A national standard making fasteners safer since May – Pt 1

Regional media startup Tech
A mandatory standard was introduced in May 2016, which aims to improve the quality and installation of concrete construction fasteners across Australia…
The sturdiness of concrete fastening and anchoring systems is something most people don’t give a second thought to, but it’s an important consideration for construction workers, who are often required to scale great heights and work in volatile situations.
Safety is paramount in the construction industry, but it’s not always enforced. On a global scale, there have been a number of serious failures resulting from the poor selection, design and installation of fastening and anchoring systems.
In fact, Australian builders and engineers have gone without proper regulation in this area for decades. It wasn’t until May this year that mandatory changes were implemented to boost the safety of construction workers using such systems. The construction industry consulted with the Australian Engineered Fasteners and Anchors Council (AEFAC) to create the standard, which is called SA TS 101:2015.
As 2016 draws to a close, it’s worth taking a look at this important change, which may have flown under the radar, in light of other concerns in the industry.
Although the new standard for concrete anchors was introduced earlier this year, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the changes, since anyone responsible for failures that occur from the use of incorrect post-installed fasteners (fixings) could face legal action. This applies to any building work that started after the 1st of May 2016.
What has changed?
The Australian National Construction Code (NCC) now demands that concrete fixings and anchors used in concrete construction be tailored and engineered specifically for the job. This change is based on European Guidelines and product assessment (ETA), which is globally recognised as best practise.
Gone are the days where construction companies could get away with buying the cheapest options, without considering safety and performance. This has previously created problems, because cheaper, non-certified fasteners have been known to be 70 per cent weaker than those that have been pre-assessed and certified.
This new code has become a compulsory requirement in the construction sector and failure to comply could lead to serious injury, death or significant legal action.