Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Structural Steel Building Collapse

I have not written anything in my blog for quite a while. Not being a good writer plus a dry topic makes a deadly combination! Ha ha. Well, greetings to all my Muslim friends and readers and a “Selamat Hari Raya”.

I read in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago about a Steel Building collapse in Perak. (Steel roof truss with I-beam Columns). This is another ‘black-eye’ to the Malaysian building industry. This only add to the woes plaguing the industry with collapsing ceilings, cost over-runs etc. This is definitely not a “Malaysia Boleh” moment.

Anyway, having experienced this kind of incident in the past…..this is something that I wish nobody has to go through. It is terrible for the owner, the consultants and the contractors. An investigation has to be carried out to determine the cause of failure. It could be a design, fabrication or an erection error. In the meantime, there will be a lot of finger pointing and sleepless nights for those involved.

I believe one of the way to minimize these kind of incidents are through the preparation of Method Statements. Method statements are prepared by the contractors and basically outline the steps they intend to store, fabricate, transport and erect the structure. This is submitted to the consultant who have to approve the document before any work is carried out. I believe more and more consultants nowadays require this.

Most contractors think this only incurs extra paperwork and cost. They are wrong! Method Statements in fact can help them save cost and maximize their profits. With an approved Method Statement, it provides a guideline to his staff of what needs to be done. It avoids misunderstanding and delays which costs much more.

It is also good for the consultants, as it provides them with a guideline for them to ensure that the work done is according to the statement. When things are done right, everybody benefits !

I’ll be happy to provide a sample of a Method Statement that I did previously for one of my clients. Its free! Just email me at ccslim@gmail.com. Or better still, if somebody would like to engage my services to prepare one. Ha Ha. My rates are low!