Introduction to Field and Test Methods

Revised: 23 Dec 2015 (Eco:Map software).

Consultants engaged in projects that require fieldwork or laboratory investigations shall conduct such projects using methods that produce replicable results, using (where possible) standard methods and incorporating all necessary safety and environmental impact precautions.

Fieldwork
Fieldwork includes the biological monitoring of ecosystems, auditing and assessing of sites (contaminated or operational facilities) and collection of samples for analysis. Accepted methodologies vary according to the contract requirements, however all fieldwork should be undertaken using established methodologies unless these do not exist. In such a case methodologies shall be developed as outlined in the procedures controlling design activities.

In addition to a range of fieldwork manuals in the Delta library, several online sources of protocols are listed in the fieldwork methods bibliography. This management manual also contains a range of specific fieldwork protocols that may be accessed from the Management System Contents Page. Instructions are incorporated into the manual if they have been developed specifically for the type of work Delta undertakes, are a variation from a standard method, use specific equipment that is detailed in the method or are frequently used away from base, where reference material may not be available.

Safety: Fieldwork that requires entry into a waterbody, overnight monitoring or work in uneven terrain shall be conducted with at least two people present. Other fieldwork may be conducted singly, provided the consultant carries some method of contacting help (mobile phone, radio). Read the Safety plan, field advice and field equipment list for further details.

Environment: The environmental impact of any destructive sampling methods should be assessed prior to undertaking any project. Follow any environmental impact reduction methods mentioned in the field protocols.

Record keeping: Field data shall be recorded either in Field Notebooks, on forms (specified in specific field protocols), on tear-out sheets that are to be glued into Lab Notebooks on return to base or entered (directly on return) into spreadsheets on the computer, or by using the Eco:Map software on phones or field tablets. Field Notebooks (for Levels, Environmental, Geological and Wetland Assessment) and CSIRO Laboratory Record Books, are to be used for recording data as specified in the introductory pages of each volume and in the Field notebook, Lab notebook and Eco:Map software instruction. Sign off each page at the end of each day. The senior consultant shall review Notebooks weekly and sign them.

Laboratory investigations

Standard laboratory methods are to be used as a general rule. In addition to the volumes of Standard Methods in the Delta library, several online sources of methods are listed in the laboratory methods bibliography. This management manual also contains a range of specific test method instructions that may be accessed from the Management System Contents Page. Instructions are incorporated into the manual if they have been developed specifically for the type of work Delta undertakes, are a variation from a standard method, use specific equipment that is detailed in the method or are methods frequently used away from base, where methods manuals may not be available.

Safety: Take all safety and PPE precautions as outlined in the Chemical Hygiene Plan and the Safety Plan, when handling chemicals.

Environment: Think before you sink! Toxic chemicals and metal salts should be recycled. Please observe the requirements of the Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Record keeping: All data is recorded in the laboratory daybooks (CSIRO Laboratory Record Books). When an entire page is devoted to one sample, the analyst signs at the bottom of the page. Where a single page is used for many samples over a long time (regular tests), a column is provided for signatures. When the Laboratory Report is printed for the client, the analyst shall sign it.

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