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Triple crown for Darsey

Erith Contractors MD takes up role of NDTG Chairman.

The delegates at today’s annual general meeting of the National Demolition Training Group (NDTG) voted to elect Erith Contractors managing director David Darsey as chairman with McWilliam Demolition’s Craig McWilliam elected as vice-chairman.

It is the latest of many accolades for Darsey who has previously held the position of National Federation of Demolition Contractors’ president and is the outgoing president of the Institute of Demolition Engineers. He is also an honorary life vice president of the NFDC.

While it is unquestionably a proud moment for Darsey, it is a positive move also for the NDTG at a time when the NDTG faces a number of key challenges, not least the switch of competence card authorities. Darsey is not just a proven and vocal advocate of training across all demolition disciplines but he is a tough negotiator and will be capable of pursuing the wider industry’s agenda.

Video – Why we’re exhibiting at DemoExpo 2019…

Some familiar names discuss why they’ll be at the year’s big event.

On the day it was confirmed that both JCB and Marubeni-Komatsu are scheduled to exhibit at the DemoExpo 2019 exhibition later this year, our exclusive new video explains why some of the sector’s most familiar names are planning to be there too.

This video features contributions from Worsley Plant, Epiroc, LDH Attachments, CPMS (LiuGong UK), BPH Attachments, Kocurek, CabCare along with industry newcomers N&S Plant.

For a list of exhibitors, please click here. Or for more details on what promises to be an epic exhibition, please visit the main DemoExpo website.

Liberty deploys VR simulator…

Liberty Industrial invests in excavator training simulation technology

Award-winning Australian demolition giant Liberty Industrial has invested in a state-of-the-art Volvo excavator training simulator. The simulator will travel between Liberty Industrial’s project sites in a purpose built trailer unit that has been converted into a mobile training centre.

The latest in excavator simulation training technology, the Volvo Advanced Training Simulator 5.0 is inspired by aviation industry simulation training, and allows the operator to immerse themselves in a realistic virtual experience. The simulator features a high definition screen and includes realistic graphics and sounds, and a full motion platform incorporating movement and vibration that mimics the experience of operating a machine in a true-to-life scenario.

Operators will navigate simulated demolition, remediation and civil environments, undertaking a range of different virtual excavator operation training exercises such as shearing, sorting, processing, breaking, earth moving, rock handling and high reach demolition training.

Liberty Industrial is the first Australian contractor to invest in this kind of excavator simulation training equipment, with the only other known excavator simulators in Australia being owned and operated by peak Australian civil construction industry body, the Civil Contractors Federation.

Erith underscores industry generosity…

Erith Contractors, NFDC and IDE make massive charitable donation.

Erith Contractor’s managing director and outgoing Institute of Demolition Engineers’ president David Darsey has handed over a pair of massive cheques to David Roberts of the Niemann-Pick UK charity last week.

The Niemann-Pick UK charity works closely with families and individuals living with Niemann-Pick and helps them manage this life-limiting disease. The Niemann-Pick diseases are a group of rare lysosomal storage disorders that can affect both children and adults.

David Darsey has been personally affected by Niemann-Pick for the past two years following the birth of his granddaughter, Nancy, in November 2016. Shortly after Nancy’s birth, the Darsey family received the devastating news that she had been diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C. Darsey has since gone to great lengths to raise money for NPUK and increase awareness of this rare and heart-breaking disease.

In June 2018, Darsey hosted a fundraiser for NPUK, Nancy’s Night Out, in homage to his granddaughter. The event was a huge success, raising significant funds through ticket sales, auctions and generous donations which will be used to provide care and support to families in need.

David Roberts, Trustee at NPUK, visited Erith’s London office where David Darsey presented him with two cheques. The first was on behalf of Erith Contractors Limited for the sum of £64,000.00 raised at Nancy’s Night Out. The second was on behalf of the IDE who generously contributed and additional £5,000.00 to this worthy cause from their auction and raffle at the AGM last November.

Seizing the mental health nettle…

Leading consultants join forces to deliver Adult Mental Health Awareness course.

