John Woodward, IDE President, writes

Over the last few months it has become evident to IDE members that demolition tender prices continue to fall.  Sadly, two well established companies have recently folded putting experienced demolition workers out of work and affecting other contractors in the respective supply chains.

It appears to me that the current situation with lower prices will only lead to further misery and, if allowed to continue, will remove a great deal of highly skilled demolition personnel from our industry.

I am now calling for the HSE and the UKCG to take a close look at the industry and to emphasise to clients that to get the best value in demolition today only fully competent and skilled demolition labour should be used and, more importantly, only a skilled demolition engineer, and a member of IDE should write the method statement for that work.

CDM 2007 is crystal clear with regard to demolition in that only competent people should be involved, that the work should be planned and recorded in writing (Regulation 29) and as such demolition is the only trade specifically mentioned in CDM2007.

There is currently a contract out to tender in the North West where NFDC and non NFDC companies are on the list along with a company that dismantles cars!!  How can that company ever be deemed competent under CDM2007 to carry out such a contract, but no doubt they are on the tender list because they will be cheap.

With accidents in construction continuing at too high a level are clients in danger of increasing those accident numbers by using unskilled, untrained and non competent labour? If so then clients must be made aware NOW that cheap is not the way to go and remember John Ruskin who said

“When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought is incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.”

Think on – Clients and UKCG – get a competent demolition engineer involved on your project now and remember anyone writing a demolition method statement is also a “Designer” under CDM2007 and as such he must be deemed competent in both roles.

Lecture over, lets work together to keep price levels reasonable and keep accident levels down.

You know it makes sense.