December 21, 2014

This is what happens when a tyre explodes

You may remember back in early December we wrote about a tragic tale from Ireland. Two close friends had died together while inflating a tyre and something went horribly wrong.

It's hard to imagine a tyre being able to kill someone, but it can, due to the explosive forces that build up inside. We have found footage of just how damaging those forces can be, which you can watch below:

December 19, 2014

Kaila Francis leaves the NDTG

We are passing on the news that Kaila Francis, NDTG Coordinator is leaving the company today, Friday 19th December.

Here's what the NDTG had to say on the matter:

"Kaila has been working with the NDTG for just over 5 years and her dedication during this time showed no bounds.

We will all miss Kaila’s vibrant personality and willingness to help so please join us in wishing her all the best for the future.

Taking on Kaila’s position is Miranda Martin who has started work from today. Miranda has come from a prestigious health & safety and management background.

You can contact Miranda and introduce yourself to her on: miranda@demolition-nfdc.com

Kaila would like to extend her thanks to everyone who has supported her the past five years and working for the training group has been a pleasure.

Construction News Specialist Awards 2015 finalists announced

Construction News has just announced the finalists in the Specialist Awards 2015, the 11th time the awards have been run.

The list is rather long as it covers the following categories:

  • Apprentice of the Year
  • Specialist Contractor of the Year (turnover up to £25M)
  • Specialist Contractor of the Year (turnover over £25m)
  • Training Excellence
  • Business Innovation of the Year
  • Equipment Supplier of the Year
  • Health & Safety Initiative of the Year
  • Materials Supplier of the Year
  • BIM Project Excellence
  • Project of the Year (subcontract up to £2M)
  • Project of the Year (subcontract over £2M)
  • Sustainable Project of the Year
  • Access & Scaffolding Specialist of the Year
  • Building Services Specialist of the Year
  • Demolition Specialist of the Year
  • Ground Engineering Specialist of the Year
  • Roofing Specialist of the Year
  • Structural Specialist of the Year

You can view all the finalists for each category by visiting the Specialist Awards 2015 Shortlist page.

December 18, 2014

Where Is not the best place to put an unsafe scaffold?

So you put your scaffolding up to do some work on the roof of a building in town. You either can’t be bothered to do it right or you just don’t know how to put up a scaffold safely. As a result one of your scaffolders is working on a platform four metres above ground, which is two planks wide and has no hand or guard rails and toe boards. Well, what are they for anyway?

Still, you will get away with it won’t you? No-one will see.


Lesson 1 – Don’t put up dodgy scaffolding at all!

Lesson 2 – Don’t put it up next door to the local HSE office!

The so called professional company that put up this apology for a scaffold were fined a total of £10,600 and ordered to pay £2,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 5 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. That does not include their own defence costs either.

However, all the talk about lessons and learning from them is something the company are not known for, as they had obviously ignored the written warnings they had received for other issues in 2012 and 2013. Obviously not third time lucky for them.

Source: HSE

December 17, 2014

C&D appointed CDM Co-ordinator for The Gallowgate Twins demolition

C&D are proud to announce that we have been appointed as CDM Co-ordinator and Demolition Consultants for the demolition of "The Gallowgate Twins," the tallest structures in Scotland. We will be working with Safedem and GHA on this complex demolition for the whole of 2015.

Further details about the demolition project can be found at the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-30485254

December 16, 2014

IDE announce the date for a major conference with Nottingham University in 2015

The IDE has announced that the Design for Deconstruction conference will be taking place on Thursday, 23rd April.

The venue is the following:

Newton building,
Nottingham Conference Centre,
Nottingham Trent University,

The conference starts at 9am and runs until 4:15pm.

Here's the conference explainer:

"A modern era truism is that "Waste is a design flaw". Consequently true, the demolition industry does not create waste but handles that which others put there.

Construction will never be truly sustainable until consideration is given, during design and planning, to the deconstruction legacy.

