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Video – Fabio Bruno’s textbook blast…

Full Brazilian clears five buildings in series of controlled blasts.

Our friends at Fabio Bruno Construcoes in Brazil have underscored their credentials as one of the world’s leading purveyors of the blaster’s art with a textbook implosion this past weeken.

A series of controlled blasts levelled five buildings at Jambalaia, Campo Grande. The entire operation is captured in this drone footage:

Nasty shock for Aussie contractor…

Worker caused $220,000 damage because he didn’t realise a map was only ‘indicative’

A demolition company has been fined almost $220,000 after an excavator operator accidentally unearthed an 11,000V power cable which helped supply electricity to an entire suburb.

Salisbury based D & V Services lost an appeal to the Supreme Court which argued that workers had not realised the map showing the power cable was “indicative” only.

Workers from the demolition company were contracted to remove water pipes from land in Edinburgh in March, 2011, as part of a project to return the area to a “greenfields” state.

Demoition man off the road…

NFDC parts company with “Demolition Man on the Road” representative.

The National Federation of Demolition Contractors has confirmed that Steven Tempest-Mitchell – who had been appointed with a title of ‘Demolition Man on the Road’ in July 2018 – is no longer employed by the NFDC.

Tempest-Mitchell’s remit was to promote the values of using NFDC demolition contractors in the UK and to spread the word about DemoExpo 2019.

The NFDC engaged the services of Tempest-Mitchell on a trial basis based on his 40 year knowledge and experience in the demolition industry. But the collaboration was not deemed to be a good fit for the long-term.

Comment – An unfitting legacy…

A dog-eared pile of paper is all that remains of the once great Cuddy Group.

On Wednesday last week, I was awoken from my mid-morning slumber at my desk by the arrival of a hefty package that hit the mat at Demolition News Towers like a safe. That package contained a communication from Grant Thornton, the administrator appointed to divvy up what remains of the Cuddy Group.

Together with dozens of others, I had received a copy of this communication – 68 A4 pages, most printed front and back – because DemolitionNews was still owed money by the Cuddy Group as it slipped quietly beneath the surface a few weeks ago.

This then was the last will and testament of once great and much-respected company; a leader in its native Wales; a proving ground for huge numbers of demolition men and women that either stayed or who went on the ply their trade elsewhere within the industry.

Of course, the bitter irony of these administration letters is that they formally announce that most of those that actually provided goods and services well play second fiddle to two organisations that did not. In typical fashion, any money left over from the demise of Cuddy Group will go first to HMRC and then second to the administrator employed to dig over the fresh corpse of the recently deceased company.

The premature demise of the company put into jeopardy the first-ever British Demolition Awards at which Cuddy Group was scheduled to be a main sponsor. The fact that they were unwilling and unable to pay for that sponsorship as agreed rankled at the time, particularly as it was too late to get a replacement sponsor on board. But with the passage of time, my anger and irritation has dissipated. The British Demolition Awards were a huge success, regardless of Cuddy Group’s unforeseen absence. And besides, compared to the many people that lost their jobs and the various suppliers and sub-contractors that have been left to carry the financial can, DemolitionNews got off relatively lightly.

Yet the arrival of the weighty tome from Grant Thornton has given me pause for thought.

Obviously, my first thoughts are with the employees that have found themselves out of work through no fault of their own and – in some instances – after many years of dedication and hard work.
My thoughts are with the suppliers and sub-contractors that weren’t paid and who now face a hefty and even business-threatening deficit.

My thoughts are also with the Cuddy family. As is always the case in this situation, I have heard countless accounts of the reasons for Cuddy Group’s untimely demise. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned; but a disgruntled and angry former employee would run them a close second. But no-one sets out to run a company into the ground; and regardless of the financial implications of the company’s collapse, I am sure that every member of the Cuddy family will have felt this loss every bit as keenly as those they employed.

Ultimately, however, my thoughts are with the company itself. Cuddy Group and its various divisions accomplished so much over the years. They will have carried out literally hundreds of successful demolition contracts. They will have employed and trained thousands of men and women; men and women that would help nourish the UK demolition gene pool for many years to come. They will have contributed – directly or indirectly – to the financial well-being of immeasurable numbers of local suppliers, sub-contractors and equipment manufacturers and hirers. They helped raise the standards for demolition in their native Wales and beyond.

