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New AGS working group to focus on wider industry issues

The Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (AGS) has announced the formation of a new working group to promote technical excellence.

According to Geotechnical Working Group (GWG) chairman Arup associate Neil Chadwick, the group has a wide remit and is currently refining its focus and priorities.

“The group was set up to promote technical excellence to the wider geotechnical engineering professional community and to raise general awareness of the need for geotechnical engineering input to all construction projects and land asset management to clients and asset owners,” said Chadwick.

“The aim is to keep track of the key geotechnical issues within the industry, providing a platform for discussion and aiming to inform the industry – whether by highlighting the work of others or where necessary creating and issuing new guidance via the AGS website.”

The group currently has 12 members, drawn from across AGS’s membership with both consultants and ground investigation contractors represented, who will meet four times a year. According to Chadwick, the group is still looking for additional members to ensure it is fully representative of the AGS.

According to Chadwick, the GWG is the first new AGS working group to be established for some time within the AGS and is the organisation’s seventh working group. Other focus on safety, loss prevention, business practice, contaminated land, laboratories and data format.

“Our remit is wider than the other working groups but we have no intention of duplicating work,” said Chadwick. “Where existing guidance exists that merits wider knowledge within the AGS we will point to that but we are looking at the potential areas for new guidance and look at where we need to be a steering group for other working groups.

“We will also aim to get involved in the drafting of national and international standards and other definitive guidance.”

One of the first areas which the group is likely to focus on is the outcome of the joint AGS and British Drilling Association taskforce survey into the ground investigation market which was undertaken in 2016. “The results created a shopping list of solutions and we will be aiming to act on these,” explained Chadwick.

Chadwick added that the GWG will also work with the Safety Working Group to look at the issues surrounding the use of trial pits for soakaway testing. “The HSE has concerns over working at height and trench collapse when using trial pits,” he said. “Any guidance for this will need technical input and through the two working groups, we can give a whole industry view and consider the implications of new legislation in this area.”


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