Major roads and highways are the arteries of modern society, connecting people, businesses, and goods to their destinations.
However, the safety and integrity of these critical structures depend on the quality and reliability of the materials and products used in their construction and maintenance.
Product compliance plays a vital role in ensuring that major road projects can withstand the test of time and meet the highest safety standards. In this article, we’ll investigate the potential risks and dangers of using non-compliant products in major infrastructure.
The safety of road users is paramount. Major roads are heavily trafficked by all kinds of vehicles, from small cars to oversized trucks. To protect all road users, the products used in road construction and maintenance must meet stringent safety standards, such as those set out by the Department of Transport & Planning (VicRoads) as well as the relevant Australian Standards. Product compliance ensures that the materials installed in roadways are designed and manufactured to withstand weather conditions and the rigors of traffic, reducing the risk of accidents due to structural failures.
Product compliance provides a framework for assessing and verifying the quality of construction materials and products. Roads are subjected to various environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures, heavy rainfall, and freezing conditions. Compliance standards require that the products used in road construction are durable and able to withstand these harsh conditions. This not only ensures the longevity of the road infrastructure but also reduces the need for frequent repairs, saving both time and money.
In an era of increasing environmental awareness, major roads infrastructure must also consider its ecological impact. Though compliance standards and legislation may not yet include provisions for sustainable materials and practices, there is a growing demand within government and the construction industry for major infrastructure works to incorporate sustainable initiatives such as recycled materials or environmentally friendly construction methods. Working with contractors and suppliers who are proactively adopting sustainable improvements to their materials and operations can help asset owners minimise the environmental footprint of major road projects, contributing to a more sustainable future.
Legal and Liability Issues
Non-compliance with industry standards can have serious legal and liability consequences. When major roads infrastructure fails due to subpar materials or workmanship, it can lead to accidents, injuries, and property damage. In such cases, the responsible parties may face legal action and substantial financial penalties. Compliance with established standards provides a level of protection against these potential liabilities.
Long-Term Cost Savings
While the selection of high-quality conformant products with proven testing and certification may incur a higher initial investment, it is a wise option leading to significant cost savings in the long run. Using high-quality, compliant materials and products means fewer repairs and maintenance are needed over the life of the road asset. In contrast, using a cheaper, non-conforming product could cause rapid failure, creating additional expense outlays and potential safety issues. Selecting a verified, compliant product in the first instance reduces the overall cost of road construction and management, benefiting taxpayers and governments alike.
Public Trust and Confidence
Major roads infrastructure is an essential part of a functioning society. When roads are reliable and safe, it fosters trust and confidence among the public. Compliance with safety and quality standards reassures citizens that their infrastructure is built to last and is designed with their safety in mind. This trust is crucial for maintaining a positive public perception of government and infrastructure management.
SVC Products’ commitment to product compliance
As an ISO:9001 accredited manufacturer and supplier of products used in major road construction, SVC highly prioritises product quality and compliance, ensuring all products satisfy the relevant performance requirements.
For major road infrastructure, SVC offers a wide range of high-performing precast concrete pits with third-party engineering accreditation against the DTP requirements as specified in BTN 033. Compatible access covers and stormwater grates are also available, which also exhibit full compliance with BTN 033 as well as all requirements of the Australian Standard AS 3996:2019 – Access covers and grates.
Reducing our environmental impact
Apart from meeting all the necessary criteria for installation in major roads infrastructure, SVC’s suite of concrete stormwater pits, encased covers and stormwater grates offer an additional incentive of environmental sustainability. All products are locally sourced and made using blended cements, reducing associated carbon emissions; they also contain a percentage of recycled waste materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill. The concrete components of the products themselves can also be recycled at end-of-life, contributing to a circular economy.
SVC’s manufacturing procedures are carried out at their Mordialloc headquarters in Victoria. Production activities are powered by renewable energy collected from a large expanse of solar panels, and concrete batching, slumping and washing of equipment are completed using reclaimed rainwater harvested on site.
Product compliance is not an option but a necessity for major roads infrastructure. The safety, quality, and sustainability of our roads depend on the materials and products used in their construction and maintenance.
As we continue to invest in our road infrastructure, it is important to remember that product compliance is not only a legal obligation, but a moral one for the well-being of our society.