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Central loses license…

Bonnybridge demolition firm’s vehicle licence curtailed for six months

A Bonnybridge demolition firm’s operating licence has been curtailed by Scotland’s Traffic Commissioner because convictions were not reported to her office.

Central Demolition Ltd appeared before Joan Aitken at a public inquiry in Edinburgh earlier this year.

In a written decision, Miss Aitken said she took the dimmest view of not being told about the appointment of a director to the company, Colin Peat, and his previous offending. She added that the business had deprived her of important regulatory information.

The Traffic Commissioner was also not informed about the company’s convictions, including for a fatality at Leith Harbour.

She determined that if Mr Peat had been involved in the transport side of the business, she would have considered revoking the operator’s licence.

“I therefore have to put a marker down to directors Ross Craig and Colin Peat that the offending of which the company and its directors as individuals have been convicted are not the activities which I expect of a company that holds an operator’s licence and that notifications are not side issues but essential to the continuing assessment of fitness all of which are there to serve health and safety and intrinsic to operator licensing as a preventative regime.”

The Traffic Commissioner’s curtailment order came into effect at 23:59 on 20 May 2016. The company’s licence will be reduced from 30 to 29 vehicles for six months.

Open letter to Sarah Champion MP…

Ref: Didcot A Power Station Tragedy.

Dear Sarah,

I hope you don’t mind me calling you Sarah but – having been your support act on countless TV, radio and newspaper interviews pretty much since the true extent of the Didcot A power station tragedy became clear – I feel as if I know you.

Let me start by commending you on your support of the families of the two Rotherham men – Ken Cresswell and John Shaw – that remain missing to this day and which look set to remain so for some time to come. At a time when it seems politicians are solely focused upon the In/Out hokey-cokey of the forthcoming “Brexit” vote, the support and compassion that you have shown to those in your constituency is to your credit.

However (and you knew there was a however coming, didn’t you) I would question your most recent outpourings on the ongoing situation at Didcot.

Labour MP for Rotherham @SarahChampionMP tells @BBCOxford recovery operation at Didcot Power Station is a “national scandal”.

Everyone involved – directly or indirectly – with the Didcot disaster believes that a three month (and counting) recovery process is too slow. But I do question your description of it as a “national scandal”. The nation, and its leaders, have no more influence over the speed of the recovery process than they do over flood waters and snow for which they are also regularly, vehemently and wrongly castigated. I also wonder – and I say this as a left-leaning media lovey – if you would have been so quick to call it a “national” scandal if Mr Corbyn were currently ensconced at 10 Downing Street.

If you would like a true national scandal upon which to focus, then might I suggest the fact that it is likely to take the Health and Safety Executive until 2020 to present its findings on the cause of the Didcot disaster and to – predictably – appoint blame. That is almost four years in which the families of the four men lost on 23 February will not have real closure; four years in which similar power stations here and overseas are being demolished, quite possibly without a key fact that might prevent a repeat of the Didcot collapse.

Should the recovery process have been carried out more quickly? Absolutely. Has the interaction between the various contract stakeholders and the families of the missing men been entirely smooth? Quite possibly not. But I feel certain that RWE would like nothing more than for this whole tragedy to be resolved. I know that the team at Coleman and Company worked tirelessly to rescue or recover their fallen comrades. Even the HSE, which generally moves more slowly than Continental Drift, has deployed sufficient resources to safeguard the teams working on the recovery process.

Based upon your in-depth knowledge of structural engineering, demolition and rescue and recovery, how would you propose that the situation should have been handled? Send in heavy equipment, desecrating the bodies of the missing men and destroying any evidence that might point to a cause of the event and, thereby, preventing a repeat? Or sending in teams of men in the shadow of an unstable building and pray that the remainder of this already deadly boiler house does not claim yet more lives?

“…There is no guarantee that the building won’t fall on the existing rubble, burying the men still further. It’s quite possible that the remaining standing structure could also collapse out of the blue – making laying the necessary explosives inside it probably the most dangerous demolition job ever undertaken. Finally, the worst possible scenario is that the building does not completely collapse – which would prevent any future search…” Sarah Champion MP

If the Health and Safety Executive has insisted upon a 50 metre exclusion zone, they have done so for good reason. If Brown and Mason – a world leader in power station demolition – believes that the safest way forward is to implode the remainder of the boiler house, then they are saying so for an equally good reason.

The collapse of the Didcot A power station is an unprecedented tragedy. It is a tragedy for the families of the men lost and injured; and it is a tragedy for the global demolition industry. There will, unquestionably, be lessons to be learned. I sincerely hope that one of those lessons is that future tragedies are met with compassion and humanity, not political posturing.

Yours Sincerely

Mark Anthony

Video – Court in the act…

Time-lapse film documents demolition of Long Beach Courthouse.

This timelapse project represents a 57-day demolition of the old Long Beach Superior Courthouse, a 330,000 square foot structure that served Los Angeles County for more than 50 years.

The project is the first major phase of a new Civic Center development plan in downtown Long Beach.

Long Beach Superior Courthouse Demolition Timelapse from Sean Horejs on Vimeo.

Video – Introducing the S-Lock…

Strickland throws its hat into the quick coupler ring.

No UK demolition contractor worth his salt is without a hydraulic quick coupler or three. As a result, the coupler market has become highly competitive with specialist manufacturers competing with OENs to facilitate faster, smoother and safer attachment change-overs.

Latest into the fray is the S-Lock from Strickland Mfg Ltd which will be officially unveiling its S-Lock offering at the Hillhead exhibition in just a few weeks time.

Check out our sneak preview, below.

