The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has organised a training workshop for block manufacturers as part of its mandatory certification and conformity assessment programme for producers of pre-cast concrete products across the country.
More than 80 manufacturers of precast concrete products in Accra and its surrounding areas attended the two-day training programme.
The training was aimed at sensitising players in the sector on the GSA mandatory certification scheme as well as the need for manufacturers to produce building materials that met international standards, based on the Authority's strategy to improve the quality and safety of buildings and ensure value for money for Ghanaians.
Facilitators of the initiative were Mr. Mawuli Tsaku, a Senior Scientific Officer of GSA, Mr. Prentice MacMillan, a Standards Officer and Mr. Emmanuel Obeng, Civil Engineer and a Scientific Officer both of the national standards body.
Mr. MacMillan urged the participants to patronise the GSA's services in the certification of building materials.
He noted that the programme would benefit the public in diverse ways, including; the consistent availability and purchase of quality precast products for the industry; reduction of accidents at construction sites, which were attributed to sub-standard products; improve on the safety of buildings, among several other benefits.
To the government, the project will help to bring sanity to the industry by ensuring the manufacture of quality products, in addition to creating jobs and serving as a source of revenue for the government.
"We hope that after this training we will help improve activities in the building/construction industry," McMillan said.
Mr Obeng, who took participants through the production of quality sand crate blocks, also pointed out that the GSA lined up the training programme in order to equip manufacturers to comply with the building standards.
He said the Authority would ensure that the scheme was strictly enforced across the country, adding that those who failed to comply would be sanctioned.
According to the facilitators, the exercise would be replicated countrywide to train block makers on the mandatory certification scheme.
GSA's mission is to contribute towards the growth of industry, protect consumers and facilitate trade through standardisation, metrology and conformity assessment.
It is also mandated to ensure that building materials including; precast products manufactured in Ghana, for the building and construction industry, meet optimum requirements and specifications.
Under the Standards Authority Act, the GSA has the mandate to prohibit the sale or manufacture of goods in the national interest; and to provide for the registration and regulation of the use of standard marks.
Subsequent legislation in the Ghana Standards (Certification Mark) and the National Building Regulation mandate the Authority to carry out such exercises.
In addition, the GSA has national standards for products and has the facilities, mechanism and competence to develop additional standards if needed.