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BDA eNewsletter | Issue: September 2019


Introduction from our Chair – Martyn Brocklesby

Welcome to the September issue of the British Drilling Association’s (BDA) eNewsletter. September is a busy month for all our Management and Sub-Committee representatives, with a full round of meetings to add to their existing business commitments. The Management Committee particularly will be discussing initiatives to improve the BDA audit and to promote and increase uptake, all in accordance with BS EN22475 for our ground investigation members and an expectation that is enshrined of course in both our mission statement and membership criteria.


We shall also be reviewing and considering progress on all other BDA projects - such as, the publication of safety alerts; development of best practice documentation and technical standards; vocational qualification updates; progress with the new rotary drilling guidance; collaborations with other industry bodies; new website development update; current status of the BDA’s clients’ guide to BDA members and finally, debating mechanisms to engage with our members and their staff.

On the social front, the BDA’s Annual Golf Day was a tremendous success and was extremely well supported and just as competitive as ever. Read on for a summary of results and who took the bragging rights! 

There’s still time to book your place at this year’s BDA Annual Dinner, as well as sign up for the latest in the new series of BDA-organised seminars, ‘What Are the Risks of Rising Complacency about Geotechnics”, the first of which is being held on Thursday, 31st October 2019, in London. Some excellent speakers are lined up, to what will be a must-attend event.

We also need your entries for the BDA Annual Awards – details on how to submit can be found in this issue.


Guidance Documents Available

It is worth keeping an eye on the existing BDA website, as it is constantly being updated with information that is of use to members. From industry news and safety updates to dates of seminars, social events and the publication of new guidance documents, you’ll find it all readily available. 

For example, documents include:

  • Guidance on Managing the Risk of Hazardous Gases when Drilling or Piling Near Coal -
  • Guidance for The Operation of Cable Percussion Rigs and Equipment -
  • Health & Safety Manual for Land Drilling 2015: A Code of Safe Drilling Practice -

Details of when the new website will be launched will appear in a future issue of this newsletter.


Reverse Charge VAT

The BDA is pleased to be able to update you on this item following receipt of the notification below from Build UK:

“The implementation of Reverse VAT has been delayed by 12 months following successful efforts from a coalition of industry organisations to lobby the government. The decision means that Reverse VAT will now come into effect on 1st October 2020, a year after it was initially planned on 1st October 2019. The industry demonstrated the power of collaboration, with FMB fronting the campaign and Build UK working behind the scenes to successfully affect change. Importantly, the coalition made the case that the impact of the changes was not fully understood within the industry in addition to the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit. Companies in the supply chain should use the extra time wisely; you can read more about the change and how it will affect your business, including Build UK’s practical guide here [] and video here - 

The BDA would like to re-iterate that this is just a deferment and so any work you have carried out within your company to be ready for this change remains relevant.


Why Join the BDA? – A New Member’s View

The BDA has seen a significant uplift in membership in the past three years and one of those new members – Lankelma – was asked what motivated them joining. Managing Director, Eric Zon, commented: “As a Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) company, historically, we didn’t feel our activities were necessarily a good fit with the BDA. However, this position has changed now that the BDA is a much wider community and represents not only those companies engaged directly in drilling, but also those on the peripheral.

“In our nearshore department we carry out CPT, as well as drilling, and having just invested heavily in a sonic drilling rig, we wanted to take advantage of the guidance of the BDA in drilling matters. Also, there has been a significant increase marketing activity of the BDA and specifically its seminars, of which we like to be part. They are a great way to educate the wider industry on the importance of proper soil investigations on the one hand and sharing knowledge on the other.

“The BDA’s role is important in helping the wider ground investigation industry get its voice heard. We feel many site investigation techniques are underused – we need to continue to shout about the benefits of good quality site investigation in saving money and avoiding cost-overruns throughout the entire construction process.

“Without the continuous improvement in quality and without educating the wider industry on the benefits of good quality site investigation, we will not change perceptions. This is where the BDA comes in – it has an important role in bringing change through guiding its members and their clients, hopefully without imposing more rules and regulations.

“We are looking forward to working with other BDA members to keep improving quality and to spread the message of what we all wish to achieve, as widely as possible.”


BDA London Seminar – Full Speaker Line-up

The BDA is pleased to announce the full speaker line-up for its London seminar “What Are the Risks of Rising Complacency About Geotechnics”, which is being held Thursday 31st October 2019 at the Radisson Blue Edwardian, 130 Tottenham Court Road, London.

Full speaker line-up is:

  • Tim Chapman, Director of Geotechnics at Arup, speaking about “Client motivations and what really bothers them”
  • Derek Butcher of Network Rail, presenting “A look into the geotechnical pitfalls when delivering works on the railway and how we can prevent them”
  • Patrick Cox of AECOM, presenting “Major Projects – Procurement of SI”
  • Rory O’Rourke of Datum Group (a DSI company), presenting “Monitoring”
  • Mike De Freitas of Imperial College, presenting “Ground Models”
  • Simon Ralphs of Telematicus, presenting “Achieving more with your data using AI”
  • Derek Egan of Remedy Geotechnics, presenting “Provision of Ground Information for the Design of Piles in London Clay – A Review of Current Practice”

If the quality of speakers inspires you to find out more about the seminar, or to book tickets and attend, contact the BDA or visit  


BDA London Seminar – Headline Sponsor Agreed / Exhibitors Slots NOW SOLD OUT!

The BDA would like to take the opportunity to thank Concept Engineering Consultants, for agreeing to become the headline sponsor of the BDA’s London seminar, “What Are the Risks of Rising Complacency About Geotechnics”, which is being held Thursday 31st October 2019 at the Radisson Blue Edwardian, 130 Tottenham Court Road, London.

