The Break Fast Show #420

In today’s show: Demolition company fined over an accident in 2020 that left a young woman fighting for her life; Kinshofer unveils the latest additions to its product line; Volvo goes large with all-electric excavators; and we’re dozing with Shantui.

PLUS XCMG unveils a hybrid crane.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

Firm fined over Shannon incident

A demolition firm has been fined and one of its directors ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work after a 20-year-old worker was crushed back in 2020.

Ace Demolition Services Ltd had been contracted by Southend Borough Council to demolish Futures Community College, in Southchurch Boulevard, Southend-on-Sea.

Shannon Brasier, who was 20 years old at the time, was working with a colleague to load a fuel hose into the rear compartment of a 21-tonne excavator, when the excavator moved round and crushed her between the excavator and a mobile fuel tank.

Brasier suffered life-changing injuries, including to her neck, skull and face, which she was fortunate to survive.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Ace Demolition Services Ltd failed to implement suitable controls to segregate pedestrians and construction plant, allowed two pairs of keys to be used during the refuelling process and allowed operatives to act as signallers/banksman for the excavator without having received adequate training.

A director, John Gilligan, was responsible for supervising the refuelling and drove the excavator before the refuelling was complete.

Ace Demolition Services Ltd and director John Gilligan pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 37(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

Ace Demolition Services Ltd was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,731 at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on 24 November 2022. John Gilligan was given a 12-month community order with a requirement to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work.

The Break Fast Show #419

In today’s show: Diggers and Dozers names its top five excavators from the recent Bauma show; Liebherr unveils its latest compact wheel loaders; we see how one construction company is using the Caterpillar Reman programme to keep sits fleet fresh; and we’re looking back at Bauma through the lens of Liebherr.

PLUS how our audience came to the rescue in a viewer’s hour of need.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

Suicide unseen

Although it is now widely known within industry that the suicide rate among construction workers is roughly three times the national average, it seems that fact is less well known outside.

In a new podcast by former soldier and TV personality Ant Middleton, Construction Sport funder Steve Kerslake discusses this; the causes and the possible solutions to the massive mental health crisis that continues to grip the sector.

During the course of the discussion, Kerslake makes a valid and really memorable point: “The industry expects us to check the condition of machines before each working day. But no-one is checking the condition of the man or woman working inside it.”

You can listen to the full episode below:

Opinion – Time to tackle industry drink/drug crisis

Imagine you work at a McDonalds restaurant (other burger chains are available…). You start out flipping burgers or taking orders but you work hard and you’re never late. Your dedication is spotted and you get a promotion, and then another. Pretty soon, you are a line manager with people reporting to you directly. A year or two later, you’re the manager and then a regional manager. All your hard work, dedication, commitment and sacrifice has seen you rise through the ranks to reach the very pinnacle of your field of endeavour.

And then you go back to flipping burgers. That would suck, right. All those hours, all that talent, all that ambition and all that sacrifice wasted as you take a step back down the ladder.

Now imagine you are a demolition contractor. You start out as a one-man band but you work hard and you grow and expand: first locally; then regionally; and then nationally. You now have a thriving company with a growing reputation. And that reputation lands you a contract working in a petro-chemical works or beside a railway line. Once again, you raise your game. You employ specialists. You undertake additional training. You put in place additional systems such as daily safety briefings and random drug and alcohol testing to ensure that your team meets these new and more exacting standards. Your company just went from good to great.

And then, when that project comes to an end, those additional systems and protocols are forgotten. Daily safety briefings are abandoned along with the random drug and alcohol testing.

You have taken your company to the very pinnacle of demolition excellence and then you have chosen (and I emphasise the word chosen) to take a step down the demolition food chain of excellence. You have breathed the pure and rarified air atop the industry mountain and you have deliberately returned to the smog down at base camp.

Last week, amidst the furore surrounding John Lynch being confirmed as the National Federation of Demolition Contractors’ president-elect, there was a lot of talk about the key issues that he might tackle during his deserved presidency. In a poll conducted during The Break Fast Show live broadcast, the introduction of a compulsory drug and alcohol testing protocol was far and away the winner. In fact, it wasn’t even close. It seems that those in the industry – those in middle management; those in site management; and those right at the workface – are unwilling to tolerate the presence of drugs and alcohol any longer. And with good reason.

In demolition and in construction, your health, safety and even your life rests in the hands of those working alongside and around you. Demolition requires constant focus and unwavering attention. Any lapse could prove fatal. With that in mind, the introduction of a compulsory and regular random drugs and alcohol testing regime seems entirely appropriate.

If someone is found to be endangering themselves or others through the misuse of drugs or alcohol, they should be offered support, assistance and quite possibly rehabilitation.

But what about after that? We all know how this industry works. If someone is let go/fired/forcibly ejected for having been under the influence of alcohol or drugs while at work, there is precisely NOTHING to prevent them finding new employment, quite possibly in a matter of days.

We have a competence card scheme that tracks and monitors every new training course, every new career progression. Could that not also be used to track drug and alcohol-related indiscretions?

Surely it is in the industry’s best interests to ensure that future employers are aware of an employee’s past drug or alcohol indiscretions. Or are we happy to continue along our “merry” way, safe in the knowledge that the worker with the alcohol or drug issues is now someone else’s problem?

The Break Fast Show #418

In today’s show: JCB unveils its smallest Loadall telehandler to date; Rotar has boosted the power of its concrete crackers and the size of its grapple range. We have the low-down. We get all the details of two of the biggest Liebherr machines that were on display at Bauma 2022; and Wacker Neuson unveils its latest site dumper.

PLUS we are gazing into the future with Doosan and our roving reporter Peter Haddock.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

In conversation with Louis Broekhuizen of Rotar

Having already established its Ramplifier system as a significant boost to productivity, the company has now unveiled Ramplifier 2.0 to make concrete cracking duties even faster.

In this exclusive interview, we discuss the newly-boosted system, the latest addition to the company’s impressive line-up of grabs and much more besides.

Driving a digger round the Nurburgring

DemolitionNews’ Mark Anthony recently got to drive the world-famous Nurburgring motor racing circuit. His vehicle of choice was a hot new model from Volvo.

But it wasn’t a car. And it wasn’t a truck. It was an astonishing electric wheeled loader.

The Break Fast Show #417

In today’s show: Redcar echoes to the sound of yet another big blast; Wacker Neuson shows off its latest compact excavator; Bobcat puts the spotlight on its latest mini excavators; and we’re headed back to Bauma for a closer look at the Doosan display.

PLUS how Volvo is helping to mitigate machine collisions.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

The Break Fast Show #416

In today’s show: Caterpillar unveils its first battery-powered mining truck; we’re checking out the very latest heavy wheel loader from Volvo; we’re going behind the scenes of an electric stand at Bauma 2022; and we’re walking around Hitachi’s Bauma stand.

PLUS I take a spin around the Nurburgring in an electric wheel loader.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.