The bad news keeps on coming…

Seven days into the Competition and Markets Authority debacle, the bad news just keeps on coming.

The latest news turd to plop down upon the already heavily stained head of the NFDC is that another high-profile member John F Hunt has set aside £5.6 million to cover the cost of the fines it anticipates in relation to its admitted involvement in the bid rigging scandal.

The Break Fast Show #331

In today’s show: John F Hunt has become the latest NFDC member to publicly declare the provision it has made for fines that will likely arise from the CMA investigation into bid rigging.

We’re calling in on New Zealand’s “Pigeon Palace” as it takes its final flight; I will attempt to draw parallels between the presidency of Donald Trump and the regime currently running the National Federation of Demolition Contractors. I will leave you to decide just how well I do; and we’re hopping back to Hillhead to peruse the Doosan stand.

PLUS – What happens the Danes and the Italians come together over a Carlsberg?

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man…?

This is the story of two Extraordinary General Meetings of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors; a tale of an NFDC president that was dismissed, a president robbed of the role, and a president that never should have been and who – remarkably – could be again.

It is the story of how decisions made in haste can so often sink their teeth onto you rear and how the rules of succession don’t always serve up the right candidate at the right time.

The Break Fast Show #330

In today’s show: The saying says “cometh the hour, cometh the man”. But what if the hour cometh and the wrong man cometh with it?

We’re headed Down Under for some Australian-style silo demolition; and we take a gentle stroll around Komatsu’s stand at Hillhead 2022.

PLUS we’re also headed back to Sweden for an up-close look at the Volvo R100 rigid dumptruck that I got to see first-hand just a few weeks ago.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

John F. Hunts sets aside £5.6 million…

CMA provisions made by NFDC members hit £23 million; and we’re not even at the halfway point.

Demolition contractor John F Hunt has become the latest firm to reveal how much it says its involvement with bid-rigging will cost it.

The company is one of 10 that cartel-buster the Competition and Markets Authority publicly named last week as being involved in the scandal.

Hunt has admitted its involvement in bid-rigging, along with seven others. “The bids were rigged by one or more construction firms which agreed to submit bids that were deliberately priced to lose the tender.

In its latest report and accounts for the year to March 2021, which were filed at the end of last month, Hunt said it had set aside £5.6 million for “a matter relating to isolated historic regulatory breaches” – believed to be a reference to the bid-rigging probe.

It said the investigations “have now been settled with the liability agreed at £5.6 million, payment of which has yet to be finalised”.

It brings the cumulative amount of the four firms who have gone public with their provisions for the issue – Keltbray, Careys, McGee and Hunt – to an eye-watering £23 million.

Meanwhile, Erith Group, one of two firms contesting the CMA findings, said turnover fell 18% to £176m in the year to September 2021 but pre-tax profit was up 35% to £11.3m.

The firm said it was the subject of two ongoing regulatory investigations: a fatal accident; and what it referred to as a regulatory investigation. The company says: “The outcome of both matters are considered to be undeterminable at the time and the directors therefore have made no provision in these financial statements for any costs arising from this matter.”

The eye of the storm

The “voice of the demolition industry” is characteristically silent amidst the bid rigging scandal that has named 10 of its members. The Federation is choosing inaction when action is so clearly required.

In the eye of the storm, the NFDC is apparently hoping the whole thing will blow over. Anyone that has seen the movie “Shaun of the Dead” will know precisely how that turned out:

The Break Fast Show #329

In today’s show: With the National Federation of Demolition Contractors seemingly planning to soldier on unaltered by the CMA debacle, we look at what that actually means for the Federation and – more importantly – for its members.

With the latest Ritchie Bros sale now in full swing at their Maltby facility, we’re bringing you a chat that we recorded with the company’s UK and Irelands sales director, Rupert Craven; and speaking of Hillhead, we’re also going to take a gentle stroll around the LiuGong stand.

PLUS there is something new and unusual is stirring in the Mecalac.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show:

Paltry fine for power station fatality

A £5,000 fine has been levied against a demolition contractor after an employee – Gary Robertson – fell to his death when a rusty pipe bridge platform collapsed.

The incident happened on 6th February 2019 at Longannet Power Station, Fife. By September 2020 the contractor concerned – Brown & Mason Ltd – was in administration and subsequently changed its name to CBR02 Limited.

A joint investigation by the Health & Safety Executive and the Police in Scotland found that the section of metal grating on the pipe bridge on which the deceased had been standing gave way under his weight, because it was so corroded.

By failing to record the hazardous condition of the pipe bridge the company had failed to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

In particular, the risk assessment – which formed part of the final, revised method statement – did not address the severely corroded nature of the pipe bridge, despite it being previously highlighted and requested by the client, Scottish Power. Now here’s where things start to get complicated.

In June 2019, just weeks after the fatality, Brown & Mason Plant Hire changed its name to Brown & Mason Group Ltd and continued trading as Brown & Mason under the same ultimate ownership, but with title switched from Brown & Mason Holdings to Nrlb Ltd, both owned by members of the Brown family.

Brown & Mason Group increased its net book value from £3.6 to £22 million in the wake of its name change.

Read more here.

The Break Fast Show #328

In today’s show: As McGee Group sets aside £2.4 million to cover fines arising from the price-fixing probe, you have your say on the CMA fallout. As one of the eight NFDC companies that have admitted involvement in price fixing is fined over the death of a worker back in 2019, we ask: What price a human life?

PLUS we’re headed back to the Hillhead exhibition for a walk among the attachments; CW Plant goes big on JCB’s new rotating telehandler; and we see how XCMG has become the world’s third largest manufacturer of construction equipment with a quick look around their stunning factory.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show:

CMA – Our viewers have their say

In light of the findings of the Competition and Markets Authority probe into alleged bid rigging and price fixing in the UK demolition industry, we asked our viewers what they thought about the companies named and about the trade association of which they are all members.

These are their thoughts.