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New children’s book imminent…

My Dad Drives a Digger is designed to encourage children to consider a career in construction.

Layout 1Following the global success of the children’s book My Dad Does Demolition, co-authors Mark Anthony and John Woodward have reunited to produce a second children’s book: My Dad Drives a Digger. And although the story and the characters are all new, the second book maintains the central theme of the first book – To encourage children to consider a career in the construction and demolition field.

“We were amazed at the response to My Dad Does Demolition which has now been sold into more than 35 countries. But we were equally amazed at the demand for a second book with a greater focus on construction equipment and its place in the field of construction and demolition,” explains Mark Anthony. “We wanted to produce a book that demonstrated the importance of equipment in the creation of the built environment.”

The central theme of the new book – which once again is aimed at children from four to eight years old – follows a school-based narrative that compares a backhoe loader to a variety of modern cars to show that a digger can be every bit as powerful, environmentally friendly and technologically advanced as any motor vehicle.

“Young children in general and young boys in particular tend to have a fascination with cars and motorcycles so we have deliberately set out to show them that diggers can be every bit as exciting and interesting. We also wanted to show that the industry was suitable for women so we have made the central character a little girl.” Mark Anthony concludes. “At a time when the construction and demolition industry is facing yet another severe skills shortage, the new book will hopefully go some way to encouraging a new generation of young people to consider a career behind the levers of a construction machine.”

The book is officially launched on 1 December 2015 priced at £4.99 plus postage. However, anyone pre-ordering the book before that time will receive the book at the discounted price of £3.99 plus postage. The new book can be pre-ordered here

Video – BIg Mac down…

“You’re not in Kansas any more”.

The largest residence hall on the University of Kansas’ campus was imploded earlier today.

McCollum Hall was demolished to make room for parking.

The demolition for “Big Mac” lasted for only a few seconds.

The 220,000 square foot building on Daisy Hill had 10 floors and three wings.

Comment – A Demolition Disgrace

A US demolition company sent a worker on a suicide mission yesterday.

Pell StackClearly smarting from the botched explosive demolition of a fire-damaged and unstable chimney stack caused, according to local news reports by “the walls being thicker than expected”, the company set in motion a hastily-arranged and ill-advised contingency plan to get the stack down as quickly as possible.

If a risk assessment WAS carried out, it can have lasted only long enough for the contractor, client and stakeholders to utter the words “stand well back”. Unfortunately, those words did not apply to the man tasked with felling the unstable and unpredictable stack.

The company in question put an operator in an undersized machine that was not designed for demolition and which did not even have the correct attachment. They asked him to put his life on the line to bring to a halt the growing PR disaster that was happening all around them.

The likely outcome of this hasty and ill-advised action was clear for all to see. I showed the video to my wife – who has never set foot on a demolition site – and she said “Oh Christ, no” roughly five seconds before the stack began to crumble.

The drone footage shows how the chimney falls across the roof of the excavator’s cab, crushing the engine compartment, and causing the operator’s colleagues to rush to his aid.
Miraculously, the man walks away, shaken but apparently unscathed. His unexpected survival is greeted with whoops of delight – The US is the spiritual home of the “whoop”.

Presumably, the demolition contractor responsible will carry on as if nothing happened. But something horrific, catastrophic, predictable, avoidable and almost fatal DID happen.

I call upon the health and safety regulators to throw the book at the company concerned; I call upon the trade associations that steer this industry to condemn publicly this callous act, to ostracise the company concerned, and to issue swift guidance to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. But the message NEEDS to go further.

  • So, to America I say this: How is it that a first world nation can allow demolition methods that would shame a third world country?
  • To the company responsible for this near-fatal accident, I say this: Find another line of work. This industry has no place for individuals with such scant regard for the lives of others.
  • To the man that walked away from this near-death experience, I say this: Go buy yourself a lottery ticket Sir. Your God is clearly smiling down upon you right now.
  • And to the design engineers and manufacturing staff that built the cab of the Komatsu excavator involved I say this: Thank You. Through your hard work, skill and dedication, you saved the life of a man that you have probably never met. He and the demolition industry at large owes you a great debt for protecting one of its own when his employer failed to do so.

