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The beast is back…

Dem-Master giant starts work at Toryglen.

dem-master-uhd-smallResidents of the East End of Glasgow will need to get used to a major new focal point on the horizon just as they prepare to bid farewell to another.

Dem-Master has just started work on the demolition of a pair of 24-storey tower blocks; and the company’s ultra high reach excavator is leading the charge.

Based on a Liebherr 984C excavator, the unit has a reach of 64 metres, making it one of the largest machine of its kind in the UK.

A spokesman for client – Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) – confirmed high-reach machines were being used to take down the buildings and added explosives were not being used.

Work began to upgrade the area in 2013 and 14 with several low and high-rise flats being demolished since in order to build new homes on the site, which sits near Hampden Park football stadium.

A demolition and regeneration programme is still under way in Toryglen to clear all multi-storey and flatted properties to make way for new housing.

Video – In the shadow of the White Horse…

Explosion marks end of cement production at Wiltshire facility.

People gathered at the Westbury hillside viewing area yesterday. But they were not there to see the famous White Horse carved into the hill. They were there to witness the fall of a 122 metre tall chimney that once loomed over Tarmac’s Westbury cement works.

The chimney was felled by Cuddy Group – ably assisted by IndEx and SES – using 22 kg of explosives.

Read more here, or view the video below:

Breaking News – Walter Forshaw folds…

Walter Forshaw closes its doors after 85 years in business.

Bolton-based Walter Forshaw Ltd has called in the receivers.

Established in 1921, Walter Forshaw Limited had developed an enviable reputation within the demolition industry across the UK. Founded by Jessie Forshaw, the family-owned business grew to become one of largest demolition contractors in the North West of England. The company is thought to have employed approximately 60 staff.

Just a month ago, the company was putting the finishing touches to a major tower block contract in Blackpool.

But rumours about the company’s liquidity had circulated within the industry for more than 18 months. Indeed, in November last year, Forshaw managing director Andrew Forshaw quit as vice president of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors and relinquished his shot at the presidency to concentrate on his family’s business.

DemolitionNews understands that CG Insolvency in Manchester has been appointed as administrator.

All new Demolition magazine is here…

The Purple Haze edition has enough to keep you busy through the weekend and beyond.

The publication of the all-new Demolition magazine – the Purple Haze edition – was delayed slightly by my close encounter with a low-flying brick. But we think you’ll agree it was worth the wait.

The magazine runs to more than 80 pages and is crammed to the rafters with original content written BY professionals, FOR professionals.

Within its pages you will find:

And a whole heap more besides. So check it out below:

Video – Bridge Busters strike again…

Armac demonstrates bridge busting prowess over UK’s busiest motorway.

Solihull-based Armac Group has cemented its reputation as bridge busters with another high-speed, high-impact contract over the UK’s orginal and busiest motorway; the M1.

During an overnight possession, the company removed the former Owen Williams M1 bridge to form a new link to the A5 north of Luton between junctions 11 and 12.

Utilising a large fleet of excavators and more than a few Rammer hammers, Armac demolished and removed some 4,000 tonnes of concrete in just 15 hours.

VIdeo – Aspect Four takes scientific approach…

Demolition of redundant lab building clears way for new chapter.

Work is progressing with the demolition of a former laboratory and office building at Discovery Park, the latest stage of a long term vision to retain East Kent’s reputation as a global hub for science.

Aspect Four Demolition Services, a tenant at Innovation House, has spent the past month clearing the inside of Building 380, a redundant four storey science space fronting Ramsgate Road.

The initial work has been stripping back the interior of the building, as well as putting in place procedures to ensure it is brought down safely from screening and building protection to keeping dust to a minimum.

The demolition of the building is part of a wider master plan for the Discovery Park, agreed with Dover District Council in October 2014; a long term phased plan to ensure its ongoing success.

Built while still under Pfizer’s ownership the building is no longer required with science R&D now focused at the neighbouring Discovery Park House and Building 500, which is being restored as the site’s flagship science space.

While no decision has been reached on its future use, the building is in an area earmarked for commercial development as part of Discovery Park’s push to bring major manufacturing back to site.

In the first quarter of 2017 6,500 square metre of new production space will be completed – powered, alongside the rest of the site, by a £160 million biomass renewable energy plant set to open by summer 2018.

Lauren Moore, Leasing Executive for Discovery Park, said: “We were delighted to be able to award the contract for demolition of this building to one of our tenants, part of our aim, wherever possible, to support businesses on site. “The work is the latest part of our work to deliver on our master plan, that will over the coming years deliver more jobs and success not only to Discovery Park but for East Kent.”

Nick Harvey, Contracts Director for Aspect Four Demolition Services, said: “We are proud to be playing our part in the transformation of the site, with the work we’re doing a key part of the long term plan. Work is progressing well and we have worked closely with the facilities management team at Parkserve and neighbouring tenants to ensure any disruption has been kept to a minimum.”

Video – A dash of soda…

UrbanRegen high reach brings end to century-old soda ash works.

A factory at Winnington in Cheshire that opened in 1873 and which ultimately became the largest producer of soda in the world is coming down.

