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Making Concrete Test Specimens for Another Lab to Test

Making Concrete Test Specimens for Another Lab to Test

Making Concrete Test Specimens for Another Lab to Test

I have been working as an inspector since 1977. I have all of my certifications are current, including my ACI Concrete Field Testing - Grade 1. Presently I am working as a QA Inspector for the contractor, on the Dulles Metrorail Project in Virginia. Per my companies contract, I must test 10% of the concrete placed. My company does not have a lab, so I have contracted an accredited lab to pick-up and test the cylinders I cast. The QA Manager for the owner says that since I do not work for the lab testing my cylinders, I cannot cast them. He says that only a technician from the lab testing the cylinders can cast them. ......I don't agree. I believe that if I am ACI Certified, which I am, I can cast the cylinders.

If someone out there has proof to prove either view....I would really appreciate it. Much appreciated for your time.


RE: Making Concrete Test Specimens for Another Lab to Test

The issue is not whether you are qualified, but one of keeping the responsibility for the testing under one umbrella and to maintain some level of third-party independence.

Yes, you might be well qualified to do the casting; however, you work for the contractor and there could be an accusation that you could somehow adulterate the specimens in a manner that would make them test high. If there happened to be a low strength issue, then the testing lab would likely point its finger at you for casting the specimens incorrectly or not protecting them properly after casting. They would be "off the hook" if that were the issue.

The QA Manager for the owner has made an appropriate decision based on the owner's best interests. It keeps the line of responsibility for the entire testing process clean.

Don't take it personally with respect to qualifications. It's not about that at all!

RE: Making Concrete Test Specimens for Another Lab to Test

I would agree 100% if I was sampling for 'acceptance testing'. The owner employees an agency that performs all of the acceptance testing. The contractor employees another agency to also tests everything but not for 'acceptance'. My testing I guess is for 'check testing'. I am certified to sample concrete and cast test specimens. I fill out a card that establishes a 'chain-of-custody', the lab that receives my test specimens tests them and produces a report that states that the cylinders were tested and the results noted. Believe me....at my age I thought my testing days were over. They may be....I can only hope. ....Thanks for your quick response!!!

RE: Making Concrete Test Specimens for Another Lab to Test

QA....with that additional information, I see no reason to exclude you from the sampling process. Unfortunately, the owner's QA manager has the last say!

RE: Making Concrete Test Specimens for Another Lab to Test

The only issue i can see is that you wouldn't be on the CCRL accreditation for the laboratory you work with. i don't think it is mandatory for field personnel to be employed by the Owner of that accreditation. It is mandatory for the lab manager to be employed, but i believe it is silent on field personnel. If you were to have your equipment calibration records, your training records, and perhaps a observation session all to be added to the lab's QA documents, you would be legit. regardless, it seems like a vague burden which is being enforced and your PM probably passes the straight-face test "is this a change order?" unless there was something clear and explicit prohibiting doing this in the bid docs.

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