The IDE East Midlands Meeting was held at Twycross Zoo on Tuesday the 7th May, hosted by Richard Dolman FIDE of AR Demolition and current IDE Vice President.

Over thirty delegates attended the event and enjoyed four thought-provoking presentations.

First up, Richard Dolman delivered a case study on the Demolition of a fire damaged former warehouse containing asbestos.  The case study covered the techniques used to mitigate risk in all areas of the project including the asbestos that was found in the ground.  The debate following the presentation covered the issue of ‘All Risk’ contracting and all issues around Hazardous Waste removal.

With May being Mental Health Awareness month John Ryan was up next to deliver an inciteful, moving and funny take on anxiety and stress-related issues.  We all need reminding that work is important, however, so are our families, friends and our general well-being and mental health.

The message: take care of yourself no one has written on their gravestone “I wish I had spent more time at work”. For more information follow this link to John’s website: https://www.happytohealthyou.com/

Silica Dust in the industry is currently a hot topic, so with this in mind, we invited Ms Chris Keen, Occupational Hygienist from the HSE to deliver a talk on the Breathe Freely Campaign.  The hope would be that the Breathe Freely can make a positive impact to controlling the risk of respiratory disease in the Demolition sector, hopefully in turn making a small contribution to improving the image of the industry by making it safer and more attractive to the next generation of Demolition Engineers.

Attracting the next generation into Demolition related careers was the subject of the final talk by Patricia Sloneczny, Development Director at A R Demolition.  Opening up a debate about the skills gap within the industry was the driver for this presentation and it was clear in the questioning following the talk that we all face the same recruitment challenges and although there are some great initiatives currently in place for example the new Demolition Degrees and Apprenticeship programmes, it was felt by the delegates that we need  some clearer, long term, innovative, strategic thinking driven by the industry to help resolve the issue of the Demolition industries skills gap and diversity issues.

The Institute of Demolition Engineers is ideally placed to champion all these important topics and it is likely that all the issues raised will be returned in future meetings and seminars.

The meeting was concluded on schedule in order that guests could enjoy the amazing food provided by the event organisers.

The IDE would like to thank A R Demolition and all the Speakers for their support in producing yet another successful event.

Author: Patricia  Sloneczny, Development Director, A R Demolition

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.