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Day in the Life - Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw- Warehouse Tester

I was one of the first two testers working on the shop floor when ICD Europe first started up.

In a nutshell, it’s our job to look at a particular material and test it in different ways to make sure it is the material that it’s meant to be. If there are any issues such as contamination, the tests will flag it up.

We use a variety of equipment for the testing process, depending on the nature of the material in question.

Once it’s been fully tested and we’re 100% sure of its makeup, we’ll fill in all the paperwork, weigh it and inform the team of any contamination that may have been identified. We have a wide variety of processing methods which we use to remove contamination where appropriate.

I am the Radiation Supervisor, so it’s my job to ensure goods are checked with the Geiger counter and our procedures are followed. I also look after the XRF analyser which x-rays the material.

I learned most of what I know from an older gent I used to work with. He’d had 50-60 years experience on the job, and was flying round the world testing when flying was still a rare thing.

I only spent 6 months working under him but I learnt so much. He passed down all his old charts and books that I still refer to when I come across a reading I’m not so familiar with. The rest I’ve learnt on the job and I’m still learning every day. There are so many new materials coming through the door and you never know what you’re going to come across. If we do find a new analysis, we can enter the data onto our machines so it will recognise it again in the future.

It doesn’t happen very often but if there’s ever something we’re still unsure of post-testing, it gets sent off to the lab to be thoroughly examined. We have to get it right every time - it’s a responsible job.

We’ve got to be thorough with everything, including the paperwork. It all needs double-checking, even down to simple things like weight.

It’s a fascinating job. You always come across different things and you never know what’s coming next.

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