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BDA eNewsletter | Issue: August 2018


Introduction from our Chair – Martyn Brocklesby

Another busy month passes by and whilst the weather is still holding (well, almost), it’s a shame that the same cannot be said for Brexit negotiations. Regardless of which side of the Brexit fence you sat and sit now, the ‘deal or no deal’ political gameshow does little to deliver the certainty that the construction sector so needs. A recent survey of construction companies (Aug 2018: Blacks Solicitors) revealed that 76% of construction bosses don’t understand how Brexit will affect employees and don’t feel confident in understanding changes to EU workers’ rights post-Brexit.


Recognising that Brexit-related survey results alternate from negative to positive on an almost monthly basis, there still appears to be confidence in growth of the drilling sector. The August issue of GE magazine carries the 2018 Geotechnical Services Files (GSF) and despite all the ‘headline’ political shenanigans surrounding Brexit, the future is looking quite encouraging. I guess the only thing any of us can do is ‘keep calm and carry on’ and not worry about what we neither know yet or can realistically change.
Which brings me neatly to some great BDA distractions - if you’ve not done so yet, sign up for the British Drilling Association (BDA) Golf Day and / or the BDA Dinner Dance. Both events are certain to be enjoyable.
I should also remind you that the BDA seminar in London is filling up fast, so please register your attendance now. The speaker line-up is outstanding and the opportunity to network is excellent.


Supporting a Sound Mind & Body

Did you know that as part of its on-going commitment to the promotion of health and wellbeing, as well as the removal of the social stigma surrounding mental health issues, the British Drilling Association is highlighting its FREE Counselling helpline, which is available to ALL members.

The service, provided by ARAG, provides BDA members, and its staff with a confidential counselling service over the phone. Counsellors are trained to help callers cope with stress, anxiety, relationship breakdown and bereavement, as well as other issues of mental wellbeing. The helpline also provides information about relevant professional or voluntary bodies, that can offer further practical help and support. Callers can talk 24/7 about any issue that is troubling them, and all advice and support is completely confidential.

Talking about issues impacting wellbeing and especially mental health, is still taboo despite it being widely recognised that the ability to talk openly, and in confidence can have a profound impact toward resolving issues. 

Don’t bottle it up – If you need help – call 0333 000 2082.


Tax Doesn’t Have to be Taxing!

Tax is often complex, annoying, but unfortunatly necessary, which is why as part of your membership the BDA offers a FREE ‘Personal & Commercial Tax Advice’ and ‘Legal Advice’ helpline.
Specifically, experienced advisors are on-hand to offer plain-English advice on all matters legal and tax related - from employment, regulatory matters, personal injury, medical negligence, property, contract disputes and consumer law etc through to advice about the law in England and Wales (24 hours a day 7-days per week).

Having partnered with HMCA (through ARAG plc) the BDA is also able to provide confidential advice on any tax matters affecting your UK tax affairs. This includes advice on self-assessment, income and corporation tax, tax credits, stamp duty, capital gains and inheritance tax and many other taxation issues. Advice about VAT and PAYE compliance is also available for businesses.

For more information about this FREE service visit the benefits section of the BDA website: or call: 0330 303 1860.


BDA - Doing its Bit to Address Skills Shortages

Few in the construction sector would argue against the reality of a growing and chronic shortage of skilled people and that this issue is far more pronounced in the many specialist contractor sectors, such as drilling. Looking at ways to address this issue the BDA developed its apprenticeship scheme, specifically to provide much-needed formal training within the drilling sector, but also to attract candidates to the scheme by making it appealing and above all real-world relevant.

The BDA Apprenticeship Scheme is an 18-month course designed to take a company employee, who is beginning his drilling career, through to the award of the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Land Drilling, level 2, as a Lead Driller. It combines formal off-the-job training and supervised on-the-job training at employer level, followed by an NVQ assessment in a discipline of the employers’ choice. All components of the training have been intensively identified and documented so as to provide, for the first time in the land drilling industry, full exposure on a nationally agreed basis to all the knowledge and skills that a Lead Driller should possess. The Scheme is open to all land drilling sectors and industry enterprises.

For background on the scheme’s development, topics covered and how its various component modules have been organised, a more detailed article is available on the BDA website


In the Press

If you’ve not already come across it, the August/September 2018 issue of Ground Engineering magazine has a good article discussing the results of the 2018 Geotechnical Services Files (GSF). Obviously too much information to summarise here, but it seems the sector is riding the issues of Brexit, skills and HS2 quite well and there’s good cause for optimism for the future.
You can also read the article on the GE website here:


Occupational Health and Construction

In support of its on-going efforts to promote and support Health & Safety in the workplace, the British Drilling Association (BDA) has published a great article from Margaret Grahamslaw, Head of Occupational Health at B&CE, who also presented at the BDA’s 2016 seminar “Long Term Health & Wellbeing”.

