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Video – DemolitionNews Video Review – Episode #3…

Another great show and another great guest star.

Well we’re three weeks in and the DemolitionNews Video Review show is going from strength to strength.

This week, we have a glamorous new intro, a guest appearance by Liam Neeson at his most scary, and fiver more must-see videos to caress your eyeballs.

So give us two minutes, and we’ll give you the (demolition) world. Make sure you watch to the end for that guest appearance and, if you missed them, you can check out the previous two shows here.

Video – Demolition magazine is BACK!!

New format, new team, same GREAT magazine.

The mighty Demolition magazine is coming back (after a brief and unforeseen break) in a new and FREE all-electronic format.

If you still want to receive a paper copy, the the ONLY way is to subscribe here.

The regular cost is £60 per year, but if you sign up before the end of May, your can get a year’s subscription to the best, biggest and brashest demolition magazine in the world for just £50.

BAM goes against Grain…

Implosion fells part of Kent power station.

Around 18,000 tons of steel came crashing to the ground when part of Grain Power Station was flattened using explosives on Sunday.

Three buildings were destroyed at 8 am on Sunday, in what was the first stage of the project carried out by owners E.ON and demolition experts Brown and Mason.

The main infrastructure of the plant, including the 244 metre chimney, is still to be demolished.

Work began to dismantle the 1,350 MW oil-fired power station in April 2014, following its closure in 2012.

Since then contractors have been preparing the site – removing all the steam turbines and demolishing the Turbine Hall through non-explosive methods.

Keynsham fatality case comes to court…

Demolition site supervisor on trial after worker falls to his death gutting Keynsham factory

A demolition man is on trial after a worker plunged to his death whilst gutting the former Cadbury’s Somerdale factory in Keynsham.

James Stacey was using a mini-digger to push a large piece of fibreglass tank from the fourth floor of the building, Bristol Crown Court heard. But the machine’s toothed bucket snagged on the tank, causing him and the machine to plummet with it to the ground. The 31-year-old, from Barry, died instantly, the court heard.

It is claimed that, between August 1 and November 10, 2011, he failed to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others by:

• failing to conduct adequate inductions and “toolbox talks”
• failing to act on operatives’ requests for better safety measures or safety equipment
• covering up potential health and safety breaches
• failing to enforce the existing Method Statement to relation to ejection zones from the building
• instructing or permitting operatives to remove barriers to eject large items from the building

Rupert Lowe, prosecuting, said that James Stacey was operating a Bobcat skid steer loader on the fourth floor.

“There was a large square opening on the side of the fourth floor. He was using the Bobcat to eject a large piece of scrap from the building on to the ground below, on to the drop zone. He was trying to push a six-metre long fibreglass tank when there was a terrible accident.”

The jury was told that when the digger became attached to the scrap Stacey had no time to react and he and the machine were dragged out with it.

Members of his family were distressed as Lowe played the jury a computer generated image of the accident.

The court heard demolition firm Euro Dismantling Services Ltd has admitted the charge which Priestley denies.

Read more here.

Comment – Beware the black dog…

There is no shame in depression.

I did not intend to write about Mental Health Awareness Week again. Come to think of it, I never set out to write about Mental Health Awareness Week yesterday either; but sometimes these things just happen.

I thought a lot about that previous article overnight and I realise that, like many others, I have been touched by depression and mental health issues my entire life. My father was (and is) a depressive, prone to inexplicable dark moods; a few years back, my former business partner took his own life; and I too have been visited by what Winston Churchill famously described as the “black dog of depression”. This came as a huge surprise to me as I had previously dismissed the very concept of depression as social worker-speak for “having a bad day”.

I learned very little from my father’s depression other than it was generally best to let him work it out for himself and that it would generally pass in a day or two. I learned nothing from my own bout other than the fact that I was probably the only person that couldn’t see the state I was in or the effect it was having on those around me.

But I learned something from my former partner’s tragic and untimely suicide; and, with the benefit of hindsight, feel that I or someone might have done more.

The guy in question was one of emotional extremes: he was either UP, or he was down. There was no grey, merely black or white. Having worked with him for the best part of 15 years, I had grown accustomed and immune to his mood swings. But the signs were there for all to see.

His blackest moods would generally last for a day or two, a week at most. In the final months of his life, however, the clouds didn’t lift for several months. He “disappeared” from the office once and was found in a layby in a highly emotional state. He would make then cancel client meetings for no apparent reason. He would bemoan his personal finances one minute, then buy an expensive car the next.

As working people, we often spend more time with those with whom we work than with those that we love. We are, therefore, more likely to spot early signs of depression and mental illness like prolonged bad moods, irrational behaviour and emotional outbursts.

Could I have prevented my partner’s suicide? Probably not. He had been carrying his suicide note with him for several weeks before he took his own life and was clearly determined to “end it all”. But, armed with the 20:20 focus of hindsight, I do believe that I might have recognised the signs before it was too late.

Christchurch police station blast confirmed…

Date set for implosion of quake damaged tower.

The earthquake-damaged police station in Christchurch, New Zealand will be brought down by explosives on Saturday 30 May, the Queen’s Birthday weekend.

The building’s owner, Ngai Tahu Property, and the main demolition contractor, Ceres New Zealand, are urging residents to watch the implosion at home via live stream and not venture into town.

