The new Code of Practice for Ironwork Systems Installation and Refurbishment was introduced in May of this year. It comes as a welcome support for those working for and with the highways industry, such as IKO. Published by the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA), and peer-reviewed and endorsed by, amongst others, Highways England and Adept, the Code is designed to “provide practical guidance on avoiding early life failure and to achieve a high quality installation and a high quality repair.” It was developed by the industry for the industry and is intended to promote the best standards of design, materials and installation methods.
Currently, the service life expectation and specification guidance for the installation and refurbishment of ironworks varies greatly across the UK, and existing guidance often covers products and components in isolation. Through the introduction of an industry-wide code of practice, minimum standards of product quality and practice can be established, giving a greater level of reassurance to clients, contractors and users alike. This is good news for the industry as it will lead to an improvement in standards – improved quality, performance and longevity of ironworks installations and repairs.
Under typical conditions, the cost of materials and components used in the installation of ironworks equates to approximately 20% of the overall project1 – it is traffic management, installation and reinstatement of surfacing that attracts the largest costs. Failure of ironworks installations due to poor workmanship results in greatly increased costs. It makes sense therefore to adopt the practice of ‘right first time’, a message which IKO has consistently supported and promoted. The new Code of Practice will help to reinforce this message and lead to better and longer-lasting ironwork installations.
The Code of Practice is a comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide which is relevant to all designers, manufacturers and installers in the road improvements industry. It includes a detailed description of common indications of failing installations; recommendations for ironwork specification and selection; and a useful checklist, encouraging best practice prior to, during and after works have been completed.
Howard Robinson, Chief Executive, Road Surface Treatments Association explains, ‘As the focal point for the road maintenance sector, the RSTA and its members are well-placed to provide overall industry best practice guidance. This new code is part of a growing knowledge centre for successful road work and maintenance. To ensure its validity the Code took three years to develop and I would like to thank those members involved for their valued input and feedback.’
‘Since its launch in May,’ he continues, ‘the Code has been well-received by the industry. This Code fully explains what is expected from the client and from the contractor. It is all about using best practice to get it right first time.’
As a British manufacturer of mastic asphalt, and actively involved in the development of the new Code, IKO PLC is no stranger to the challenges that the highways industry faces. IKO Pacopatch is a polymer modified mastic asphalt reinstatement system developed specifically for the reinstatement of the road surface around ironworks. Incorporated into the IKO brand following the acquisition of Pure Asphalt in 2016, IKO is working towards bringing IKO Pacopatch up to the same standard as its other products, such as IKO Permatrack polymer modified mastic asphalt which already meets the Code.
It will take time for everyone to adopt the new Code of Practice but adopt it we must, for the future benefit of the industry.
For further information, visit www.rsta-uk.org.
1RSTA. (May 2017). Code of Practice for Ironwork Systems Installation and Refurbishment. p. 5