Supplied Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW)

Image credit: Supplied Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW)

On Thursday 9 March, the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) reported a development that looks set to become a long-term requirement in that there has been a move in the South African mining industry to specify that welding fabricators and associated suppliers must obtain ISO3834 welding certification to ensure the quality and safety of the products and services that they supply.

SAIW executive director John Tarboton says, “This is a welcome and overdue development given that suppliers to a variety of other safety-critical sectors – including the power, petrochemical and rail industries – have all moved to mandatory ISO 3834 requirements for companies seeking to obtain contracts with them.”

Health & Safety seizes the day

Renewed attention on this form of endorsement stems from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought quality requirements into far sharper focus with a newfound appreciation for the importance of these core facets of manufacture and production and the need to ensure that mining personnel and products are at the correct level.

This is vital given that in terms of current mining health and safety regulations if, for example, there is a safety incident in a mine due to a weld defect, the mine can most certainly be held liable.

Cost Savings

In addition, current global and local financial constraints have seen a move towards cost savings and welding is one of the key areas where producers have been able to initiate cost savings. This is because the use of ISO-compliant standards and procedures results in an improvement in quality with fewer failures and less downtime and overall lost production revenue.

Tarboton comments, “The benefit for ISO 3834 certified fabricators and mining suppliers, is that they operate at a globally recognised level which, in turn, increases their new business opportunities in a far broader range of markets. In addition, ISO 3834 is an excellent way to develop start-ups by ensuring their quality management is up to scratch and they can fabricate at a higher level for larger, better paying clients.”

Overall, SAIW Certification can draw from the collective training and technical expertise of the broader SAIW in which it operates. The organisation has been in existence since 1948 as a founder of the International Institute of Welding (IIW) and specialises in a variety of welding and NDT-related services.

About the Southern African Institute of Welding: The SAIW is a non-profit technical organisation dedicated to promoting world-class excellence in welding, NDT and allied technologies. Established in 1948, it is a founder member of the International Institute of Welding (IIW). SAIW provides training programmes, consultancy and industry support services as well as certification of companies and personnel to international standards and specifications. Based in Johannesburg, it is active throughout Southern Africa and has experienced further afield – predominantly in Central Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands and the United Arab Emirates.