Rallying the troops..

Maylarch’s Nick Williamson calls upon asbestos sector to unite.

Fresh from his guest appearance on the Demolition Daily LiveStream earlier this week, Maylarch chairman Nick Williamson has called upon the asbestos sector to assist the NHS and First Responders.

In a statement on LinkedIn, he says:

“…If you have experience of working in live Hospitals, please get in touch with your local NHS trust so they know you are available to help with creating Temporary Negative Pressure Treatment Areas for Patients with Covid19. This is to help protect all the staff working on Covid19 patients.

Having negative pressure areas increases the effectiveness of the medical teams RPE and PPE due to the filtered air changes.

This is what Maylarch and others have done so far that we know about.

We have added NPUs to the windows of Oxfords JR Hospital ICU turning it into a negative pressure area with 12 x air changes per hour. Also we have created 2 x decontamination areas for staff, all equipment is external to the ward.

We are putting in Negative pressure treatment areas for Covid19 patients in Banbury -Horton Hospital.

After discussing this with my Brother who is an Emergency Consultant at RUH Bath they are also building bays for intubating Covid19 patients. They are using their local asbestos removal contractors, Hawkins.

Power for NPUs will always be an issue unless anyone has any 240 volt versions?

Hospitals will be looking for solutions and each hospital will have different clinical requirements and constraints on which areas they may want to convert but with our experience of putting in temporary negative pressure areas we can help so please get in touch with your local NHS Trust and let them know you’re available to help…”

Demolition Daily #4

In today’s episode, we look at the industry’s response – or lack thereof – to the COVID-19 threat; the lack of guidance from industry leaders; and the ongoing failure to close all non-essential sites.

We also welcome guests Mike Kehoe of C&D Consultancy and David Cant of Veritas Consulting to discuss the health and safety implications of the Coronavirus and how this outbreak might change attitudes in the future.

Demolition Daily #3

Latest LiveStream looks at mental health impact of COVID-19 lockdown,

We have a bumper edition of the Demolition Daily LiveStream for you today with no less than three (count them, THREE) guests.

This episode features Danny Kearney of Prosafe Consultants who talks about the likely mental health impact of the current COVID19 lockdown upon demolition and construction workers.

We speak to self-employed and self-funded excavator operator Nigel Williams who yesterday parked up “Kelly the Kobelco” and who currently has no idea when he might return to work. And, if you fast forward to the 26.45 mark, you can see Maylarch chairman Nick Williamson sharing his thoughts on how the asbestos industry might be of assistance during this unprecedented crisis.

NDA tackles COVID-19 crisis…

National Demolition Association demonstrates leadership in face of Coronavirus.

Ever since the Coronavirus made landfall in the US, the team at the National Demolition Association (NDA) has been working tirelessly to keep its members informed snd to keep sites moving. Possibly because the effects of the 911 terrorist attacks are still raw, the US is also demonstrating an admirable level of preparedness that is already planning for a post-COVID-19 world.

This exclusive LiveStream interview with the NDA’s Chris Godek and Jeff Lambert is, therefore, timely and informative to those demolition companies within and those outside the US.

Demolition Daily #2

The second episode of our daily LiveStream is available to view.

Regular readers will know that we have committed to broadcasting a daily LiveStream video show over on our Facebook page which will appear on our Facebook page at 3pm each day during the COVID-19 crisis.

Yesterday’s episode was struck down in its prime by a temporary bout of the the gremlins. But the show went out and you can see it it below:

The shut-down begins…

UK demolition sites shut their doors.

We truly live in unprecedented times. The nation is in lockdown; police are patrolling the streets to actively disperse gatherings of two or more people; and a website that depends upon an active demolition industry for its very survival is celebrating the closure of sites up and down the country. (OK, celebrating is probably not the right word but you know what I mean).

Social media is filled today with news from employers and employees alike that they have decided to shut up shop for the time being while the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control.

This will have been a difficult decision. It is a bold decision. But it is the RIGHT decision.

As an industry, demolition lives and breathes risk assessments. It is a sector that is – perhaps more than any other – adept at analysing hazards and finding safe solutions.

In this instance, that risk is too great; that safe solution is to stay at home.

There will, of course, be financial implications to all this. There will be casualties. And no demolition company would willingly close sites unless it was absolutely necessary.

We salute those that have taken this brave and wholly correct decision.

A call for compassion…

Contractor calls for NFDC and IDE to take COVID-19 lead.

Andrew Hope MIDE, contracts manager at Bath Demolition, has written to both the National Federation of Demolition Contractors and the Institute of Demolition Engineers, urging for the industry’s two trade bodies to demonstrate leadership amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

With the industry seemingly left in limbo by last night’s lockdown announcement from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Hope has called for the demolition industry to lead the way:

In his message to the NFDC, he says:

“..I’m writing to you in the hope you may be able to offer some sensible guidance to our industry in what is a completely unprecedented situation.

The PM has instructed everyone to stay at home apart from travel to and from essential work. People are wildly interpreting this across the industry with no one keen to be the first to close doors.

I believe we should stand up and lead the way showing the construction and demolition industry to be a considerate and compassionate employer who cares about its workforce and the general public. It would be impossible to adhere to a two metre distancing rule on sites without compromising H&S.

Perhaps some guidance from you or a word to say that although our work is important it is not essential. Let’s not be competitive. Let’s all stay home and safe lives…”

Left in limbo…

UK lockdown sends mixed messages to demolition and construction sectors.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to the airwaves last night to effectively place the nation in lockdown. Although that term wasn’t used specifically, the granting of police powers to disperse crowds and to fine those found to be contravening the new rules left no doubt that a lockdown was the situation in which the UK now finds itself.

Such clarity was lacking, however, for the hundreds of thousands employed in the UK construction and demolition industries. For while the nation was being urged to remain indoors and to venture out only when necessary, sites up and down the land look set to remain open, even while social media displayed photos of packed site canteens.

In its broadest sense, the UK construction industry is generally said to employ around one million people. And while those in white collar occupations might be able to work from home and abide by the new rules, the same cannot be said of the blue collar element that makes up the lion’s share of the sector.
or now, the advice s to abide by the Site Operating Procedures issued by Build UK. A copy of that document is available here.

Demolition Daily – Episode #1

Our first-ever LiveStream is in the can. You can watch it here.

As subscribers to our This Week in Demolition newsletter are already aware, we promised to launch a new LiveStream that will be hosted DAILY on our Facebook page.

Well, the first episode is now “in the can” and you can watch it below.

Forth Demolition closes its doors…

Scots contractor opts for controlled closure.

Established and well-respected Scottish demolition contractor Forth Demolition has taken the bold decision to cease trading in a controlled closure.

Company employees were informed of the decision last week and will receive a full redundancy package. The company also reports that all business debts will be settled in full as part of the planned closure.

Speaking exclusively to the DemolitionNews, Forth Demolition’s Stephen McCann says that although the closure was not prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak, the likely fallout from the ongoing pandemic influenced the timing of the announcement.

“We’re a relatively small company. We only take on work that we’re able to do and margins are pretty tight. We have just come off the back of two jobs and I decided that the time was right,” McCann explains. “By closing now, I can pay off all that we owe, give the workers a decent redundancy package, and walk away with some money in my pocket. If I had held on for another few months, that might not have been the case. I wanted to go clean.”

McCann is a former regional chairman of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors and has been with Forth Demolition for some 19 years. But he says there was no place for sentimentality in his decision to close the company.

“None of us know how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last or what economic impact it might ultimately have,” he concludes. “At times like this, you have to think with your head, not your heart.”