A whole family of Australian Standards ensures safe and economic use of steel. They ensure mechanical properties, chemical composition, dimensional and mass tolerance. They cover welding, painting, galvanising and design to deliver quality and reliable solutions. Like links in a chain, if one Standard’s requirements are not met, the whole system may fail. The Australian steel supply chain demonstrates a strong commitment to occupational health and safety (OH&S), believing that all injuries, occupational illnesses and incidents are preventable. Steel manufacturers enjoy global-industry-low, benchmark levels for Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates (LTIFR) and Medical Treatment Injury Frequency Rates (MTIFR).
Why use Australian steel?
Using Australian steel pays dividends with lower freight costs, more responsive supply, higher quality that reduces wasteful reworking and maintenance over the full life of a project. And purchasing locally provides other significant savings for a project’s whole-of-life costing, like lower inventory to manage, reduced lead times and improved after-sales support.
In tandem with the ASI’s own training and industry development activities, Australia’s steel construction industry has improved its efficiency through significant investment in new technologies and processes. It does this with no government subsidies provided in stark contrast with many of its global competitors which benefit from government ownership, favourable currency exchange rates, subsidies and other assistance.
When the proximity of the domestic workforce, the high quality of workmanship and investment in high technology are considered, our industry compares favourably with foreign competition. And local content is good for Australia as every 1000 tonnes of steelwork represents about 60 jobs and almost $2 million of tax revenue to the Federal Government.
Locally fabricated steelwork can take advantage of road, rail or local sea transportation, maximising flexibility and economy in meeting delivery schedules and ensuring that project schedules are met. Regular face-to-face contact between the fabricator and detailer ensures that delays are minimised when design or site erection schedule changes arise. The industry is serviced by a network of steel distribution centres throughout Australia that stock a depth and range of steel products enabling fabricators to quickly source material to respond quickly and cost-effectively to any changes. Australian steel distributors can also supply processed steel to fabricators to further speed production schedules.
Purchasing locally provides other significant savings for a project’s whole-of-life costing, like lower inventory to manage, reduced lead times and improved after-sales support. Continuity of work within the local industry helps ensure that the existing high skills base is available for ongoing maintenance. Onsite inspection costs can be significantly reduced where the personnel involved are resident in the region.
Australia has some of the most rigorous environmental regulations in the world so it makes sense for the supply chain to be accustomed and committed to the same levels of sustainable compliance as major developments within our shores. Like in the UK, the Australian steel industry is one of a few to have established a formal environmental stewardship program that provides a greater degree of confidence that downstream contractors such as fabricators have Environmental Management Systems in place. And using Australian steel lowers the risk of supporting steelmakers operating with much laxer overseas environmental requirements.
Taken from the Australian Steel Institute website: