Trite statement to mark 8th anniversary of Didcot Disaster

In much the same way as they did on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh anniversary of the Didcot Disaster, Thames Valley Police have chosen to mark the eighth anniversary of the UK worst demolition accident with yet another statement that uses a lot of words but that says nothing.

The statement reads:

Today (23/2) marks the eighth anniversary of the partial collapse at Didcot Power Station in 2016, which claimed the lives of four men.
An investigation into the collapse is ongoing, with Thames Valley Police leading a joint inquiry with the Health and Safety Executive.

The dedicated investigation team, which was put in place immediately after the collapse at Didcot, continues to investigate offences of corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter and health and safety offences.

Ben Snuggs, Deputy Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, said: “As always our thoughts remain with the families of Michael Collings, Ken Cresswell, Christopher Huxtable, and John Shaw following the loss of their loved ones.

“Thames Valley Police, together with the Health and Safety Executive, remains totally committed to rigorously investigating the collapse, and I am very conscious of the time it is taking to investigate those circumstances.

“We maintain regular contact with the families, and continue to provide updates and support through our dedicated family liaison officers and investigation team.

“This investigation is significant and complex with vast amounts of witness, digital and physical evidence, and we continue to make good progress with further suspect and key witness interviews.

“We are also in close liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service, and continue to provide appropriate updates to key stakeholders and interested parties.

“It is our responsibility and duty to investigate thoroughly, following all reasonable lines of enquiry and we will do everything we can to provide answers to the families.”

The Break Fast Show #671

In today’s loader-laden show: We are loading with Hidromek; we are loading with LiuGong; and we are loading with MultiOne. We’re back out on site with CJ Charlton Group; PLUS we will get you in the Intermat mood, with Moog.

Join us LIVE for your daily fix of news, views, video and comment from the world of demolition and construction.

Come for the news and stay for the chat in our after-show discussion session, The Craic.

Who speaks for the construction worker?

Those working at the sharp end of the UK demolition and construction industry enjoy very little in the way of job security. They are required to work in challenging and even dangerous conditions amidst an often toxic work climate. Many have been pushed into self-employment so they can be picked up and put down by employers and agencies. And many also have to fund their own training to keep pace with constantly-shifting regulation governing competence. Little wonder the sector finds itself in the midst of a mental health and suicide pandemic.

But while company owners and senior managers gather regularly at industry events, there is no central forum through which the industry’s three million workers can make their voices heard.

We will be discussing this with industry advocate and broadcaster, Andy Stevens. Join us if you can.

And Rye makes five

Demolition downturn claims another high profile victim.

Hertfordshire-based Rye Demolition has become the latest UK demolition company to call in the administrators amidst increasingly difficult trading conditions within the industry.

The news comes hot on the heels of the demise of demolition peers Squibb Group, McCormack Demolition, Wooldridge Demolition and Blucon, and brings to five the number of UK demolition companies to go under in the space of just four months.

It is understood that the decision does not impact those employed by Rye Plant Hire which was founded in 1995, 11 years before the creation of Rye Demolition. DemolitionNews understands that Rye Plant Hire is working with Rye Demolition clients to see any outstanding projects to completion. It is not known at this time how many jobs might be lost as a result of Rye Demolition’s administration.

In addition to the many high profile demolition projects undertaken by Rye Demolition in recent years, the company had also made huge strides within the environmental sphere; establishing what it described as “The Sustainable Standard”. In keeping with that standard, Rye was among the first UK demolition companies to make the switch to HVO fuel across its extensive equipment fleet.

It is understood that efforts had been made to restructure Rye Demolition. But it was unable to do so in time to to save the company.

Director and founder Simon Barlow is currently the second vice president of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors. But the demise of his demolition company surely calls into question his ability to retain that position, at least in the short term.

The Break Fast Show #670

In today’s show: We’re taking a closer look at the latest generation of JCB backhoe loaders in the company of none other than the JCB Digger Girl’ how Caterpillar is simplifying log loading; Demolition – Suspended; and Boom time at JCB.

PLUS Sunward throws shapes ahead of its appearance at Intermat 2024.