Video – Airline HQ blast from the air…

Drone footage captures final moments of American Airlines’ Fort Worth campus.

American Airlines demolished its old headquarters (the AMR/Sabre buildings) in Fort Worth Friday to make room for a new campus.

And, appropriately, the blast was caught on camera from the air.

“The American Airlines team is hard at work designing our new campus in Fort Worth. We’re excited to be building something for all of American’s more than 100,000 employees,” they said in a release.

Video – Rosemount dismounted…

Safedem and C&D Consultancy rack up another successful blast.

Safedem – aided and abetted by C&D Consultancy – this morning demolished a 25-storey multi-storey at Rosemount Street, Roystonhill, in the north of the Glasgow.

The demolition allows Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) to clear the site and carry out the next phase of a major regeneration programme.

Scotland’s biggest social landlord is building 100 new homes in the area – with 55 houses already completed and handed over to GHA tenants following the demolition of a neighbouring multi-storey block in 2013.

The demolition created around 10,000 tonnes of rubble. The clear-up operation will take several months with the rubble removed and crushed to be used as foundations for roads and buildings.

Around 500 tenants in nearby properties were temporarily evacuated for the demolition.

Video – RDU terminal takes flight…

Crews start demolition of North Caroline airport building.

Crews are working to demolish RDU International’s Terminal 1 as part of the effort to keep up with increasing growth at the airport.

Terminal 1 was originally built in 1955 and served as the main hub at RDU until Terminal 2 was opened. The original Terminal 1 was closed in 2014 and replaced with a renovated one.

Airport representatives said the upkeep on the terminal was too expensive to maintain.

The demolition is will cost $11 million and will not interrupt flights or traffic.

Paradise found…

Group photo shows progress at Birmingham development.

Bham Grp (07)The entire team helping to deliver the infrastructure and demolition works at Paradise – Birmingham’s £500 million office led regeneration scheme – got together for the first time for this team photo.

Around 200 team members – including the DSM demolition crew, groundworkers, engineers, architects, designers, planners and even police officers – gathered near the Paradise site for the photo.

The shot was organised by Carillion – contractor for the enabling and infrastructure works. Over 100 people are currently employed by Carillion on the site and in support roles and this number is likely to rise to 150 in the Autumn. Existing workers include 19 apprentices and 47 new starters – many of whom were previously unemployed.

Additionally, thousands of local schoolchildren have seen presentations on the project or enjoyed educational visits to the site.

Simon Dingle, Operations Director at Carillion, said: “Demolition of the first phase of this complex arrangement of buildings on the site, including the former library and Paradise Forum, has now passed the half way mark, so we arranged this get together to thank everyone for helping us get this far and keeping the programme on track.

“While it is hard to miss the dramatic demolition underway on the site, there is also a lot more work going on behind the scenes to make sure this project runs to programme.”

Rob Groves Regional Director of Argent, added: “It is thanks to everyone’s hard work that Paradise – one of the UK’s most important regeneration schemes – is quickly becoming a reality. Securing a tenant like PwC for One Chamberlain Square – before it is even built – is a testament to the confidence already being placed in this transformational project.”

A website showcasing the proposals for Paradise, in addition to a live time-lapse camera, can be viewed at www.paradisebirmingham.co.uk

UCATT calls for CIJC reform…

Union threatens breakaway national wage agreement.

UCATT delegates at their National Delegate Conference have unanimously passed a motion calling for the radical overhaul of the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) agreement, the largest agreement in the construction industry agreement.

The decision came on the same day that it emerged that the current CIJC pay talks have stalled. The employers latest multi-year offer was considered to include an insignificant increase in the second year. UCATT and the other construction unions are now seeking fresh talks ahead of next month’s pay date.

The motion that was passed stated: “Conference believes it is the fundamental right of all construction workers to receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and that this should reflect their skills’ efforts and working conditions.

“Our members are treated as second class citizens compared to those working under other agreements. Examples of this are less subsistence allowance, less sick pay, less travelling allowance and less holiday entitlement.”

Brian Rye, Acting General Secretary, said: “UCATT are now crystal clear that they will not accept the worst pay and conditions of any industrial agreement in the construction industry. Those principles apply to the current negotiations and future negotiations.”

The far reaching motion also stats that if CIJC employers are unwilling to significantly improve the agreement and ensure that it extends to construction supply chains, the union will seek to create a new national agreement with major employers.

The motion, said: “Conference instructs the Executive Council to seek talks with representatives of major contractors involved in the private sector building and civil engineering industry. The purpose of such talks being to establish a new agreement, covering building and civil engineering workers on private sector construction sites. An agreement must establish of pay compatible to other agreements currently operating on such sites.”

Mr Rye, added: “If the CIJC employers are unable or unwilling to radically overhaul the agreement then we will begin the process of establishing an agreement which represents the needs of construction workers.”

The most recent CIJC pay offer was 2.5% in June 2016, 2.75% in June 2017 and an additional day’s holiday from January 2018. 

Video – Hospital falls to Brazilian beat…

Fabio Bruno adds another successful implosion to its portfolio.

On Sunday last week, Fabio Bruno Construcoes imploded the Oliverio Kraemer Hospital. The building was located less than 40 metres from the neighbouring Albert Schweitzer Hospital which had more than 800 people – including patients, doctors and nursing staff inside.

“We used electronic detonators to minimise air blast and vibration. We created a huge protection against dust with a metallic curtain working together with 2 dust suppressors. We put music inside all the floors of the hospital, to minimize the sound difference at the implosion moment and we placed a huge protection in one side of the hospital to prevent dust escaping.”

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