News & Views

FPS to Examine Sonic Logging Safety Issue and Future Viability

The Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) is to examine the overall viability of sonic logging in foundation piles, given the safety issues inherent in the placement and jointing of the logging tubes in piles, which have resulted in several injuries in recent years.

Whilst the FPS Technical Committee has reviewed sonic logging before, it is now focussing on investigating the technique further, to assess its continued efficacy as a test method now that there are ‘safer’ alternative methods in common use across the industry.

The review, which is being undertaken by the FPS Technical Committee, will be led by Jon Ball, Chief Geotechnical Engineer at Roger Bullivant and include the Health and Safety and Operations committees. They will investigate how many genuine defects are identified versus innocent anomalies and their causes, the sustainability cost of the method and any correlation possible between sonic logging results and results from alternative methods such as Thermal Integrity Profiling (TIP) testing.

Speaking about the project FPS Chair, John Chick, said: “It is incumbent upon the FPS to investigate any methodology that presents a safety issue, and sonic logging has directly caused a number of injuries. Sonic logging must be scrutinised to understand if the benefits it offers are worth the risk given the number of alternative, safer and more sustainable, testing methods now commonly available.”

John added, “Over the next few months, the FPS’s Technical Committee will fully investigate the technique and evaluate whether  it is still a viable integrity testing method to be specified, with a view to publishing the results and any subsequent guidance by the end of 2022.”