A joint venture between C&D Demolition Consultancy Limited and Prosafe Consultants Limited is set to deliver an important and far-reaching new training course targeting the delicate and often overlooked issue of adult mental health awareness.

Taking place at Wolverhampton Science Park on 28 March 2019, this half day course is an introductory session to raise awareness of mental health. It is certified by Mental Health First Aid England, and is designed to provide delegates with:

  • An understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge the stigma surrounding it
  • A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
  • An introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
  • Confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue

This introductory session can lead on to further Mental Health training as either a MHFA Champion, or a MHFA First Aider. Learning will take place through a mix of presentations, group discussions and workshop activities. Numbers are limited to 25 per course so that the instructor can keep people safe and supported while they learn.
Everyone that completes the course gets:

  • A manual to refer to whenever you need it
  • A workbook including a helpful toolkit to support your own mental health
  • A certificate of attendance to say you are Mental Health Aware
  • Access to ongoing support
  • Certified 4 hours of CPD

To find out more or to book your place on this important training course, contact C&D Consultancy on email or Tel: 07496 094554

Breaking News – Brazil takes on US…

Award winning explosive expert targets US expansion.

Anyone that has been following the wider demolition industry on social media during the past week or two will probably have encountered a distinctive but unfamiliar logo together with a somewhat cryptic message. But the cat is now out of the bag, as they say. And we can exclusively reveal that former World Explosive Demolition Contractor of the Year Fabio Bruno Construcoes is targeting an overseas expansion. And the company is doing so in the US, the spiritual home of the blaster’s art.

In a statement, the company says:

“…Fábio Bruno has officially entered into the US market for implosion and demolition services. Since 2001 our company has been providing world class implosion services around the world and we feel with our experience and our high level of service we can be of great assistance to many clients in the United States. We look forward to the future and being a part of many great projects stateside…”

Although Fábio Bruno has worked overseas previously – most notably in The Bahamas – conquering the US will be no easy task. American is the home to some of the biggest, best-known and most-respected explosive demolition contractors in the world, including CDI and Dykon.

However, Fábio Bruno has developed a great deal of expertise in the field, a fact evidenced by the company winning a coveted explosive demolition trophy at the World Demolition Awards. The company is also a keen advocate for pre-blast simulation methods, and has established a reputation for innovation.

You can find out more here.

Video Exclusive – Caterpillar storms ahead…

First-glimpse at some of the new Cat equipment that will debut at Bauma 2019.

At the beginning of last week, DemolitionNews’ editor Mark Anthony joined the mass ranks of the international trade press at Caterpillar’s magnificent Demonstration and Learning Centre in Malaga, Spain to get a sneak preview of just some of the machines that will be on show at the Bauma exhibition in April.

For us demolition folks, the all-new Caterpillar 340 SB (Straight Boom) was unquestionably the star of the show, even though it wasn’t actually in Malaga and even though we won’t get to see it “in the iron” until June this year (although you can read all about it in the next Demolition magazine).

However, there was plenty more to see during a superb and informative visit. We will be releasing more exclusive video content in the coming days but here – just to whet your appetite – is a glimpse of just some of what Caterpillar had in store:

Video – Double house collapse in Fishtown…

Investigation underway following collapse of two homes undergoing demolition.

A pair of neighbouring houses in Fishtown, Philadelphia have collapsed as crews were preparing to demolish them.

The unplanned collapse was caught on camera:

Comment – The slow-turning wheels of justice…

In a little under two weeks, the global demolition community will fall silent once again as it remembers the four of its brethren that lost their lives so needlessly and so tragically at the Didcot A Power Station back in February 2016.

This time last year, I was working on a commemorative article that attempted to capture the feelings of an industry still reeling two years on from the worst demolition accident in living memory. (You can find a copy of there here). But this year, there will be no repeat, no fresh outpouring of emotion because – to the untrained eye, at least – there has been precious little progress in the investigation surrounding the accident.

Of course, that isn’t the case. I have been called by the police at least four times in the past year. I know several people that have been questioned wither in person or over the telephone as the police gather yet more information on that tragic incident.

