STANDARDS Link - Volume 1 Issue 16 - Interview With The Head of Metrology



Interview with Head of Metrology

Question: How do you feel about your department getting this award?
Answer: I am quite elated that the Metrology Department has received this international award from the OIML as this is confirmation that our progress over the years in legal metrology (weights & measures) is worthy of emulation by other developing countries.

Question: What are the achievements by the department that made this award possible?
Answer: Our achievements which led to this award, despite our resource constraints, include;
  • Passage of Metrology Act and Metrology Regulations in 2000 and 2001 respectively. Our metrology legislation would eventually be used as a template for Metrology Acts enacted in the OECS and CARICOM countries
  • Our programme for the verification of gas pumps has been documented as being one of the best in the Caribbean
  • Work on the pattern approval of utility (electrical and water) meters and resolution of measurement disputes
  • Interventions in the area of metrology in sports e.g. verification of the scale used to weigh the javelins, short puts and discuses used at the IAAF-recognized 2009 CARIFTA Games
  • Work done on the metrication of Saint Lucia
  • Pattern approval, verification and calibration of weighing instruments
  • Active participation in seminars and workshops organized by the Inter-American Metrology System (SIM)
  • Excellent results in the Caribbean Inter-laboratory Mass Comparison
  • Interventions in the area of metrology in health such as the verification of blood pressure meters

Question:What are the next steps for your department?
Answer: The Department must continue to build on its strong foundation in legal metrology so that we meet our mandate under the Metrology Act Chapter 13.18. We must protect consumers by ensuring that anytime (and anywhere) measuring equipment is used for commercial transactions, official activities, health & safety and environmental measurements that there is the assurance of accurate and reliable measurement ( from the consumer and supplier perspectives).

Question:What is the importance of Metrology to the development of the economy?
Answer: Metrology is the science of measurement and legal metrology is the application of legal requirements to measurements and measuring equipment. Lord Kelvin, a leading 19th Century scientist and engineer, summarized the importance of metrology with his popular statement “To measure is to know.” A country which cannot determine the accuracy of measuring equipment used for trade, health, safety, official activities and the environment may discover that economic development is adversely affected by wastage, trade disputes, reduction in the quality of imported and exported commodities/services, fraud, health and safety issues.

Question:What have your metrology colleagues in the region and internationally said to you about this achievement?
Answer: My metrology colleagues in the Caribbean region have taken ownership of this achievement as a significant milestone for the region. Internationally, other counterparts and colleagues have perceived the OIML Award to Saint Lucia as tangible recognition of the progress that this nation (and the Caribbean) have made in the area of Quality Infrastructure (QI) as metrology is one of the pillars of QI.

Question:What areas in metrology that Saint Lucia is not working in presently that you believe there is scope for expansion?
Answer: There is scope for expansion in the verification of measuring instruments used in the fields of medicine, occupational safety, environmental protection, road traffic surveillance, official activities, construction and for the sale of electrical energy, water and bulk fossil fuels.
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