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Demolition TV – Season 3 starts here…

Demolition TV is back with a bang.

Fawlty Towers was recently voted best TV comedy ever in a UK poll.   Yet it lasted for just two series and a total of only 12 episodes.   So while we wouldn’t classify Demolition TV as a comedy (although the out-takes are hilarious!) the fact that we’re back for the third season is surely something to shout about.

The new series will hopefully raise the bar still further with a new camera and audio set-up giving the latest show a fresh, new feel.   

Of course, all the previous episodes are available to watch here (and please feel free to subscribe if you’re so inclined), and we would encourage you to look back, even if only to marvel at my steady (and deliberate) weight loss and the inexplicable fluctuations in my facial hair.

Pre-inquest review imminent at Didcot…

Interim findings from Didcot investigation expected later this month.

Pre-inquest reviews will be held for the four men who died in the Didcot Power Station collapse of February 2016.

The pre-inquest review will be held at Oxford Coroner’s Court at County Hall in New Road on January 31 from 2pm. It will be in part to make plans for the final inquest hearing, including details of any witnesses who will need to give evidence.

Michael Collings, 53, from Cleveland; John Shaw, 61, Kenneth Cresswell, 57, both from Rotherham, and Christopher Huxtable, 34, from Swansea, all died after part of the former boiler house at Didcot Power Station A collapsed as it was being prepared for demolition.

At the time of the collapse, Coleman & Company was undertaking preparatory work for the demolition of the former coal-fired boiler house. RWE NPower closed that part of the plant in March 2013 after 43 years of service.

The rest of the boiler house was brought down by explosives in July 2016.

Read more here.

Video – Time to go…

Operator retreats as apartment block tumbles.

YouTube and Facebook are filled with films of excavator operators that were a little too close for comfort.

So it is refreshing to bring you a video featuring an operator that clearly knew just when he’d broken enough. And as he retires to a safe distance, the apartment block buckles and falls:

Video – Downington downed…

Controlled blast fells twin stacks.

On January 19, 2018, two smokestacks that were part of the old Downingtown Paper Mill were simultaneously demolished by explosion to make way for the Brandywine Station project.

Brandywine Station will be developed by the award winning Hankin Group and will feature apartments, retail and restaurants.

The Downingtown Train Station is also expected to be re-located to the location.

Video – Game is almost up…

Demolition of Las Vegas Club nears completion.

Demolition of the Las Vegas Club is nearly done. And judging by this video, the tower is coming down at least partly unaided.

A large section of the building came down in the early hours of 20 January 2018, seemingly of its own accord. (But, if you stick around to the end of the video, it’s possible to see the wire ropes that performed the magic pull.

Video – German church felled…

Centuries-old church no match for mechanical might.

I am not religious. In fact, I consider myself to be utterly devoid of spirituality of any kind.

But even a practising atheist such as myself cannot help but feel a pang of grief at the destruction of this stunningly beautiful church in Immerath, Germany:

Video – Divine intervention…?

Chinese authorities struggle to fell Christian church.

For the second time in less than a month, Chinese authorities have demolished a Christian church sparking fears of an anti-Christian campaign.

But the latest church – known as the Golden Lampstand – did not go without a fight. In fact, the initial implosion merely served to kick the church over at an ungainly angle, forcing the authorities to complete the demolition using mechanical means:

Demolition 2051 – Glimpse of a possible future…

A new book from DemolitionNews predicts a human-free demolition industry of the future.

“…imagine a world in which man has been removed entirely from demolition sites; a world in which Zero Harm is not just a reality, but the industry norm…”

Demolition 2051 is a new book from DemolitionNews founder Mark Anthony. The book envisages an idealised demolition world of the future in which man has been eradicated from front line demolition; a future in which accidents have been consigned to the history books; but a world in which some still hanker for a mechanised past.

Although it is a work of fiction, the book is rooted in reality. Many of the machines, concepts and processes described either exist already or are likely to come in the next few years.

Despite its futuristic tone, the book is a very human story. Its main protagonist – Bruce – is a third generation demolition man who still longs for the machines and methods he learned from his father and grandfather.

The book is available exclusively through the Amazon book store. UK residents can order a copy here, while those in the US can orders theirs here. Alternatively, just search Amazon for Demolition 2051.

Comment – Braced for impact…

Carillion collapse could cost demolition dear.

Like many allied to the UK construction sector, I spent this past weekend scanning the horizon, hoping and praying for a miracle that might pull industry giant Carillion back from the precipice. Not because I have any particular affinity with Carillion; not because I am especially concerned about the impact upon the HS2 of which the company was set to be a part.

I was not even too bothered about the likely effect of the company’s demise on the schools and hospitals it is charged with maintaining. The current UK government might appear inept at times, but even they are not foolhardy enough to allow the collapse of a construction company to further hinder its chances of re-election by failing to support these two massive vote winning areas of activity. Quite how they explain away allocating a portion of the HS2 contract to a company that seemingly everyone knew was on a financial knife-edge is quite another matter.

Like most people connected to this sector, I had two concerns: the impact upon the 40,000+ Carillion employees; and, moreover, the impact upon the sub-contractors that will bear the brunt of the financial losses amassed by a company that has seemingly been in terminal decline for several years.

It seems likely that, as Carillion slips beneath the murky financial waters, some of its workload – including HS2 – will be absorbed by other, rival firms. In that instance, it seems equally likely that at least some of the firm’s employees might find employment elsewhere in relatively short order. Furthermore, despite the spectre of Brexit that is hanging over the UK economy at present, construction demand remains largely positive. The chances of ex-Carillion employees finding alternative employment are pretty good, all things considered, although the prospects for their pension funds, however, look less certain.

And the same, sadly, cannot be said for the countless sub and specialist contractors to which Carillion is thought to owe millions. Although it will likely take months for the true extent of Carillion’s debts to become clear, it is thought that a number of demolition firms could take a hit. Rumours abound of demolition contractors being owed hundreds of thousands of pounds or more; and there is the very real possibility that Carillion’s sinking could lead to the drowning of several demolition companies.

By all accounts, Carillion was not a particularly good company to work for, either as an employee or as a sub-contractor. Like a number of other big-name firms, it was caught up in the employee blacklisting scandal. Also like several other big-name main contractors, it forced sub-contractors to accept cash-flow crucifying credit terms of 90 and even 120 days.

Those credit terms alone should have run alarm bells with sub and specialist contractors about the financial stability of Carillion. The fact that several other main contractors continue to impose draconian payment terms should now be a red flag to us all.

No cause for Champagne celebration…

Company fined in asbestos whistle-blower case.

A jury and judge have ordered an Albany-based demolition company and its owner to pay more than $170,000 to a worker who was fired after reporting improper asbestos removal practices by the firm.

The judgment, which followed a jury trial before U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. in Syracuse, supports a U.S. Department of Labor lawsuit that alleged Champagne Demolition LLC and its owner, Joseph A. Champagne, violated the employee’s “whistleblower” rights, the labor department said in a news release.

On June 10, 2010, employee Donald Miles reported to the company’s management that asbestos had been improperly removed at a job site at Gloversville High School, according to court records. The next day, Miles was fired and subjected to verbal threats and legal action by the company, the department of labor said.

Miles subsequently filed a complaint with the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which opened a whistleblower investigation and found merit to the allegation, the department said.

“We are pleased with the jury verdict and the judge’s ruling to hold this employer accountable for violating the employee’s rights,” OSHA Regional Administrator Robert Kulick said in a statement. “Every worker has the right to report potential safety and health hazards without fear of harassment, termination or retaliation.”

Read more here.

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