572/A572M-18 Standard Specification for High-Strength Low-Alloy Columbium- Vanadium Structural Steel; JS ASTM A588/A588M-15 Standard Specification for High-Strength Low-Alloy Structural Steel, up to 50 ksi(345 MPa) Minimum Yield Point, with Atmospheric Corrosion Resistance; JS ASTM A709/A709M-17 Standard Specification for Steel Bridges; JS ASTM A992/A992M-11 Standard Specification for Structural Steel Shapes; and the JS ASTM A1064/A992M-17 Standard Specification for Carbon-Steel Wire and Welded Wire Reinforcement, Plain and Deformed for Concrete.
The standards which are to be used by importers of steel, contractors, architects and engineers will be enforced immediately.
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