Titled “Occupational Health and Construction” the article acknowledges the great strides British industry has made in addressing safety since the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 but argues there is still much to be done in terms of improving health, particularly in construction and its specialist trades. It also maintains that health should be taken as seriously as safety, especially with an ageing workforce and so many small businesses in specialist trades such as drilling, and its importance if we want to keep people well and in work longer.

It’s a great thought-provoking essay and to read it in full visit:

For more information about B&CE visit:


BDA Seminar Series – ‘Solutions for the Future of the Geotechnical Industry’ – 9th October 2018, London.

Not many spaces remain, so book now for the first of the next series of BDA industry seminars - “Solutions for the Future of the Geotechnical Industry”,

The event is being held on 9th October 2018, at the Thistle Barbican Hotel in London and should be this year’s must-attend event for anyone looking to understand and gain valuable insight in to how technology, legislation and regulation will shape the way the drilling sector works in future.  It will also be great for networking too! 

Tickets cost £75.00 per person for BDA Members and £100.00, for non-members.

For more information and to book online please visit or contact the BDA office -


BDA Awards 2018 – Call for Submissions

With a few weeks left before the closing date for entries, there’s still time to send in your submissions for the BDA Awards 2018. Categories available include:

  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - 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 AWARD - 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 AWARD - recognising a recent safety campaign or initiative in the British Drilling industry that has reduced accidents / near misses and improved behavioural safety

The Awards will be presented at the BDA Annual Dinner, which is being held 13th October 2018, at the Mercure St Pauls Hotel and Spa in Sheffield. The awards will be a great opportunity to promote your achievements and celebrate collectively all that is good in the drilling sector. 

Closing date for award entries is 7th September 2018, entry forms are available to download from the BDA website -

BDA Golf Day 2018 – 7th September 2018, Huddersfield

Not yet honed your handicap? Well there’s still time to sign-up for this year’s BDA Golf Day, which is being held 7th September 2018, at Woodsome Hall in Huddersfield.

A great day is planned, teeing off with a bacon butty on arrival, followed by 10 holes in the morning session. A buffet lunch punctuates activities, followed by 18 holes stableford competition. 
A four-course dinner concludes the day, with a prize ceremony for the winners. Specifically, you’ll be playing for the 'Mining', 'Eddie Burke' & 'Les Nichol' trophies, plus two nearest the pin and longest drive awards.

There are not many spaces available, so don’t delay booking your tickets. It will be a great event and is open to all. Entrance costs just £90.00 for BDA members and £100.00 for non-members.

To book your place contact the BDA via

BDA Dinner Dance – 13th October 2018

Tickets are still available for this year’s BDA Dinner Dance, which is being held 13th October, at the Mercure Sheffield St. Paul’s Hotel and Spa.

A great evening or entertainment is planned, commencing 6.30pm with reception drinks, for 7.30pm sit down meal. Entertainment is brought courtesy of ‘The Blame’, one of Manchester’s leading rock, pop, indie and soul cover bands, who are sure to get you on the dancefloor! There will also be a charity raffle, which this year will be in support of Bluebell Wood children’s charity - - and of course the Annual BDA Awards Ceremony will take place during the event.

For more information or to book a ticket visit: or contact the BDA office via


External Events - Supported by the BDA

Transport Geotechnics conference 

The BDA has secured a special discount for BDA members on delegate passes for Ground Engineering’s new Transport Geotechnics conference this autumn.

The conference, which will be held on 3rd October at the Victoria Park Plaza hotel in London, places the spotlight on the design, construction and maintenance of geotechnical assets on transport infrastructure. Co-located with GE’s established Basement and Underground Structures conference, with a shared exhibition and networking area, the event will include discussions from client, consultant and contractor perspectives on the current issues affecting geotechnical assets.

The keynote speech will be delivered by Christina Jackson, Jacobs technical director for ground engineering, who will look at the challenges and opportunities for the industry. Our very own Chair, Martyn Brocklesby, will also be involved in the “Power Panel” discussion about “rising to the challenge of delivering future projects on time, on cost and with technical excellence”, which is aimed at considering and debating matters of best practice in the geotechnical sector. Case study presentations will give detailed insight into the construction of the Bexhill North Access Road, Cambrian rock cutting, A9 dualling project and the A19 Coast Road. 

For details and booking information, visit and use the code BDA20 to get 20% DISCOUNT off the ticket price. The discount is only available on new bookings.