Design for Deconstruction (DfD) has been around construction for some time but has never engaged with the sector that deconstructs.

This conference brings together, for the first time, those that design, specify, construct, manage and legally frame construction projects with those that take them down and handle the deconstruction legacy.

The conference will consider nano-technology and how this may impact in deconstruction. You will hear about the extensive work being done on steel re-use and reclamation, and how Building Information Modelling (BIM) could be extended into deconstruction and there will be blue-sky thinking on how to create the legal obligation to consider deconstruction during design and planning.

If you book your place before March 26th then the delegate rate if £200. The standard rate after that date is £250. If you would like to attend then please visit the Nottingham Trent University online store.

December 15, 2014

The Demise of the CDM Co-ordinator

With CDM in the news at the moment, even more so with the new update being due for release early next year, there is the interesting case of a breach of the CDM regulations recently.

On Thursday (27th November) an architect's practice was fined for failing to provide contractors with sufficient relevant information about the flammability of the timber frame used in the construction of a new care home building in October 2012.

A routine inspection of the work by a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector found that the separation distance between the new timber frame building under construction and an adjacent occupied care home was insufficient.

As a result, had the timber frame caught fire there was a serious risk that the radiant heat would cause the fire to spread to the care home, putting the lives of residents and staff inside at risk.

HSE found that there was nothing in the design specification produced by the architects to alert construction workers erecting the timber frame to the additional fire risk it created, and the need to take action accordingly.

Clearly this was a situation where the CDMc would, or should, have had an input and advised the architect accordingly. This begs the question of whether the removal of the CDMc role, as proposed by the new regulations, will not only make situations like this worse, but also more commonplace.

December 12, 2014

More problems with the weather

We recently wrote about the effect of the weather and particularly the wind on site hoardings, and how they are temporary structures and need to be planned accordingly.

Unfortunately we are now reminded, by a recent court case, of how important it is to get this right. A building company refitting a shop in London’s Oxford Street, has just been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £13,000 legal costs, after a 15ft high Kate Moss billboard fell on to shoppers, injuring 10 and leaving 3 with life changing injuries. One of these had serious vertebrae injuries which will prevent her working again.

The Health and Safety Executive, which brought the prosecution, said the 11ft 10in (3.6m) high structure which weighed 0.8 tonnes was held upright by a single timber beam attached to the shop front by just two screws.Builders working at the site spotted the screws coming loose moments before the hoarding was blown to the ground by a gust of wind but were unable to stop it.

Ironically they were able to attach the billboard because the company had increased the height of the existing barrier fencing, to stop debris flying over it into the public areas and hitting people walking past. We await the inevitable civil cases which will surely follow this prosecution.

For more technical information remember that hoardings are temporary works and must be designed in accordance with BS5957.

December 11, 2014

Doing the job right

A recent court case in London should serve to remind us all of our obligations as professionals and how we should be carrying out our roles. Details of the case are found in the link below.


The court found that the Commercial Director of the building firm and a freelance qualified Health and Safety Advisor employed by them had failed to carry out their respective roles correctly, resulting in the death of the labourer on site. As a consequence they were both found guilty of manslaughter.

December 10, 2014

Demolition & Recycling International magazine November-December 2014 issue available

The latest issue of Demolition & Recycling International magazine is now available to read for free either online or offline on a range of devices. Inside the 52-page November-December issue you'll find the following:
  • D&Ri reports on the recent 2014 World Demolition Summit, with more detailed coverage of three of the entries, the winners of the 2014 World Demolition Award, Contract of the Year(+US$1.5 million) and the Contract of the Year (-US$1.5 million). These were won by Liberty Industrial, Australian Decommissioning Services and Keltbray respectively.
  • The use of compact tracked loaders is growing in parts of the world. D&Ri reports on the latest offerings of this machine type, along with other compact construction equipment.
  • World of Concrete is the first trade show of the annual cycle. D&Ri provides a brief guide to what you can expect to see in Las Vegas in February.
Access the issue directly at the KHL Group website.