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Coffey Testing: Committed to improvement

Coffey Testing uses established programs and equipment.

Coffey Testing is continually improving its radiation management processes and training to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its staff.

For more than 60 years, Coffey Testing has become synonymous with geotechnical testing for infrastructure projects of all sizes.

Providing testing for aggregates, soft soils, rock, grout and concrete, the company has provided geotechnical services as part of the development of some of Australia’s largest road projects, such as M1 Pacific Highway project, as well as the Bruce Highway Upgrade. 

As part of its materials testing services, Coffey Testing utilises equipment that contains a radioactive source to determine the insitu density of soil. 

Brooke Scott, Coffey Testing Safety and Wellbeing Manager, says the company, which is considered one of the largest providers of material testing, has robust procedures and training programs in place to ensure the health and safety of its staff and compliance to regulatory requirements.

“It’s important to make sure that the appropriate controls are in place when our staff are using, storing, and transporting soil moisture density gauges, therefore we’ve got the systems, processes and training in place meet each of these requirements,” Scott says.

Coffey Testing can utilise its ISO/IEC 17025 NATA accredited testing laboratories in multiple sites across Australia, reducing the call out time and increasing the accuracy of timely results. 

Some of Coffey Testing’s staff of 200 technicians nationwide are also local to their respective regions, providing more knowledge around ground conditions unique to each area. The company’s local capabilities are also backed by international best practice when it comes to both equipment and conformance standards.

Coffey Testing offers its Radiation Safety Training Course across New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Coffey Testing offers its Radiation Safety Training Course across New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Leading the way

In order to operate and transport soil moisture density gauges, individuals must be a licensed operator with the relevant regulatory body, such as the Department of Health Victoria or New South Wales Environment Protection Authority.

As part of Coffey Testing’s commitment to the safety of its people, the company is aiming to go above and beyond just an accreditation. This has led to the development of in-house and external training services.


 

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Coffey Testing is currently certified to deliver an accredited Radiation Safety Training Course across New South Wales, Northern Territory and Western Australia. Not only for its own staff across the company’s 25 locations nationwide, but also for external participants, with an aim to expand into other states in the near future.

“As one of only a few companies to have an accredited Radiation Safety Training Course, it allows us to train our own people to enable them to gain the appropriate skills and knowledge to obtain their radiation licence, plus also deliver the training externally to anybody in the industry in NSW, NT and WA,” Scott says.

Out of the total number of the Radiation Safety Training Course participants in 2022, 22 per cent were external to Coffey Testing.

Scott says Coffey Testing is always looking to support the industries it serves. Whether it be through the training programs, or utilising the company’s five decades worth of experience in materials testing.

“Prior to starting a project, we always consult with the client to conduct risk assessments and ensure appropriate controls relevant to the environment in which we are working are put in place,” Scott says. 

“It’s an interactive process too. It’s important to work together with the client to ensure their requirements are met and all the appropriate controls are implemented.” 

Coffey Testing will be conducting further updates to its radiation management plans for each state and territory, while also adopting new equipment and technologies. 

“We’ve implemented GPS tracking devices on all of our soil moisture density gauges, to better track and secure radioactive sources,” Scott says.

More employees will also have a chance to undertake the radiation refresher course over the coming months, further cementing Coffey Testing’s geotechnical expertise in radiation. 

This article was originally published in the May edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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