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Latest News | December 2016

Introduction from our Chair – Anne Baxter

Welcome to the latest issue of the BDA newsletter. I’m sure it has not passed anyone by, but it’s been a busy few months recently both for the drilling sector and the wider construction industry what with Brexit and all the political fallout that has accompanied it. And like pretty much the entire sector I guess you’re wondering what the implications are for the drilling sector too? Well in amongst all the uncertainty there is one thing we do know and that is until it happens it’s pretty much business as usual. Granted there are factors outside our control but at times like this it is important that we all remain positive, avoid the temptation to react to what we don’t know, but at the same time plan for the various “what ifs” as a sensible approach.

As I am sure you all know, this year marks the 40th Anniversary of the BDA and it was great to celebrate this milestone at our recent Annual Charity Dinner Dance, as well as the people and companies that were recognised through our Awards for their contribution to the drilling sector. As always the event raised a lot of money for our chosen charities whilst I will review the event later, I would like to thank everyone for their generosity and support that together made the event a tremendous success.


BDA Issues New Guidance Document

Safety, professionalism and the continuous development of standards and working practices are what drive the BDA and the last few months have seen it updating a number of guidance documents. The most recent to be issued is ‘The Operation of Cable Percussion Rigs & Equipment’ and like all existing documentation, this is readily available to download from the BDA website. A lot of time and effort has been put into this document and I would urge everyone to download and digest.  An overview of this guidance document is below:


•  The Operation of Cable Percussion Rigs & Equipment – This new edition is a considerable update to the oldest BDA publication raises the bar even higher for the standards within the drilling industry. The document has been pretty much completely rewritten and now incorporates the very latest methodologies and best practice bringing the document right up-to-date. It has also been reviewed and endorsed by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as it provides guidance health & safety issues as well as on operational, technical and environmental making it the authoritative publication for anyone involved in operating, procuring, organising and supervising cable percussion (shell & auger) boring. It can be downloaded from

BDA Welcomes New Members

We’ve had a boost recently in terms of membership, with more companies joining the BDA. The more members it has, and across the entire drilling spectrum large and small, the better able the BDA is to genuinely reflect the views and opinions of the drilling sector and we are delighted to welcome the recent additions. The new (confirmed) companies who have joined the BDA are listed below:

  • Aspin Foundations Ltd
  • Project Dewatering Ltd
  • Clay Drilling Ltd
  • Rockbit UK Ltd

Each new member bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience of working within drilling sector and their contribution to the combined knowledge pool of the BDA is extremely welcome and will be put to good use by the BDA in setting standards and crafting guidance in the future.



BDA Annual Charity Dinner Dance

A great evening was had by all at the recent BDA Annual Dinner Dance, which was held at the Crowne Plaza in Nottingham and it was made all the more better by the £4,500+ that was raised for our chosen charities which were ‘Little Hearts Matter’ - which provides support for children and families where a child is born with only half a heart and ‘CRY’ (Cardiac Risk in the Young) - which aims to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, as well as support for affected families. Having raised over £75,000 in the past 14 years, the generosity and support of BDA Members is enormous and an important marker for the character and giving nature of BDA members - THANK YOU!
Of course the evening wasn’t just about fun and entertainment; the event also provides the BDA the opportunity to recognise excellence within the drilling sector through its Annual Awards.  The winners of the 5 categories together were:

  • Industry Excellence Award – BAM Ritchies | Chantry Lane Chalk Mine Remediation
  • Safety Improvement / Initiative – Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical Ltd | For achieving a pass rate of 100% on an Achilles Verify Audit
  • Lead Driller of the Year – Daniel Perrett | Environmental Scientifics Group Ltd (ESG)
  • Apprentice of the Year – Craig Mullarkey | Raeburn Drilling
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Peter Redford

All were deserving winners and highlight just how vibrant, fresh and innovative the drilling sector is. Whilst there can only ever be one winner in each category, all those people and companies that were shortlisted also deserve praise.
A big thank you also goes to all those who attended and especially those companies who provided prizes for the charity raffle.


BDA events

Long Term Heath & Wellbeing

A big thank you to all those who attended the recent “Long Term Health & Wellbeing” seminar that was held 16th November, at the RAF Museum in London. With speakers from HS2; BDA; B&CE UK Specialist Risk and Pristine Condition the event stressed the importance of employee health and what steps can be taken to manage and prevent work-related ill-health.
With an estimated two million people suffering from ill health as a direct result of their work, some 18 million working days are lost each year as a consequence. Reducing this not only helps the individuals affected but can positively impact on the bottom line, therefore has enormous benefits to business. Seminars such as this are important as health and wellbeing are all too often overlooked on the grand scheme of working, yet are and should be as important as any other aspect of business. With many major projects now looking for proof of process addressing such issues as part of their procurement process, it should be considered compulsory.
We shall be running more of these seminars in the future and it will be great to see you there.


Land Drillers Training Day 12th December 2016

Why not bring your drilling staff up to speed on the latest developments and ensure they are working more safely and productively at the Land Drilling Training day, being held on 12th December 2016 in Bristol.  Following registration, the seminar has presentations from a number of industry people with topics including:

  • Training and NVQ’s Developments for a Career in Drilling (Peter Redford – Past BDA Chairman)
  • Digital Borehole Logs, The Future (Keith Spires – Equipe Group)
  • A Driller’s Focus on Health & Safety (Jon Christie – Chair, BDA Safety Committee)
  • Drilling Bit Technology (Chris White – Rockbit Ltd)
  • Drilling Mud Technology (Mike Massey – Clear Solutions Ltd)
  • What is the Audit Scheme and Why Do We Need it? (Peter Redford, Past BDA Chair)

The price is £50 per person for members and £70 for non-members (audited drillers get a £10 discount) and includes lunch and refreshments upon arrival. Spaces are limited to 25 delegates, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
To book online please visit or contact the BDA Office - or 01773 778751.


 And finally…

Why not keep up-to-date with all the latest BDA and related drilling and construction industry news by following us on Twitter “@britishdrilling”.
If you’d like to see any particular topics addressed in future BDA newsletters, please don’t hesitate to let the team know –


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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