Cycling for Orlaith

Next weekend, past Council Member Adrian McLean FIDE, Mick Regan and Chris Moen will be cycling 135 miles from Solihull to Westminster Bridge in London to raise funds for  Orlaith.  If you would like to know more and sponsor this event click here

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East Midlands Regional Meeting: Tuesday 7th May 2019

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:

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. 

Keeping you in the Loop: CITB’s updated Health, Safety and Environment Test for the Construction industry is to launch on 26 June 2019

CITB’s updated Health, Safety and Environment test for the construction industry is to launch on 26 June 2019.

CITB has announced a major update to the Health, safety and environment test, which it introduced in 2001 in response to high levels of significant accidents and incidents in construction. Over the last 18 years it has been key to improving health and safety in the industry.

CITB regularly reviews the test to make sure it meets current health and safety legislation, including any changes to EU regulations (which the UK is still subject to) and is aligned with the latest industry practice. Around half a million people sit the test each year, making it one of the most taken after the driving licence. This time a much more detailed review has taken place, taking into account feedback from construction workers, employers and other key stakeholders across the industry.

CITB has worked with leading assessment company Pearson VUE to improve the format of the questions, and to ensure the test remains fair, reliable and valid. This included piloting new questions and formats with 7,500 candidates over the past year.

The test for construction operatives in particular is being substantially updated to better reflect the range of day to day tasks and responsibilities on site. The test instructions have also been made clearer, in response to candidate feedback.

CITB will be writing to all CSCS card holders who are renewing their card, and informing employers, to let them know about the updates. All new applicants will be informed about the test changes and encouraged to prepare appropriately.  Updated revision materials, such as DVDs, books, downloads and apps, will be available from 15 May 2019.

Braden Connolly, CITB Director of Products and Services, said: “The Health, safety and environment test is being brought up to date with current legislation. We’ve worked with those in the industry as well as Pearson VUE, a market leader in computer testing, to make sure it sets a world class standard. Safety is paramount, so it’s vital that the revised test provides even more assurance to those working in the industry that everything is being done to keep them safe on site.”

Simon Kenworthy, owner of JAK Building Services, attended the standard setting workshop for the construction operatives test.

He said: “Hopefully all the hard work put into the update of the HS&E operatives test will enable all new operatives entering the construction industry to gain the required knowledge of Health and Safety. The new range of questions covers different areas of on-site activities, which those working in construction they will undoubtedly encounter.”

Douglas Price, Health and Safety Manager at Morgan Sindall, also attended the workshop.

He said: “The standard setting process for the revised test was undertaken by a panel of highly knowledgeable and qualified individuals covering a range of construction sectors.

“With an ever-changing industry and multicultural workforce the panel undertook a full and critical review of what was already in place and what could best move us forward. Every question and proposal was reviewed and discussed in depth to ensure it met industry’s needs.”

More information can be read here

2019 CITB_HSE Employer Key Messages

2019 CITB Employer Flyer

Author credit: CITB 

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. 

We Need Your Voice!

North-West Regional Meeting

Over 30 guests attended the first 2019 North West IDE Regional Meeting, hosted by ECY Haulmark.  Rik Yarwood opened the meeting with Adrian McLean FIDE with a visit to the yard where there was a large selection of demolition attachments and a demonstration of the latest Oilquick Excavator in operation switching between attachments .

The delegates returned to the meeting, where the first speaker was Mike Kehoe MIDE of C&D Consultancy who asked the question “Can traditional demolition learn from explosive demolition?” within his presentation which started a lengthy debate between delegates. Next up was Joshua from Andun whose topic “Temporary Works”, showed some old cut and pull techniques being used recently at the grounds of Tottenham Hotspur where a 300t beam was pulled over successfully.

The third presentation from Mark Mates MIDE of Hitec Demolition covered the topic of “Emergency Demolition” in which he has become a specialist in fire damage properties and all the risks involved.  The final presentation was from Mark Bryant MIDE of JBV Demolition spoke of “Demolition Past, Present and Future” , another subject that was heavily debated at the end.

A 2 hour event turned into 3 1/2 due to the quality of the presentations and the questions and points from the floor from a good audience .

Overall the event was a great success and ECY have agreed to sponsor this on a annual event.

The IDE would like to thank all involved in arranging and presenting at this event and we look forward to another North West Regional in due course.


Spring Seminar 2019: Leeds

The 1st of March saw the annual trip to the Leeds Armouries for the IDE Spring Seminar. Yet another busy event with a good mix of industry professionals delivering interesting and informative presentations.

For his first Leeds event, IDE President, Gary Bishop FIDE welcomed the packed auditorium to Leeds before undertaking the unfortunate task of asking the attendees to stand for a minute’s silence in honour of an industry stalwart and a great friend and colleague to many, Liebherr’s Darren Bennet who sadly and suddenly passed away in January.

