Structural steel specialist Mikey Joseph is calling on the Government to improve the standard of building construction through legislation.
He made the call at a symposium hosted by the Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Infrastructure Quarries and the Environment (DIQE) in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Contractors Association (TTCA).
The symposium, titled “Building with Integrity,” was held last Tuesday at the division’s conference room in Scarborough, and featured discussion on roofing technology’s best practices and industry standards.
Speaking to a large group of local contractors and engineers on the topic “Roof Construction Best Practices,” Joseph said: “All of the issues in the industry dealing with quality and durability...could be solved if we have proper legislation for building codes.”
He added: “...One of the problems we have is that there is no legal framework under which we must build and if we don’t have that then anything works and there is nothing anyone could do about it.”
Adding his voice to the discussion, Division Secretary Kwesi DesVignes said although the legislation does not exist, it does not prevent industry stakeholders from using accepted best practices and industry standard models.
Noting that he was pleased by the level of interest shown in the exercise, DesVignes reminded participants that “the law doesn’t permit the prosecution of errant contractors when a building fails.”
He stressed: “I think each of us has a responsibility to do the right thing. I want to take this opportunity to commend the persons who came out today, it shows that they are committed to building with integrity.”
Another speaker, roofing specialist Robert Costello, said contractors should not wait on legislation to do the right thing.
“Do you think you will experience a category five hurricane in your lifetime? Do you think your daughter or granddaughter will experience a category 5 hurricane in her lifetime? If your answer is yes then that’s the start of all of us dealing with the integrity we need,” Costello said.
“If you need legislature then we’re not going to change anything. If you’re thinking of the intent or bring the integrity and safety for your children then we can start today.”