Steel traceability is the key

The UK Certification Authority for Reinforcing Steels (Cares) has said that the UAE construction industry needs to rid its sites of non-certified steel if the country hopes to attain sustainability and good health and safety standards.

According to Bowsher, complete traceability will enable Dubai to maintain its leading status. (Valeriano Handumon/ITP Images)
According to Bowsher, complete traceability will enable Dubai to maintain its leading status. (Valeriano Handumon/ITP Images)

The UK Certification Authority for Reinforcing Steels (Cares) has said that the UAE construction industry needs to rid its sites of non-certified steel if the country hopes to attain sustainability and good health and safety standards.

Speaking to Construction Week, Ben Bowsher, executive director, UKCares, said: "I am led to believe that there is reinforcing steel from non-certificated sources in use on UAE construction projects. This poses an inevitable risk to both contractor and structure owner."

According to Bowsher, the use of non-certified steel could have dire consequences in terms of structural impairing and health and safety, and cannot be traced back to the original source.

"Traceability is probably the most important factor here," said Bowsher.

"Without a reliable system of traceability, from steel production, through processing and delivery to site, it would be virtually impossible to trace steel which did not comply with a product standard, or steel produced by non-certificated manufacturers. This could result in subsequent structural issues or even health and safety implications, particularly when prefabrication of reinforcement is involved.

"There could also be contractual implications. A lack of a system that enables traceability of steel from approved manufacturers will inevitably result in an over reliance of site testing, often resulting in expensive and avoidable site delays."

Cares has operated a traceability system in the UK for almost 25 years, via a system of approvals of steel mills and approved stockists and reinforcement fabricators.

According to Bowsher, Dubai has made its mark by becoming the biggest construction market in the world but will have to implement the best standards in order to maintain its leading world position.

"Cares intends to continue with an awareness campaign in the UAE. It will also work with responsible reinforcement fabricators who wish to be certificated in order to demonstrate their quality credentials to their contractor customers. We will seek the backing of any private or public body, including government agencies, in establishing our certification scheme. Such backing would help to establish such a system and the improved environment for quality which that would bring."

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