A common surprise for many clients is that even a mains water supply contains bacteria. Many people assume that, because water is safe to drink, it is sterile – but this is not the case. Water companies have a duty to ensure that the water they provide is fit to consume by removing all harmful bacteria - but non-harmful bacteria will remain. With non-harmful bacteria in our domestic systems, water quality can become an issue if it can breed. To confirm the health of your water system, one method includes the microbiological testing of your water systems.
On-the-job experience as well as a clear career path can support any ground engineer in their career progression. With over 80 years of experience in ground investigation, SOCOTEC understands the importance of building on previous knowledge, learning from past experiences and maintaining performance standards through the upskilling and training of employees. People and staff are one of our greatest assets – without whom, we cannot achieve our visions and values of commitment and excellence.
Operations director for Ground Investigation, Clare Chapman, talks about the long serving staff within the ground investigation team, and how their longevity with the company brings excellence to the individuals’ personal growth and SOCOTEC’s delivery of service as well as to the wider GI industry as a whole.
Finding the ultimate strength of concrete is an important investigation measure used across the built environment to ensure our buildings and other constructions remain structurally sound. When it comes to remedial work, for example, the results from a concrete sample strength test may prove crucial for project compliance as well as the green lighting process for any future works.
Lubricants and coolants are an essential component to any moving part. In any industry, including transport, manufacturing and energy generation, equipment failure can be costly and/or dangerous. The testing and analysis of oils, coolants and greases is vital to ensure machinery is effectively lubricated for safe, cost-effective performance and to guarantee the longevity of an asset’s lifespan.
With an increasing focus on the requirements for efficiency and sustainability in the water industry, it is also becoming increasingly important that the sector is equipped with skilled staff and experienced technicians to meet those requirements.
Mick Pratt, Commercial Director – Water, Environment and Safety, discusses how we’re helping to secure the future of the water industry by supporting the development of technicians, engineers and water consultants whilst also improving the technology and processes through collaborative research programmes and academic partnerships.
Ensuring smooth operation and safety on the railways is often the most important consideration for many rail operators but sharing our environment with wildlife may not always be front of mind.
The railway can provide habitat to a number of species and there is great opportunity to creating positive biodiversity around the railway. But rail construction projects, maintenance on a rail depot or trains passing on an active rail line can also have a negative impact on a number of species. To limit this, there are a number of legal requirements in place which can lead to potential prosecution if these requirements are not fulfilled.
As project manager for Air & Emissions division of SOCOTEC, Andy Tiffen often gets asked ‘what is QAL3?’ and 'what is the real purpose behind QAL3 checks?' Here, he breaks through some of the technical jargon to demystify the QAL3 test in the European Standard BS EN 14181 - Stationary Source Emissions: Quality Assurance of automated measuring systems.
Ian Douglas, senior occupational hygienist, Environment & Safety Services, SOCOTEC, discusses the hierarchy of control when it comes to controlling exposure to diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEEs) and why this is important for ensuring safety and compliance in the workplace.
Today there are stringent standards that building materials have to comply with in order for them to enter the construction supply chain. However, whilst the dangers associated with the inhalation of asbestos fibres have been known for many years, asbestos wasn't finally banned completely in the UK until 1999, meaning that the substance remains in significant quantities within many of Britain's buildings. Here James Dodgson, commercial director for Asbestos at SOCOTEC, discusses the importance of asbestos management within the UK's education sector.
As major projects such as HS2 look set to revolutionise the way in which data is collected and handled in the geotechnical sector, Philip Ball, group technical director for SOCOTEC, looks at the growth in digital development and the impact this will have on the efficiency of project delivery.