Poor concrete practice hits the bottom line
South African companies applying incorrect concrete practice are seriously jeopardising their profitability, warns John Roxburgh, lecturer at The Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology.
Roxburgh says it’s difficult to assess exactly how damaging poor concrete practice can be to a company’s profitability. “Not getting a contract completed on time and within budget, can be disastrous. The cost of repairing common concrete defects such as honey-combing, blow holes, cracks, inadequate coverage of steel reinforcement, low strength, lack of curing, is massive. Once incorrect concrete practice prevails on a site, chances are it will continue in future –costing substantial amounts of money,” he states.
Roxburgh says proper staff training is thus essential. “One method to consider is to ‘champion’ a suitable staff member and ensure that they become highly competent in concrete technology and practice. This person could then train, advise and mentor colleagues on site. This concept does not apply only to construction companies: all technical sales staff should perform this function for clients.”
Among the courses offered by the School of Concrete Technology, one that is essential at supervisory or technical advisory level is the four-day ‘SCT20 Concrete Practice’ course, which is aimed at foremen, clerks-of-work, technicians, supervisors, sales and technical staff in the building, construction, mining and related industries. The course is also suitable for electrical, mechanical and mining engineers.
“This course – which includes laboratory sessions – equips participants with all the key fundamentals of concrete and concrete practice, and then encourages students to apply these to find workable solutions. The result is that the designated staff member can educate colleagues or clients on how a concrete job should be done – and how to do it correctly,” Roxburgh adds.
The School of Concrete Technology has scheduled seven SCT20 Concrete Practice courses between the beginning of August and the end of November 2014 in Midrand, Durban,Cape Town and East London.
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