Contamination Expo 2018

The BDA is pleased to announce its support for ‘The Contamination Expo Series’, Europe’s largest event designed to showcase the latest environmental innovations that further the prevention of contamination and the protection of water, land and air.  

This must-attend event will feature over 150 innovative environmental suppliers; 120 hours of CPD-accredited seminars; interactive masterclasses; one-to-one advice from industry experts; unparalleled networking opportunities, and much more. Guests can filter between areas dedicated to hazardous materials, land remediation, spill response, clean air technology, geotechnical, nuclear decommissioning and more. Over 15,000 decision makers are expected to attend the show from the UK, Europe and further afield.

The event will take place 12-13 September 2018, at the NEC, Birmingham, FREE tickets are available directly from  the Contamination Expo Series website -

BDA Supports AGS Ground Risk Seminar

The BDA is pleased to be supporting the AGS ‘Ground Risk: Why Take Chance?’ event, which is being held Wednesday 12th September 2018 at Cavendish Conference Centre, London.

This full day conference, organised by the AGS, will provide a focus on how ground risk can be identified, quantified, and measured for the whole project team using cutting edge technology allied with professional experience. It’ll also look at the legal aspects of contaminated land and specific areas where we can improve the quality of assessment and the risk associated with getting it wrong.

The conference is aimed at attendees involved in development projects - from concept and planning through to implementation - not solely for geotechnical and contamination specialists, to help drive a change in the way ground risk is considered in the UK and beyond.

Tickets are priced £109 for AGS members and £179 for non-AGS members. Prices exclude VAT. Event registration closes on Tuesday 4th September. For more information contact Caroline Kratz on 0208 658 8212 or email

NCE Flood Management 2018 Conference 

The BDA is pleased to be partnering New Civil Engineer's Flood Management 2018 Conference, which is being held 21-22 November 2018 at the Bloomsbury Hotel, London.

Now in its 14th year, the Flood Management Forum provides the definitive voice for the industry and provides a unique opportunity to hear the latest guidance and strategy, as well as bringing together the major stakeholders and decision makers to share best practice and innovation in flood management and climate resilience.

By attending you will:

  • Gain an assessment of the current funding strategy and hear innovative approaches to accessing new streams of funding
  • Case studies from across the UK providing solutions to shared challenges
  • Learn about the opportunities presented in the new procurement framework
  • Meet with 150+ leaders and influencers from key stakeholders including Defra, Environment Agency, LLFAs, LEPs, drainage boards, water companies and the entire supply chain.

BDA Members qualify for a DISCOUNT of 20% - simply quote code PARTNER2018 when making your booking.

Details of the event can be found:

IMTS the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2018

The BDA is pleased to be supporting IMTS, the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2018, which is being held 10 - 15 September 2018, Chicago, USA.

IMTS is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, featuring more than 2,400 exhibiting companies and welcoming more than 115,000 visitors.  

For more details about the event, to register for the IMTS 2018 or the associated conference, visit

Proud to Support NCE Tunnelling Festival 2018

The BDA is pleased to be supporting, New Civil Engineer’s (NCE) Tunnelling Festival 2018, which is being held 6th December 2018, at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London.
The Tunnelling Festival brings together NCE’s Tunnelling Summit and Tunnelling Awards, into a new event for 2018. The interactive Festival will gather the thought-leaders, decision-makers and young engineers from the entire tunnelling community to network and share innovation and best practice across major UK and global tunnelling and underground projects.

For more information and to book your ticket/s, visit 

Proud to Support Brownfield Redevelopment North Event

A 10% discount is available to BDA members wishing to attend or exhibit at the Brownfield Redevelopment North Event being held 7th November, Leeds at the Park Plaza.

Brownfield Briefing is pleased to be returning to Leeds with this informative one-day conference, providing updated policy, technical and funding solutions to help reduce the risks and potential costs of brownfield and contaminated land development, increasing investor and developer confidence; and so maximising viability.

This regionally-focused event will bring together local authority planning, regeneration and contaminated land officers, developers, policy-makers and other stakeholders to explore the effective use of available planning and funding mechanisms, solutions to overcome viability barriers such as uncertain ground conditions and contamination risk, and provide cost-effective and compliant remediation and waste management solutions  

With a specific regional focus on brownfield development and regeneration projects across the whole of the North of England, a large part of the programme consists of case studies and "real-life" projects, demonstrating successful partnership approaches to unlocking brownfield land and maximising growth and effective delivery. 

Details of the event can be found:

To qualify for your 10% DISCOUNT off the standard delegate or exhibitor rate use code BDA10 and email or call their sales team on +44 (0)203 637 2191.


And finally…

We Need Your Safety Alerts!

If you have any safety alerts, please email them directly to the BDA Secretariat –


Also, 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

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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