Video – Stupidity personified…

Operator lucky to be alive following flouting of safety regs and disregard of good sense.

What you are about to watch simply beggars belief. A US demolition contractor whose face was already liberally smothered with egg having failed to implode an unstable chimney countenanced a demolition method that placed an operator at serious risk of death or serious injury.

As it transpired, the cab of the Komatsu excavator withstood the impact of a large section of chimney falling upon it and, thankfully, the operator walked away apparently unharmed.

But make no bones about it. This is a disgrace, and both the company that oversaw this contract and the individuals that sent the operator into harm’s way should take a long, hard look at themselves.

They have no place in a modern demolition industry.

Breaking News – Stack stands strong…

First blast fails to shift fire-damaged smokestack.

The first attempt at demolishing a smokestack at Pell City’s Avondale Mills has failed.

The historic cotton mill has been part of the city’s history since 1902. It closed in 2006 and was destroyed by a fire two years later.

The city agreed to implode the structure because it says the 180-foot chimney is a public safety risk.

Local media reports the smokestack’s base was thicker than engineers thought, so they’ll have to recharge the blast and try again later today.

Video – A real Chattanooga chew chew…

Fleet of excavators munch their way through Tennessee bridge.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has carried out the overnight demolition of the old SR 153 bridge in Chattanooga.

A fleet of excavators were deployed to demolish the bridge during an overnight possession.

The bridge has been removed to make way for a new overpass that has been built close by.

SR 153 Bridge Demolition (Shepherd Rd.) 11-20-2015 from Cliff Dye on Vimeo.

Video – Horrific Chinese accident…

This video is NOT for those of a sensitive disposition.

I am always torn when it comes to featuring video content like that shown below. On the one hand, I do not want DemolitionNews to glorify accidents; on the other, I believe it is important to show what CAN go wrong.

We currently have no further information on this video or its eventual outcome. But it seems highly unlikely that the excavator operator survived this catastrophic collapse unscathed.

Video – French do double demolition…

Pair of tower blocks fall to implosion.

A pair of 16-storey residential tower blocks have been demolished in a controlled explosion in the Beauval neighbourhood of Seine-et-Marne

Check out the video below:

Seine-et-Marne. Spectaculaire destruction de… by leparisien

End is nigh for Avondale stack…

Blast planned for tomorrow.

The Avondale Mills smokestack in Pell City will be demolished next week.

The structure will come down tomorrow at 9 am local time. About 70 pounds of explosives will be used to demolish the final remains of Avondale Mills. During the Pell City City Council meeting on Nov. 9, the council approved the demolition, arriving at the decision after examination of the property revealed disintegration of the smokestack.

In 2008, a report suggested upkeep on the structure would involve a costly process of lengthy repairs and periodic observation. Surveyors estimated it would cost more than $250,000 to fully repair the structure.

The explosion from the demolition will not be major, nor is it expected to cause any damage to the mill property or surrounding properties. The explosion itself is considered to be less than a third of the strength needed to cause any damage to surrounding areas.

Read more here.

Video – Farewell to Birmingham eyesore…

Demolition of 22-storey NatWest tower underway.

Redevelopment partners Rockspring and Sterling won approval in August to demolish the 22-storey eyesore tower, which dates back to the 1970s and has been empty for more than a decade.

It will be replaced by a new 26-storey landmark building which is expected to be completed in 2019.

The developers say part of the banking hall’s façade is being retained temporarily, to create a noise and dust buffer along Colmore Row. The removal of the banking hall itself will create a working zone on site for contractors to store the demolished material before it is transported off the site.

Materials salvaged from the 1970s building, including timber, metal and concrete, will be processed and removed to a recycling plant. Around 94 per cent of the total waste will be recycled.

Read more here, or view the video below:

Video – Weyehaeuser crane demolition…

Crane looks like dying giraffe as it falls.

We know pretty much nothing about the origins of this video. But when you see the crane fall, you will understand precisely why we chose to share it with you:

Weyerhaeuser Crane Demolition from Velocity Video Productions on Vimeo.

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