Firm fined over glass injury…

Loss assessor suffers laceration to Achilles tendon.

G O’Brien & Sons (Nationwide Demolition Contractors) Limited has been fined after a nearby worker was seriously injured on a demolition site in Durham.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard that on 22 February 2018 the company was demolishing two semi-detached properties as part of a project to renovate a residential street. The injured person, the director of a loss assessor company, had attended his client’s property adjacent to where the work was taking place. Demolition waste had spread into the garden of the neighbouring property, and the injured person stood on a broken window panel, cutting through his ankle and Achilles tendon, whilst attempting to take photographs of the waste.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to suitably ensure that demolition work within its grounds was carried out in such a manner as to prevent danger. The work had not been thoroughly planned to ensure that demolition waste was fully enclosed within the site boundary, and there was no secure fence to prevent unauthorised access to the site.

G O’Brien & Sons (Nationwide Demolition Contractors) Limited of Durham Road, Birtley was found guilty of breaching Regulation 20(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1419.40.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Chester said, “An important message to the industry is to suitably plan work and ensure that site documentation is followed throughout the duration of the work. Paperwork and planning are not just a tick box exercise.”

Breaking News – Chinese stadium collapse

News reports suggest that three people have been killed.

International news media is reporting that a sports stadium in Shenzhen in South China’s Guandong Province has collapsed whilst undergoing demolition.

Initial reports from state and international meda suggest that three people have been killed in the collapse.

More news as we get it.

Comment – Unrealistic Expectations

Demolition is a vertical market; the number of attendees at DemoExpo 2019 merely reflects that.

I will get to our look back at last week’s DemoExpo exhibition shortly. But first, I would like to lay before you a very quick maths lesson. It will be very short, use round numbers and the simplest of terms because I am writing this shortly after sun-up on Sunday (yesterday) and I am, therefore, barely functioning as a journalist, let alone a mathematician.

It is estimated that the UK construction industry employs somewhere in the region of one million people. The recent PlantworX exhibition attracted approximately 20,000 people which by my reckoning is about two percent of the industry workforce. That show was hailed a success, a triumph over truly horrendous weather conditions.

It is estimated that the UK demolition employs somewhere in the region of 25,000 people. Although the final figures have not yet been made public, it seems likely that the DemoExpo show will have welcomed around 2,500 people through the turnstiles. Once again by my reckoning, that is about 10 percent of the industry workforce. And yet there were some exhibitors (not all by any means) that were very open in their criticism of what they perceived to be a small number of visitors.

DemoExpo was not perfect. At the end of the day, the Hertfordshire County Show Ground is a field. And unless you are the organiser of the Glastonbury music festival, it is always going to be a big ask to create any kind of atmosphere in a field. The timing of the show – shortly after PlantworX and in the same year as Bauma – is always going to draw comparisons by which a niche show is going to look small. And with industry giants Caterpillar, Doosan, Liebherr and Volvo choosing to stay away this time around, DemoExpo was always likely to lack the pulling power of some of the larger exhibitions in the industry calendar.

Yet Bauma is not perfect. ConExpo and Intermat are not perfect. And even Hillhead – my personal favourite among plant exhibitions – has room for improvement.

But to criticise DemoExpo is to overlook the work done by the event’s main man – Worsley Plant’s Brian Carroll – and by the joint teams of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors and the Institute of Demolition Engineers. It glosses over the fact that the show attracted (in rough terms) 10 percent of its intended audience, way more than any “commercial” exhibition. And it ignores the fact that it was the manufacturers and dealers that pushed for the creation of the DemoExpo in the first place.

And therein lies another issue. Following hot on the heels of a massive Bauma show in which the industry’s biggest names would have spent millions, their absence from what remains a relatively small, vertical market is understandable. What is harder to fathom is the approach taken by some of the exhibitors that actually chose to support the show.

As you might expect, the equipment on display on the stands of Hitachi, JCB, LiuGong and Molson Group was impressive – Highly polished, exhibition-ready machines and attachments glistening in the sunshine with blackened tyres and freshly-cleaned tracks to show them in their best light.

Elsewhere, however, it was a different matter. In all my 30 years of reporting on exhibitions, I have never seen so many dirty machines assembled in one place. And I honestly cannot remember a show in which so many of the exhibits were showing signs of wear and tear and – in many instances – actual rust.

I understand that demolition equipment is highly specialised, that many machines are tailor-made to customer specification, and that it is impossible to hold such equipment in stock (in fact, had it not been for the generosity and support of contractors such as Cawarden, Comley, Erith, J. Mould and Rye Demolition, some stands would have been very bare indeed). And I realise that all the spit and polish in the world will not get more people through the turnstiles. But exhibitors have known the time and location of the DemoExpo for about two years. The fact that some chose not to clean or respray their equipment just felt like they were treating DemoExpo as an end-of-season afterthought. The demolition industry deserves better than that.

There will be a post-show de-brief, no doubt. There will be discussions about what went right and what went wrong, about where improvements might be made. I am sure those conversations might even include suggestions of calling an end to the DemoExpo altogether, or partnering with another show to help increase footfall.

Any joint venture agreement with a show such as Let’s Recycle Live would almost certainly see an escalation in the cost of exhibiting and a dilution of the existing show’s focus. If a decision is made to call the whole thing off, the industry will have lost its only dedicated exhibition run by the industry and for the industry.