A spokeswoman said the position of the safety fences around the site would make public viewing extremely limited and there would be security guards posted along the public exclusion zone.

The building is in close proximity to the city council building, the damaged Bridge of Remembrance, as well as many new buildings.

The spokeswoman said the implosion would cause inconvenience for residents, businesses and commuters and traffic detours would be in place.

The date of the implosion has been the source of several social media rumours, with thousands of people confirming their attendance through a Facebook invitation.

The implosion is the second for the city after the former Radio Network building was brought down in August 2012.

Read more here.

Video – Priestly deploys attack squad…

Eight front line excavators take down Ontario bridge.

Bridge demolition specialist Armac Group often refer to their bridge busting activities as “bringing out the big guns”. They are not alone.

Check out this great video from Canada’s Priestly Demolition Inc as they tackle the overnight demolition of a bridge that spans 10 lanes of Highway 401 in Cambridge, Ontario.

PDI Cambridge, ON Bridge Demolition – Hwy 401/Fountain Rd. from Concrete Pictures on Vimeo.

Comment – Hidden warmth within demolition…

Cracks within industry’s tough veneer where the light of humanity shines through.

Thanks to my refusal to don a pair of rose-tinted bifocals before casting my eye over the demolition landscape, I have recently been accused – variously – of being anti-demolition, a doom-monger, a sensationalist and, most recently, a girl (I know, right?).

Yet despite my miserabilist façade, there beats within my chest a waxy, pea-sized heart containing the last vestiges of humanity and emotion. And so, as Mental Health Awareness Week gets underway, I thought it might be timely to share with you a short tale of how one demolition man recently allowed his mask of invincibility to slip, and how another confirmed that kindness and demolition can co-exist. But don’t worry – I have removed the names to protect those involved.

I was perusing one of the plethora of demolition-related social media groups that have sprouted up in recent years when I came across a post from a guy that I know (though not well) and who I have always found to be generous with his time, engaging, funny and well-informed. On this occasion, however, all was not well. It seems that he was experiencing some marital issues and, over a period of three or four posts, it seemed that the guy was lonely and in pain.

I toyed with the idea of calling him up. I spent much of 2014 chomping my way through “happy pills” following the sudden death of my best friend and the heart surgery that both my parents underwent, so I can relate to the isolation and desolation of depression. But I was also mindful that this was a guy who was, at most, an acquaintance. In the end, a combination of discomfort, British reserve and – I admit it – cowardice prevented me from calling him.

Thankfully, and much to my own personal shame, none of these factors stood in the way of another demolition guy who didn’t know and had never met the protagonist of my story but who reached out to him nonetheless to give him a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.

That such a small sign of compassion should be notable says much about the machismo and air of invincibility that pervades the demolition business. But when the hard hats and site boots come off, we are – each of us – vulnerable. According to the mental health charity Mind, about a quarter of the UK population will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year; and that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide than British women.

Demolition is a brutal industry, both physically and mentally. It requires working men (and women) to safeguard the lives of their fellow workers on a daily basis; it requires them to work against tight deadlines and under constant pressure and scrutiny; and it requires many to work for extended periods away from their loved ones. Against such a background, it is little wonder than some crack.

The demolition industry has an exemplary record for moving with the times. From the compulsory wearing of hard hats and PPE to the implementation of on-site drink and drugs testing, demolition has led while construction has followed.

Based on the isolated incident detailed above, perhaps the industry needs to be equally forward-thinking and pioneering in its attitude to depression and mental health issues. And there will never be a better time to set the wheels in motion than the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Orlando gets Pece of Mind…

New company appointed to clean-up round building rubble.

When the demolition company you chose shoots up the site with an automatic weapon and then abandons the semi-completed works altogether, you too would probably want a little peace of mind when selecting a suitable replacement.

Well, that is quite literally what has happened in Orlando, Florida where the now infamous round building still partially stands as a lasting testament to the fact that cheapest is not always best.

A new company has been selected to clean up the mess left by Crusader Demolition, which walked off the job in March.

Crusader Demolition pledged to complete the job in a few weeks but eventually admitted it didn’t have the funding to finish the work.

The original deal required that the awarded company have experience demolishing at least a three-story building. Another company warned the city that Crusader hadn’t done it before, but the city gave it the bid anyway.

Despite the ordeal with Crusader, Commissioner Regina Hill defended the process.

“The lowest bidder won; we thought they were capable. (We) never would have chosen them if we didn’t think that, and in hindsight, I think we would have done it the same way,” Hill said.

The city is finalizing a contract with the new company, Pece of Mind Environmental. It says it can clean up the mess and finish landscaping by the end of August.

Video – Omega tower given taste of Liberty…

Tallest structure in Southern Hemisphere falls like a stricken snake.

DemolitionNews regulars (we really MUST come up with a collective name for your guys) might recall a video we brought you a few weeks back of the demolition of the Omega tower in Australia.

Well despite the fact that the tower was, in fact, the tallest man-mad structure in the Southern Hemisphere, the raw video was a bit “meh”.

Now our friends at Liberty Industrial have sent us a professional-quality video that truly captures the spectacle of a 432 metre tall tower returning to Earth.

Check it out below:

Omega Navigational Mast Demolition and Removal from Liberty Industrial on Vimeo.

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