On to the main event with Mr Bishop announcing that membership of the Institute continues to grow, now over 400 qualified individuals. “One worrying statistic is that there are certain individuals within that membership who have not undertaken any form of CPD and we will be writing to them to ask them to rectify this.” Mr Bishop commented. On a more upbeat note, the success of the collaboration between the University of Wolverhampton and the IDE to bring the first Demolition Degree forward was noted as a great triumph for the industry.

Opening the event were Richard Dolman and Patricia Sloneczny from AR Demolition Ltd carrying on from Gary Bishop’s praise of the degree course. Both Dolman and Sloneczny are studying the course and wanted to get across to the attendees the benefits of undertaking the degree. “It’s not just good for personal development, but the knowledge gathered on the course benefits everyone.” Mr Dolman commented “It has taken a long time to get to this position and the course will only see it benefit the professionalism of the whole industry bringing us in-line with other professional bodies.” The first intake of students is now into their second year with a full intake of students about to start their studies. Mrs Sloneczny spoke about her challenges and doubts over her personal ability for taking the course; something she said that was quickly dispelled. “It was a big leap to start the degree as neither myself, or Richard are academically minded. We have both found the course to be extremely fulfilling and rewarding.” Mr Dolman finished off by saying that many potential students were put off by the potential costs of studying but this shouldn’t be a barrier as the grants which are available will cover the tuition fees.

A step away from demolition came with second speaker, Bob Woosnam-Savage. The curator of armour and edged weapons gave a very interesting and sometimes gory description of the potential death of Richard III. The last king of the House of York was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field and it was the work of Woosnam-Savage that discovered the savage killing of the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.

As one of the largest demolition contractors in the UK, Erith Group has undertaken some impressive and complex projects, one of them being their recent completion of the former cinema complex at London’s Marble Arch. Operations Director Grant Styles took to the stage to speak about the company’s methodology to safely dismantle what was once the largest single screen cinema in the country. Faced with large amounts of asbestos and large cantilevered concrete beams, Mr Styles spoke about the immense input from the structural engineering team at Swanton whose work to design the safe methods of propping to both the structure during the demolition work and the surrounding busy London streets enabled the team to deliver another successful project.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme was next on the agenda with David Watson representing the Scheme talking about the importance of companies portraying a project to a certain level. “Everyone thinks of the construction industry as a dirty one, something it certainly isn’t these days.” Mr Watson said “We need to change perceptions in a bid to attract new people into the industry and to promote the good work our members do.” Mr Watson spoke about the positive impact and high standards achieved by its members and was very keen to work alongside IDE member companies.

Unfortunately, NFDC CEO Howard Button was unable to make the event to talk about the recent and upcoming changes to the CCDO card scheme. A worthy substitute in the NDTG’s Iain Kirk who spoke about the issues facing the demolition industry over the changes. Advice was given on the Go-Smart app which provides the capability to read both physical and virtual CSCS/CCDO cards. The conclusion of Mr Kirk’s presentation focused on the forthcoming Trailblazer Scheme and the acceptance of the NFDC/NDTG into becoming an approved supplier to the Armed Forces.

Following lunch, regular seminar speaker and author Sarah Fox spoke about the intricacies and importance of the NEC4 form of contract. Offering detailed and invaluable advice on following procedures of this popular form of contract to the audience, Ms Fox spoke at length about the importance of understanding the obligations of a contractor to communicate effectively, responsibly and in a timely fashion to avoid issues further down the line.

Sardinia was the next stop with RVA’s Ian Wharton detailing the company’s involvement with the demolition of a power station on the island. Working alongside a variety of nationalities, dealing with environmental constraints and the issue of working within an area not used to explosive demolition and its capabilities. Mr Wharton concluded by saying that the contract was completed to the full satisfaction of all interested parties.

Concluding the day’s events was Gillian Elvy, Membership Manager North for the Institute of Civil Engineers. Speaking about the need for professionals to be able to promote and shout about their qualifications, Mrs Elvy called on individuals working within the demolition environment to work towards a professional qualification, something that the degree courses are able to offer. “There is a need for the industry to have confidence in an individual’s competence within their given field.”

The Institute of Demolition Engineers would like to thank the speakers and the many trade members who took the time to attend the event and look forward to welcoming everyone at Demo Expo at the Herts Showground on the 4th to the 6th of July and to One Great George Street, London for the Autumn Seminar on the 26th of September.

Author and Photography: RPA Photography

Presidents Charity: Niemann-Pick UK Receive Generous Contribution

The IDE President, Gary Bishop FIDE and Erith Contractor’s Managing Director and IDE Immediate Past-President, David Darsey FIDE, met with David Roberts on 8th February 2019 to personally present two cheques to Niemann-Pick UK.

