Alan Dransfield's Blog

Alan Dransfield's Blog

Freedom of Information and Health and Safety

This blog is aimed at shaming those who ignore health and safety and those who abuse the Freedom of Information Act out of laziness, corruption or to cover up incompetence.

The Olympic Stadium capacity/cost needs to be investigated

Olympic StadiumPosted by Sheila Oliver Thu, September 03, 2015 06:38:23

Email sent 2/9/15

Sports Ground Safety Authority

Dear Sirs

Please see the Newham Council Sports Stadium Safety Certificate for the subject title and in particular I draw you attention to the crowd capacity of 35,000 in appendix 2.

It beggars belief this stadium has cost £1/2 billion and has a capacity of a stadium built in the last century.

It is inconceivable that the Stadium will be expected to have only 35,000 spectators at any one given time, e.g.forthcoming Rugby World Cup and West Ham home games; hence I call upon the Sports Stadium Authority to investigate this irregularity regarding the stadium capacity.

With thanks

Yours sincerely

Alan M Dransfield



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Cost of Olympic Stadium £580m

Olympic StadiumPosted by Sheila Oliver Thu, September 03, 2015 06:35:17


Email sent to Mayor London 02/09/15 22.56

Dear Mr Mayor

Can help thinking 1/2 billion pounds for a 35K capacity crowd does not meet good value guidelines.

With

Thanks

Alan M Dransfield

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/jan/06/olympic-stadium-costs-balfour-beatty

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Is it insured?

Olympic StadiumPosted by Sheila Oliver Sat, December 27, 2014 17:31:54

Email sent - 25 October 2014 06:57

Attn the CEO of West Ham Football Club

Dear Madam.

As you are aware, your stadium is proposed to be used for next year’s Rugby Cup Final and in particular 1/2 doz qualifying games.

I also understand that owing to the recent renovation of the stadium works by Balfour Beatty your sports ground will be roofless for these games.

This leads me to consider your stadium will not be provisioned with any Lightning Protection Systems (LPS) for the World Cup because the stadium was/is designed to utilise the roof material (aluminum) as the LPS Finials.

This can be verified by the approved LPS Risk Assessment for the second phase of the Olympic Stadium. Would you be so kind as to provide me with a PDF copy of your Lightning Risk Assessment please?

In the event your stadium was struck by lightning during the World Cup, I shudder to think the consequences of 75,000 spectators devoid of any Lightning Protection System. Is your public liability insurance company aware of this?

With thanks

Yours sincerely

Alan M Dransfield

PS

I have included the Balfour Beatty National Manager for Health and Safety in my mailing list.

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£580m but is it fit for purpose?

Olympic StadiumPosted by Sheila Oliver Sat, December 27, 2014 17:28:35

Email sent - 25 October 2014 06:45

Dear Mr Bradshaw

Cost of Olympic Stadium hits £580m after green light for final phase | Sport | The Guardian


Quelle surprise Balfour Beatty have overshot the budget on the subject title .
Such fiscal cock-ups are a secondary issue.

I have serious concern for public safety of the Rugby World Cup spectators using this particular stadium for 5 matches next summer.


Please see the following article which reveals Balfour Beatty intend to withdraw from this stadium which leaves the stadium roofless for the Rugby World Cup.
It would automatically follow that the stadium would not be provisioned with any Lightning Protection System.


I fully realise this is outside your remit but I wish my MP to alert the appropriate oversight authorities owing to the life threatening potential


For your information action and files


Yours sincerely


Alan M Dransfield
http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/jan/06/olympic-stadium-costs-balfour-beatty

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London Mayor informed of the dangers

Olympic StadiumPosted by Sheila Oliver Sat, December 27, 2014 16:53:24

Email sent 29 October 2014 14:39

Dear Sir

Further to my recent email ref the subject title.

Please see the following article which confirms the Stadium will be roofless for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

It would automatically follow the stadium will not be provisioned with any Lightning Protection Systems.

For your information, urgent action and files.

Alan M Dransfield.

http://www.building.co.uk/news/balfour-beatty-strikes-%C2%A336m-deal-over-olympic-stadium-cost-rises/5071669.article

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London Legacy Authority informed of the dangers

Olympic StadiumPosted by Sheila Oliver Sat, December 27, 2014 16:50:11

Email sent - 29 October 2014 15:12
London Legacy Authority (LLA)

Dear Sirs

I call upon the London Legacy Authority to initiate a full safety audit on the Queen Elizabeth Stadium before it is used in the Rugby Cup Finals next year.

In particular, I draw your attention to the fact the stadium will be roofless during the World Cup owing to the delays with the project refurbishment by Balfour Beatty.

It would automatically follow that the stadium would be devoid of any Lightning Protection Systems period.

As you are aware, this stadium was subject to a FOIA case in which the LLA and the FTT refused my FOIA request based on national security.

Quite frankly, national security is about as absurd as a roofless Stadium with 75,000 people inside. The worst case scenario if this stadium took a direct lightning strike next year, it is possible for dozens or hundred of deaths and serious injuries.

The Rugby Union Sports Stadium Safety Authority are turning a blind eye to this very serious crime.

