Dolphin Bay has played a key role in helping the Tanzanian Bureau of Standards to update its specifications governing timber preservation.
Our representative was part of a group that produced draft standards at a meeting in Dar Es Saleem in September. The aim was to update the national standards and harmonise them with those of the parastatal Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco).
All our suggestions were well-received and incorporated.
While it is good practice to review standards every three to five years, changes and updates should generally occur as needed. New methods, new products and updated instruments are being produced and developed all the time, and those changes should be included in national standards, explained Franske Stenden, Dolphin Bay’s Chemist and Laboratory Manager.
The Tanzanian standards were out of date compared to South African standards, with some dating back to 2001, Franske said. The standards also lacked cohesion and were difficult to understand, as their methods and values were copied and pasted from several different countries, including the UK, the US and South Africa.
Dolphin Bay appreciated the professionalism and eagerness of the Tanzanian Bureau of Standards in actively managing the process.
“The problem with a copy-and-paste approach is that Tanzania has different wood species, and different temperature and humidity conditions, to Europe or North America. Some procedures and methods are species- or condition-orientated, so it is important that standards are specific to the wood species and conditions of the country,” said Franske.
“At the same time, national standards need to be in line with other global standards used for the same purpose.”
Tanzania’s current national standards are similar to those used in other East African countries. The Tanzanian standards for wooden poles for power and telecommunication lines and CCA nominal compositions are the same as those used in Uganda, for example.
In any industry, it is important to keep standards up to date to eliminate confusion and inaccuracy. We have seen that some aspects of these standards were initially fit for purpose, only to be misinterpreted later as the technical definitions were not clarified.
National standards set a minimum requirement base to which customer-specific standards must comply.
“However, customer-specific standards can be more stringent, as is the case with Tanesco’s S11 standards,” said Franske.
“It is important to implement these minimum standards and to provide assistance for the correct interpretation, to ensure high-quality treated timber.”
Dolphin Bay appreciated the professionalism and eagerness of the Tanzanian Bureau of Standards in actively managing the process, and in ensuring that the standards specify the highest level of quality.