Before any such decision is made, I sincerely hope that the organisers keep in mind my earlier maths lesson. A 10 percent industry engagement is an amazing achievement. Trust me, if I could get that level of industry buy-in, I would not be sat here typing this as the sun comes up on a Sunday morning.

EXCLUSIVE – The Japanese Way

You can now pre-order your copy of a FREE new e-book from DemolitionNews.

Regular readers will be aware that DemolitionNews’ Mark Anthony recently took part in the European Demolition Association Study Tour to Japan as a guest of global construction equipment giant Caterpillar and its UK dealer Finning UK.

That visit proved to be so enlightening, educational, inspirational and illuminating that we have already written articles, produced videos and broadcast a dedicated audio podcast from the trip.

And now, we have turned it into a new electronic book that will soon be free to download.

“In all my years as a demolition journalist, this was by far the most memorable and momentous visit I have ever made,” Mark Anthony says. “There is a massive cultural divide between Japan and the West and it was impossible not to embrace some of those differences and to be inspired. So I have written the book partly to remind myself and those that were lucky enough to attend just what the trip entailed, and also to show those that couldn’t make it just what they missed.”

The FREE e-book will be released in stages. DemolitionNews patrons will be the first to receive their copy, followed by DemolitionNews and Demolition magazine subscribers. The book will finally be added to the DemolitionNews website and made available to those that don’t currently subscribe.

However, you can pre-order the book NOW and be amongst the first in the world to receive a copy of The Japanese Way.

Just click here to pre-order.

We are the champions…!

DemolitionNews crowned News Publication 2019.

Those that follow us on social media might be aware that DemolitionNews was recently nominated for a BUILD Magazine award. Those awards are totally independent and the nomination process is anonymous, so it came as a huge surprise to us to learn that we had been nominated alongside some of the biggest names in the built environment publication world.

We are even more shocked today to learn that we weren’t just nominated. We actually won.

Here’s what the judges had to say:

“…Here at BUILD Magazine we take pride in the fact that our victors are carefully selected through our extensive research and judging phase. As per all of our awards, each party is selected purely based on merit and not the amount of votes – making sure your win is well and truly earned.

Demolition News’s determination and dedication to the industry has reinforced our decision to list it as one of our esteemed awardees…”

DemolitionNews founder and editor Mark Anthony is delighted with the unexpected win. “DemolitionNews has a global reach but, in terms of magazines serving the construction and allied sectors, we are a relatively small, niche publication. It was an enormous and unexpected honour to have been nominated in the first place. But to have actually won is unbelievable,” he says. “The most pleasing aspect of this award is that it acknowledges our dedication to the industry. So myself and the entire team at our publishing partner Chambers Media are delighted to accept this award.”

Dallas downtown detonated…

CDI chalks up yet another successful implosion.

A controlled blast felled an 13-storey tower block in downtown Dallas this past weekend.

The implosion at 505 N. Ervay St. was set off shortly after 7:30 am. Within seconds, a series of controlled explosions reduced the vacant 1946 office building to a heap of concrete and steel as the crowd whooped. A huge column of dust rose into the air and settled to coat the surrounding blocks.

Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI), acting as explosives subcontractor to Dallas Demolition, carried out the explosive demolition work.

Doomed bridge downed…

Explosive end for collapsed Italian bridge that killed 43.

Demolition and explosive engineers have today carried out a controlled blast to bring down two remaining sections of Genoa’s Morandi Bridge that collapsed last August.

Forty-three people were killed when part of the bridge, and cars travelling along it, fell 45 metres.

Today’s blast dropped around 4,500 tonnes of concrete and steel while an extensive suppression system was used to contain the resulting dust.

CDI pops pedestal…

Explosive end for turbine pedestal in Florida.

Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI), acting as explosives subcontractor to Southern Salvage, Inc. has carried out the preparation for and explosives handling operations to fracture a turbine pedestal in a single explosives sequence in Sebring, Florida.

Feature-length high reach…

Diggers & Dozers unveils 12-minute DSM epic.

About this time last year, we shot and uploaded a two minute film of DSM’s giant Caterpillar high reach excavator working in the company’s native Birmingham. 12 months on, that video has racked up more than 395,000 views making it the most popular episode of Demolition TV ever.

Despite the film’s popularity, we received dozens of requests for a longer form film. And so our buddies at Diggers and Dozers have done precisely that, producing a near 12-minute mini epic of the machine in action.

You can check it out below:

San Siro faces axe…

World famous soccer stadium to be demolished.

AC Milan and Inter are moving ahead with plans to demolish their famous San Siro stadium, Rossoneri president Paolo Scaroni has claimed.

Commonly known as San Siro for the district of Milan in which it is situated, the Giuseppe Meazza stadium is one of the most iconic grounds in European football.

It hosted matches at the 1990 World Cup, while it has also been the setting of four European Cup and Champions League finals, the most recent of which being in 2016, when Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Despite its status in world football, San Siro has long been regarded as in need of refurbishment, but the two Milan clubs are planning to rebuild it completely instead.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Scaroni said: “Everything is proceeding.

“We will make a new San Siro together, next to the old one in the same area of land. The old man will be knocked down and in its place there will be new buildings built.”