Surface mining representative association, Aspasa, has begun a formal process to review quality requirements pertaining to sand and aggregates for all sectors of the construction industry.
Saartjie Duvenhage, chairperson of Aspasa’s technical committee on Quality Management, says quality is not legislated in the aggregates industry and as a result there are no hard and fast rules. Different sectors, such as road construction and railways, have their own requirements and others use blanket standards as set out in SABS 1083 standards.
The establishment of a technical committee is aimed at identifying universal quality standards for different classifications of material that are acceptable for each relevant sector. This type of standardization will allow for more accurate procurement practices with little deviation between different suppliers.
Plans are also afoot to introduce a mandatory Quality Management System (QMS) across all member operations with the aim of ensuring that quality standards are met and adhered to. These will be implemented in the same manner as both the health and safety, as well as environmental audits upheld by the association.
“Our aim is to make it easy for our members to adopt and comply with requirements. We are therefore developing an industry-wide, generic system that can be adapted by members to suit their own requirements. With the involvement of our members we want to introduce a practical and technically correct form of measurement to be used across the industry and to defend member companies that work according to these required standards.
“As a result of there being no real form of measurement we find that aggregates are sometimes rejected for reasons that are simply not technically sound. However, if all producers and users work according to the same standards, then this type of confusion can be avoided,” says Saartjie.
She adds that all aspects involved in the production of aggregates will be considered including identification of mineral types, methods and techniques of processing, skills requirements, laboratory testing, sampling, storage requirements, delivery and acceptance criteria on the construction site, among others.
Aspasa’s technical committee on Quality Management meets bimonthly on predetermined dates and requires the input of members into the establishment of the standards. With far reaching consultation from within the industry, the committee hopes to compile initial guidelines that will be presented to relevant professional bodies within the construction industry for further input and agreement before being adopted by the association and its members.
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