The BDA would also like to thank all those companies that have agreed to exhibit at the event too.

Exhibitors announced:
  • Concept Engineering Consultants – HEADLINE SPONSOR
  • Eijkelkamp/SonicSamp 
  • Lankelma 
  • BAM Ritchies 
  • BGS 
  • Bauer Equipment 
  • Soil Engineering Geoservices
  • In Situ Site Investigation
  • MGS 
  • Tolsa (UK) 
  • Terra Tek 
  • Skelair
  • Socotec
  • Fugro
  • Geotechnical Engineering

The support a sponsor and the exhibitors is what makes the events the BDA organises possible as well as adding to the attraction of the event through their brand presence and status. THANK YOU!!


BDA Awards 2019 – Your Submissions Wanted!

There’s still time to send in your submissions for the 2019 BDA Awards, which will be presented at this year’s BDA Annual Dinner Dance, taking place 9th November 2019. 

The awards not only highlight all that is good about the drilling sector, but serve to showcase the successes of BDA members, recognising those that are making a real and demonstrable difference to the betterment of the industry. 

The categories for this year’s Awards are:

  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT - recognising an individual that has made a lengthy and outstanding contribution to the British drilling industry over their career
  • LEAD DRILLER OF THE YEAR - recognising an individual Lead Driller that has made an outstanding contribution to the British drilling industry
  • INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE - recognising a demonstration of technical excellence, innovation and/or collaborative working achieved by a Company and/or co-working & co-operation between a BDA Member Company and one or more Consultants, Contractor's, Supplier etc. on a recently competed project, innovation or development initiative.
  • SAFETY INITIATIVE /IMPROVEMENT - recognising a recent safety campaign or initiative in the British Drilling industry that has reduced accidents / near misses and improved behavioural safety

The closing date for awards entries is 4th October 2019 - entry forms are available from the BDA (via email) –  For further information about the event please visit 


BDA Dinner Dance 2019

Have you booked your tickets yet for the BDA Dinner Dance, which is being held 9th November 2019, at the Bristol Marriott Royal - a 4-star luxury hotel in the heart of Bristol City Centre? The evening promises a packed evening of entertainment, with music from ‘The Blame’, one of Manchester’s leading rock, pop, indie and soul cover bands. 

A professional photographer will be on-hand, to capture the evening’s activities and as always there will be a charity raffle, which this year is in aid of Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home, a charity that offers care and support at home for terminally ill children - 

For more information about the event visit the BDA website - or email the BDA -


Results from the 19th Hole

Well done to all those who participated in the 2019 BDA Golf Day, which this year was held 6th September 2019, at Woodsome Hall in Huddersfield, one of Yorkshire’s best golf courses -. A tremendously fun and competitive day, the event was punctuated with some great banter and networking as well as a chance to unwind.

On to the results – A big WELL DONE to M&J Drilling, winners of the Team Competition, but a big hand too for the last placed team WJ Groundwater. 

The results of the Mining Trophy, the 10-hole competition were 1st place Paul Judge (WJ Groundwater) and Neil Coulter (WJ Groundwater), 2nd place Steve Rule (M&J Drilling) and Johnathan Symonds (M&J Drilling)  and  3rd Bill Peacock (M&J Drilling) and Ian Fraser (M&J Drilling).

The results of the Eddie Burke Competition, 18-holes were 1st place Johnathan Symonds (M&J Drilling), 2nd place Ian Fraser (M&J Drilling) and 3rd place Paul Caldwell (Global Geotech). 

Nearest the pin was Carl Grice (Equipe Group) on the 3rd, Paul Dowson (Applied Geology) on the 10th and the longest drive was Michael May (Geoterra) on the 14th.

Well done to all!


External Events - Supported by the BDA

GE Basements & Underground Structures and Transport Geotechnics

The BDA is pleased to be supporting the Ground Engineering magazine (GE) two concurrent conferences “Basements and Underground Structures 2019” and “Transport Geotechnics 2019”, which will take place 3rd October, at the Olympia Conference Centre, London. The pre-conference seminar will be on the afternoon of the 2nd October and be Hilton London Kensington, 20 min walk from Olympia. 

“Basements and Underground Structures 2019” is structured to bring together those professionals working on a diverse range of projects, in sectors including infrastructure, commercial and residential, whilst “Transport Geotechnics 2019” is designed to give the technical and project leads of clients, contractors and designers, the knowledge and skills to deliver future projects.

Both events will feature keynote talks, interviews, interactive sessions as well as the presentation of real-world case studies. 

For more information, to book your tickets and to qualify for the 15% discount, quote BDA at the time of booking. For more information visit the associated event websites:

Brownfield Investigation and Remediation 2019

The BDA is pleased to be supporting Brownfield Investigation and Remediation 2019, that will take place in London on 9th October and a 10% discount is available to BDA members wishing to attend or exhibit.

This conference will join the previous Site Investigation and Risk and Remediation events, offering delegates regulatory updates, insights into current site investigation works and cost-effective solutions to contaminated land risk assessment and remediation challenges.

To qualify for your 10% discount off the standard delegate or exhibitor rate email and include code ‘BDA10’ in your email.

For more information visit 


And finally…

We Need Your Safety Alerts!


Please continue to submit your safety alerts, they can be emailed directly to the BDA Secretariat - Current alerts can be found on the BDA website via the link:




If you’d like to see any topics addressed in future BDA newsletters, please don’t hesitate to let the team know –
And please don’t forget to follow the BDA on LinkedIn – British Drilling Association and Twitter - @britishdrilling - and tag the BDA into your posts, if you tag the BDA we’ll share / like.

British Drilling Association  

Committed to Improving Standards in Health & Safety, Quality of Workmanship and Technical Proficiency for the Benefit of the Drilling Industry and its Clients.

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