But three years on, there have been no prosecutions, no findings revealed and no blame appointed. Whilst I appreciate the sheer volume of the task facing the police and the Health and Safety Executive, three years is already too long to have waited. And that fact was brought into sharp focus this week by another demolition fatality at another UK power station.

Now you might recall that, in the immediate aftermath of the Didcot disaster, the National Federation of Demolition Contractors offered assurances that it would produce new guidance on the demolition of power stations just as soon as the Health & Safety Executive released its findings.

The fact that that new guidance does not yet exist is no fault of the NFDC. Far from it. The Federation cannot be seen to be pre-empting any findings or prosecutions by producing such a publication before the Didcot case comes to court. And so, along with the rest of the demolition fraternity, the Federation is forced to sit and wait.

And while that wait goes on, another of its number has been killed in action on a power station contract.

It is interesting (and by interesting I mean tragically ironic) to note that the contractors involved in these power station fatalities were both what I would describe as premier league companies. And while Coleman & Company faced criticism over the fact that Didcot was its first ever power station contract, no such accusations can be levelled at Brown and Mason, the company working at Longannet Power Station in Scotland where a worker died this past week. Brown and Mason is widely regarded as THE company for power station demolition. It has demolished more than just about anyone and has an exemplary record in doing so. The fact that it has now suffered a power station fatality merely serves to underline the complex, challenging and hazardous nature of this line of work.

There is a phrase that is a basic tenet of all demolition training; a two-word phrase that underpins every industry training course, every risk assessment, method statement and every toolbox talk. That phrase is “what if”. What if you encounter asbestos? What if you see a hazard? What if you see someone undertaking a task for which they’re not adequately competent?

So what if “what if” was applied to the latest power station fatality? What if the Health and Safety Executive had presented its findings in a more timely fashion? What if the global demolition industry embraced those findings and adopted its recommendations in its working methods while carrying out power station demolition works. What if the NFDC had produced its power station guidance notes? What if the National Demolition Training Group had produced a new training course aimed squarely at addressing the very specific challenges of working in a power station environment? And what if Brown and Mason – a proud NFDC member – had been issued with those guidance notes and had subsequently sent its men on that new training course?

Such speculation is, I realise, pie in the sky. At the time of writing, we do not yet know the cause of death for the man killed at Longannet. We don’t even know his name yet. In all likelihood, Longannet is very different to Didcot. The methodologies employed by Brown and Mason and Coleman & Company are likely different too. Each demolition project is as unique as the companies and the individuals carrying it out. So the likelihood that a discovery made about the cause of the Didcot disaster might have saved the life of the man at Longannet is extreme to say the least.

But if there was even the slightest chance that a lesson learned at Didcot might have been applied at Longannet to save that one man’s life, I am sure it is a chance that the man’s family, friends and colleagues would seize.

In the usual course of Health and Safety Executive investigations, it is not unusual for the HSE to issue a prohibition notice and to demand that something potentially hazardous is rectified before work is allowed to proceed. And rightly so.

But by taking – to date – three years to pore over the admittedly mountainous pile of evidence gathered at Didcot A Power Station without presenting its findings, the HSE is exposing to risk the hundreds or even thousands of men and women currently working on the demolition of the world’s ageing and redundant power station stock.

It is a truism that the wheels of justice turn very slowly. But if there is even the slightest chance that those slow turning wheels might have led to the death of another demolition man, then surely SURELY it is time that the system was changed?

Video – Work begins on Morandi Bridge…

Demolition signals beginning of reconstruction for deadly Italian bridge.

Work to demolish Genoa’s Morandi bridge, which partially collapsed last August killing 43 people, has begun ahead of its reconstruction.

Project planning and deconstruction of the remaining parts of the bridge superstructure started on 15 December 2018; but now major sections are being lowered to the valley floor as first important step during the full demolition of the bridge.

Those works are taking place under the watchful eye of national and international media, the Italian authorities and RINA the certification, inspection, testing and engineering consulting multinational charged with overseeing the project.

The new bridge is valued at approximately 200 million Euros and is expected to be Europe’s most expensive.

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