The facility, which has been operated by the likes of ICI and Tata Chemicals ceased production in February 2014, bringing to a close 140 years of soda ash production in Northwich.

The site is now being cleared by UrbanRegen as part of a major housing development. The following video captures some of the action:

Video – Accident update…

New video update on the injuries suffered by DemolitionNews’ Mark Anthony.

I don’t want to make a fuss but I am still getting emails and calls about my well-being following my brief encounter with a low-flying brick.

I was at the hospital (yet again) yesterday – This video is the outcome:

Jobs – On the spot recruitment…

Mick George Ltd to host jobs open day to fuel further expansion.

mickMick George Ltd is on the look out for emerging local talent to fill numerous vacancies that have arisen following the recent success of the company.

The company will be hosting a ‘recruitment open day’ where they will be opening the office doors to all job seekers interested in a career at Mick George Ltd. The event is scheduled for Thursday 29th September, 7am – 8pm at Mick George Ltd, 6 Lancaster Way, Ermine Business Park, Huntingdon, PE29 6XU.

To find out more, please visit www.mickgeorge.co.uk/careersday where you will be able to register your attendance. Refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Departmental Managers will be at hand during the day to chat through any discussion points or queries you may have about the positions available, whilst office tours provide the perfect opportunity for prospective employees to get a real feel for the environment from which the business centrally operates.

The company insists that this is not a case of attending, to wait months on end and never hear anything; the business are seeking to offer on the spot positions to suitable candidates.

A whole variety of vacancies right across the board will be showcased, from the standard departmental functions which include Marketing, Finance, Customer Services, Sales and many others, to those that are more bespoke to the Transport, Waste Management and Construction industries, such as plant operators, drivers, site managers and workshop technicians.

Having consistently experienced significant expansion over recent times, adding in excess of 200 employees to its total headcount, which now surpasses 700, Mick George Ltd are not resting on their laurels in pursuit of further success.

“Over recent times the business has achieved magnificent financial results and growth which has consequently resulted in accolades such as ‘Tipper Haulier of the Year’ and being listed in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table. We recognise that our success is a result of the fantastic team we have built across all departments. The companies recruitment strategy is core to our current and future aspirations therefore we are continuously assessing and investing to improve where possible,” says finance director Jon Stump. “We held a similar recruitment event earlier this year, which proved very successful with a number of positions filled by attending candidates. It’s a good opportunity for face to face meetings rather than candidates trawling the internet for possible vacancies. We see it very much as a two way process in which prospects can express what it is they have to offer but we also get to present exactly what we are looking for.”

Comment – Remember them always…

A personal tribute to the four men killed at Didcot A Power Station.

Comment IllustrationAlthough our professional paths likely crossed, I never had the pleasure or privilege of knowing Mick Collings, Ken Cresswell, Chris Huxtable and John Shaw personally. But having followed every overlong twist and protracted turn of their collective story for almost seven months now, I know that their names will be etched upon my psyche for as long as I am associated with the demolition industry. I will remember those names for as long as I live.

And it is important that the wider demolition world remembers those names too. Not just in a minutes’ silence on the anniversary of their tragic demise – although 23 February would make a wholly fitting day upon which to remember all those killed and injured in this industry of ours – but in a far more ever-present and meaningful manner.

The names Collings, Cresswell, Huxtable and Shaw should be present in every toolbox talk or safety briefing, even if those names are not uttered audibly. Those names should be woven – unseen – into every risk assessment and method statement produced henceforth in this sector. Those names should be etched onto the hard hats of every new recruit joining this industry as a constant and poignant reminder of this industry’s darker side.

That said, even though it was how these men earned their living, fed their families and to which they paid the ultimate sacrifice, demolition does not define them. First and foremost, they were someone’s son. They were – variously – husbands, boyfriends, fathers and uncles. Demolition is just what they did to facilitate everything else in their lives; it was not who they were.

But – and let’s not make any bones about this – it was demolition that ripped these men from the arms of their individual families. And it is demolition that must learn the greatest lessons from this tragic, brutal and unforgiveable disaster.

The industry must take a long hard look at itself and figure out how – in an age of technological advancement and spiralling training costs – four decent men were allowed to perish in this manner. It should look again at the methods it employs and be willing to admit that “we have always done it that way” is no proof of the efficacy or safety of a methodology. And most of all, those within positions of power and influence within the industry must ask themselves just how well they would sleep if they were sending their sons and daughters to work on sites still cursed with the ability to maim and kill.

So on 23 February 2017 (and every year thereafter), we should each raise a glass to Mick Collings, Ken Cresswell, Chris Huxtable and John Shaw. We should light a candle for each of them. We should stop work for a moment and reflect upon their cruel passing. And, if that’s your thing, we should say a prayer for the families they each left behind.

But we should each do more. It is important – VITAL – that the deaths of these four men should mark a step change in the demolition sector’s attitude to safety.

The fact that demolition killed these four men is terrible, tragic, awful and unpardonable. The thought that their loss is not used as a catalyst to make this industry safer is just too unthinkable for words.

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