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Preliminary considerations

The original code was criticised for not providing enough practical guidance for the preliminary work involved in site investigations that is considered one of the most, if not the most, important parts of the process.

This time round, the first section of the code, 'Preliminary considerations', is more focused and highlights the importance of flexible site investigation programmes and use of trained and experienced personnel.

It also includes new clauses on quality management and safety.

'A site investigation is a process of continuous exploration and interpretation with the scope of the investigation requiring regular amendment in the light of data obtained, 'it says.

It adds that 'it is essential that the work be planned, undertaken and supervised by personnel who have appropriate qualifications, skills and experience in geotechnical work.

' If this not done, the results and conclusions of an investigation may be inadequate or even misleading and result in a considerable over-run of time and expenditure when the proposed works are under construction.'

As before, appendices ('annexes') are provided, listing sources of information for desk studies, notes on site reconnaissance and details for design and construction as well as advice for site investigations for areas ofmining, quarrying and natural cavities and, for the first time, for contaminated land.

This covers the important aspects of investigations on these sites, including possible sources and nature of contaminants, investigation planning and sampling of soil, gas and water.

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