The Niemann-Pick UK charity works closely with families and individuals living with Niemann-Pick and helps them manage this life-limiting disease.  The Niemann-Pick diseases are a group of rare lysosomal storage disorders that can affect both children and adults.  David Darsey has been personally affected by Niemann-Pick for the past 2 years following the birth of his granddaughter, Nancy, in November 2016.  Shortly after Nancy’s birth, the Darsey  family received the devastating news that she had been diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C.  David has since gone to great lengths to raise money for NPUK and increase awareness of this rare and heart-breaking disease.

In June 2018, David hosted a fundraiser for NPUK, Nancy’s Night Out, in homage to his granddaughter.  The event was a huge success, raising significant funds through ticket sales, auctions and generous donations which will be used to provide care and support to families in need.

David Roberts, Trustee at NPUK, visited the Erith office in London where both David Darsey and Gary Bishop presented him with two cheques.  the first was on behalf of Erith Contractors Ltd for the sum of £64,000.oo raised at Nancy’s Night Out.  The second was on behalf of the IDE who generously contributed an additional £5,000.00 to this worthy cause raised from the raffle and auction at the IDE Annual Lunch in November 2018.

David Darsey and the whole Darsey Family would like to express their gratitude to David Roberts for taking the time to visit their offices and for all the hard work he and NPUK carry out.

Would you Like to Speak at an IDE Event?

AGM and Annual Lunch 2018

Drapers Hall was the location for the 2018 Institute of Demolition Engineers AGM and Annual Luncheon.

Yet again, the event was another sell out and marked the end of David Darsey’s two-year reign as IDE President who handed over the President’s chain to Gary Bishop.

The day’s proceedings commenced with Mr Darsey thanking the Council of Management and the staff at Eagle Court along with his colleagues at Erith for their help and support throughout his term as President. Mr Darsey went on to say that he was extremely proud to have been President at a time when the Institute has seen a rise in membership along with the delivery of the Demolition Degree course with the University of Wolverhampton. An area Mr Darsey holds close to his heart is the generous nature of the Membership and the NFDC who in total have raised £20,000 for Niemann Pick UK and £30,000 for the Helen Allison School, two charities closely associated with the outgoing President. In conclusion, Mr Darsey said that he hoped he had done the post justice throughout his term in office and wished the Institute the very best for the future. Mr Darsey’s final act as President was to present David Sinclair with an Honorary Fellowship of the Institute for his services to the demolition industry worldwide. Mr Sinclair collected his award before thanking the Institute and his compatriots for their development and advancement of the industry and in bringing it to where it is today.

The finances of the Institute were then delivered by Erith’s Stuart Accleton who was again appointed as Treasurer. Reporting that the Institute is in a good financial position thanks to sell-out Spring and Autumn Seminars, Mr Accleton went on to announce a steady increase in membership applications along with existing members applying to upgrade their examinations much sooner than before.

Dr Terry Quarmby gave a brief overview of the position of the Demolition Degree before announcing that the Council of Management has been in discussions over a potential course for senior management within the industry covering health and safety and corporate management topics, to name but a few.

National Secretary and Events Director, Maureen Tong-Ralphs was on hand to announce the results of the latest election for Council Members. This year’s voting was again low on numbers, an issue talked about later within the meeting. With Adrian McLean and Mick Ulyatt stepping aside from the Council, the electorate voted for Richard Dolman to become the new Vice President whilst Erith’s Grant Styles was voted onto the Council for the first time. Both Mr McLean and Mr Ulyatt were thanked for their long and distinguished service to the Council of Management.

To read the full minutes taken at the meeting click hereAGM-minutes-2018

Before the meeting closed for lunch, incoming President Gary Bishop thanked everyone for their attendance at the event and thanked David Darsey for his hard work and commitment to the Institute throughout his term in office and spoke of his pride in following him through the NFDC Presidency and into the IDE.

Following on from the luncheon in the beautiful Livery Hall, presentations were made to over 30 Members of the Institute who had recently passed their examinations. A special presentation was made by Adrian McLean to out-going President David Darsey in the shape of a commemorative, framed and signed photograph of Tiger Woods. A special presentation was also given to David Coleman for his work within the industry.

As is tradition at the luncheon, the after dinner raffle and £20 in an envelope showed the Member’s generosity to the full and raised over £2000 for NPUK which will be supported in his first year as President by Gary Bishop. A charity auction for a number of highly sought after items including Premiership match day tickets and a ceramic poppy raised added over £3000 to the already generous donations made by the guests.

Both the incoming and outgoing Presidents also thanked the sponsors of the year’s events for their generosity including ECY Haulmark, Erith, Square Mile Broking, Swanton Consulting and Worsley Plant.

Author and Photography courtesy of Paul Argent, RPA Photography.

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.