Join us LIVE for your daily fix of news, views, video and comment from the world of demolition and construction.

Come for the news and stay for the chat in our after-show discussion session, The Craic.

The Break Fast Show #669

In today’s show: We are dozing with LiuGong; Sennebogen converts an entire construction site to remote control; we get the low-down on the Kobelco SK850LC excavator; and Epiroc upgrades its demolition tools.

PLUS Bomag goes remote on its new trench compactor.

Join us LIVE for your daily fix of news, views, video and comment from the world of demolition and construction.

Come for the news and stay for the chat in our after-show discussion session, The Craic.

The Break Fast Show #668

In today’s show: The new JCB 25Z-1 mini excavator – Is it Hot or Not? Caterpillar UHD excavator against the clock; we have a glimpse of the latest rotating telehandler from Manitou; and we’re meeting the man responsible for the return of Intermat.

PLUS We are entering the realm of Trackzilla.

Join us LIVE for your daily fix of news, views, video and comment from the world of demolition and construction.

Come for the news and stay for the chat in our after-show discussion session, The Craic.

Firm fined over ceiling collapse fatality

A company has been fined £450,000 and the firm’s director has received a suspended prison sentence after a labourer was crushed to death at a site in the Midlands in 2019.

Simon Briggs, principal director of Stonehurst Estates Ltd, was sentenced to 23 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, for a health and safety offence following the death of 49-year-old Oleksander “Sasha” Rudyy at a development site in Hockley, Birmingham.

Site foreman Vasyl Bychkov was also sentenced to 130 hours of unpaid work after previously pleading guilty to failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others at the site.

The company, Stonehurst Estates Ltd, was fined £450,000 after pleading guilty to corporate manslaughter and a health and safety offence. The firm was also ordered to pay costs of £167,601.

Stonehurst Estates Ltd worked on the sensitive structure without a proper plan and sequence in place, despite safety measures being known and readily available to the company.

None of the men working on the building, including Bychkov who was onsite at the time, had any expertise in demolition work, and there was no risk assessment or safe system of work in place for the task Rudyy was undertaking.

Read more here.

The Break Fast Show #667

In today’s show: The latest midi excavators from Yanmar – Are they Hot or Not? A big Komatsu dozer scales the Alps; Allu is a star of the small screen; and Caterpillar brings the digital to Intermat. PLUS we’re moving mountains with an old school O&K face shovel.

Join us LIVE for your daily fix of news, views, video and comment from the world of demolition and construction.

Come for the news and stay for the chat in our after-show discussion session, The Craic.

Worker buried by ceiling collapse

Court hears of “woeful” safety standard.

A worker was crushed to death beneath a falling ceiling at a building site where health and safety measures were described as ‘woeful’. Oleksander Rudyy was killed at the scene in Vittoria Street, Hockley on May 8 in 2019.

The 49-year-old, known as ‘Sasha’, was not a ‘builder by trade’ but was using a grinder tool to remove nine rods within a building called the Coal Store, Birmingham Crown Court heard. But he was not aware they were crucial to the support of the structure.

Rudyy had been working with another colleague at the time. Prosecutor Michael Burrows KC said: “As he cut the last rod the wall and brick floor above them collapsed upon them. Both were buried.

Rudyy was covered by a solid wall of bricks. Other workers tried to free him. Police, ambulance and other emergency services attended.

“After 20 minutes they managed to remove Rudyy from the rubble. He had a metal bar impaled in his shoulder. There were no signs of life. Efforts were made to resuscitate him but at 6.18pm he was pronounced dead.”

Stonehurst Estates and Vittoria Apartments, both based at Danehill, Sussex, have pleaded guilty to corporate manslaughter and a further health and safety offence. Stonehurst’s sole director Simon Briggs, aged 61, from the same address, and supervisor Vasyl Bychkov, aged 45, from Clapham in London, have also admitted manslaughter, while Bychkov has confessed to an additional health and safety offence.

Mr Burrows told the court the site at Vittoria Street was to be redeveloped and the Coal Store building was to be removed. He said: “Stonehurst Estates decided to save costs by doing the demolition itself.”

The sentencing hearing continues.

Read more here.