THAT should be the Cuddy Group legacy.

Yet all that remains is this single document. A once great company reduced to so many insincere words, a collection of clauses and sub-clauses, and sets of meaningless figures. Sixty-eight slightly dog-eared A4 pages, most of them printed front and back.

The workers, the family, the company and the industry deserved better.

Video – Open for business…

Dedicated DemoExpo 2019 website is now open.

In less than 300 days, the great and the good of the UK demolition industry will gather at the Hertfordshire Show Ground for the DemoExpo 2019 exhibition hosted jointly by the National Federation of Demolition Contractors and the Institute of Demolition Engineers. And it’s going to be EPIC!

A number of big name exhibitors have already confirmed their participation. These include Blue Group, BPH Attachments, Epiroc, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Inmalo, Mutley Plant Srvices, and Worsley Plant; and there are plenty more to come.

You can find out more on the exhibition’s new dedicated website. Click here to visit.

To celebrate the unveiling of the new website, we have produced this awesome new (and exclusive) trailer video.

Video – Looters delay mall demolition…

Nairobi mall demolition triggers looting frenzy.

Police were forced to use tear gas to disperse youths who were attempting to storm inside the former Taj Mall to loot scrap metal and valuables.

Black day for Grey Mill…

Bid to demolish historic Aberdeen landmark moves a step closer.

Planners have recommended flattening a historic Aberdeen landmark to make way for a £100 million “urban village”.

Broadford Works, which was once home to the largest collection of category A-listed buildings at risk in Scotland, has been taken over by developer Inhabit, which plans to transform it into 460 homes, shops and offices.

The city council’s planning committee has been urged to approve plans to demolish parts of the Grey Mill, including the oldest iron-framed mill in Scotland – and the fourth oldest known to survive in the world.

The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, which objected to the plans, said: “In a city of such distinction as Aberdeen, with its great history of solving difficult engineering problems, it can hardly be beyond its collective wit to figure out how these buildings can be now saved and re-used.”

But in their report planners said the applicant has provided evidence, which has been independently verified, that if the site-wide proposals included the retention and repair of the Old and South mills, the “entire development would be considered unviable”.

They added: “Old and South Grey Mills are considered repairable, but at great expense and re-use options are limited by the type of structure, which further affects viability.

“The significance of the buildings is in their construction, rather than external appearance, therefore facade retention is not a worthwhile approach.”

Read more here.

Video – Bridge Busters bounce back…

Armac doing what Armac does best.

It is a fool’s errand to even attempt to pigeonhole demolition companies. All are multi-disciplined and multi-faceted, and each is capable of tackling a huge array of structures.

But let’s be honest. When you think Armac, you think bridge demolition. And for good reason, as this new video from Highways England demonstrates:

Comment – We need to talk..

Suicide Prevention Day highlights dangers in demolition and construction.

Young men working in the demolition and construction industries represent the highest suicide risk of any industry. Yet while we quickly latch on to issues that might impact upon physical well-being of demolition and construction workers, their mental well-being is still being overlooked, even though this is potentially a bigger killer than working at height, slips and trips, falling objects and machine-related injuries combined.

In this special episode of Demolition News Radio which we produced to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, we are calling upon the industry to do more to protect the mental health of its workers; to unite to help workers to speak more openly about their mental health concerns; and to remove this scourge from our industry once and for all.

You can hit the play button below and listen here. Alternatively, iPhone and iPad users can catch the show on iTunes by CLICKING HERE.

PP O’Connor grabs Galvac…

Demolition company snatches vacuum excavation firm from jaws of administration.

Manchester-based demolition specialist PP O’Connor has bought the vacuum excavation trucks business of failed rival GPL from administrators.

Headquartered in Salford, the Galvac business operates nationally, employing 28 staff.

The acquisition provides growing £33 million turnover PP O’Connor with an industry-leading fleet of vacuum excavation trucks that can service a national footprint supporting major infrastructure contracts and utilities with the latest innovation in safe dig techniques.

Charmaine O’Connor, chief executive of P. P. O’Connor Group, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to acquire Galvac and secure the jobs of its team so quickly.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the members of the Galvac team into P.P. O’Connor. This acquisition complements the range of services we offer to our clients and it’s testament to the hard work of everyone at P. P. O’Connor that we are able to expand our business further in such a positive manner.”

Read more here.

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