For your information, urgent action and files.

You have been warned

Yours sincerely

Alan M Dransfield.

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Rugby ruling bodies informed

Olympic StadiumPosted by Sheila Oliver Sat, December 27, 2014 16:45:34

Email sent - 30 October 2014 07.01

Attn of the the Rugby Union Stadium Safety Authority and the London Legacy Authority

Dear Sirs

Further to my recent claims ref the subject title. I have received confirmation from one of the World’s leading lightning protection experts, who supports my theory that the QEOS will be devoid of any Lightning Protection Systems should the stadium be used for Public Events without a roof.

This is because the original design included the roof material to act as the Lightning Protection Finials.

I am of the opinion that the principle contractor for the stadium, Balfour Beatty Group have hooswinked the stadium oversight authorities ref the lightning protection at this stadium. Ditto for a large number of other public funded projects and premises.

I repeat, this stadium is unsafe and unfit for public events in its current roofless position.

I would strongly recommend that the QEOS is not used for any public

events until the Stadium Roof is 100% complete. This stadium should not be used for the Rugby World Cup next year.

I reiterate the worst case scenario (WCS) during the Rugby World Cup. Dozens, even hundreds of supporters could be injured or killed should the Stadium take a direct lightning strike during a rugby game.

A very similar situation is apparent at the Exeter Chief Rugby Stadium, also built by Balfour Beatty and also scheduled for use in the Rugby World Cup.

I am of the opinion the Rugby Safety Authority are turning a blind eye to serious and life threatening lightning danger.

Please note, I have included Balfour Beatty National Safety Manager in this mailing list ie Mr Bobby Brown who has been instrumental in willful circumvention of the BS/EN 62305/2008 nationwide on Balfour Beatty projects..

For your information, action and files.

With thanks

Yours sincerely

Alan M Dransfield.

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Balfour Beatty's Olympic Roof Saga

Olympic StadiumPosted by Sheila Oliver Sat, December 27, 2014 16:40:32
Balfour Beatty's Olympic roof saga has familiar ring to it

29 October, 2014 | By Michael Sergeant

The soaring cost of the firm’s contract to strengthen the Olympic Stadium’s roof is a case of history repeating, but does Balfour face the same risks as those of previous stadia deals?

· Why stadia are so problematic

· Who bears the risk of innovation?

· Balfour engineers more favourable deal

· Was Tottenham Hotspur’s idea better?

The news that Balfour Beatty has been promised a further £36m to cover the costs of extra roof-strengthening work as part of the Olympic Stadium conversion so it can be used by West Ham may sound uncannily familiar.

Back in the late 90s, John Laing managed to lose £26m building Cardiff Millennium Stadium and the company was sold shortly afterwards to Ray O’Rourke for £1.

A few years later Multiplex ran into difficulties with Wembley Stadium, leading to one of the most expensive and protracted court battles in an industry that is no stranger to bitterly fought litigation.

Why stadia are so problematic

So what is it about sports stadia that leads so often to spectacular legal disputes?

These projects often incorporate new and, therefore, untested design features, which are also technically complex – especially when it comes to the roof.

The Millennium Stadium used a complex retractable roof and Wembley incorporated an iconic, load-bearing arch.

“Innovation in design, of course, means risk – but the key question from a contractual and legal perspective is: who takes that risk?”

These novel design features underpinned many of the difficulties experienced by the contractors and drove the delays and cost increases.

The problems now being experienced with the Olympic Stadium rebuild also seem to emanate from the roof.

To be used as a football stadium, the seating needs to extend over the athletics track area; this, in turn, means the roof needs to be extended.

This involves constructing the largest cantilever roof in the world. Indeed, the project reportedly involves the use of technology similar to that incorporated on North Sea oil rigs.

Who bears the risk of innovation?

So, yet again, we have a stadium project involving a pioneering and cutting-edge roof design.

Innovation in design, of course, means risk – but the key question from a contractual and legal perspective is: who takes that risk?

Cardiff and Wembley were both largely ‘fixed-price’ projects with the contractor taking design risk.

With such contracts, if the design development proves problematic, resulting in alterations to the method of construction and delay, then the contractor picks up the tab.

Balfour engineers more favourable deal

But with the Olympic Stadium, the press reports suggest there is some flexibility with the contractor’s costs, hence the additional chunk of cash being paid to Balfour to resolve the roof problems.

“There are many factors associated with this project which indicate that even in the context of football stadiums, it is a high-risk job”

It is hardly surprising, in view of the disastrous history of football stadium projects, that Balfour has managed to negotiate a more favourable risk allocation in relation to the roof design.

It seems likely that design risk will have been left largely in the hands of the employer, with Balfour being compensated for costs and delays arising because of the necessary changes and design development.

There are, after all, many factors associated with this project which indicate that even in the context of football stadiums, it is a high-risk job.

Was Tottenham Hotspur’s idea better?

The stadium was not originally designed with this subsequent transformation in mind.

Bolting on such a major roof extension is therefore not something a contractor would ever, in its right mind, have proposed to begin with.

It should be remembered that Tottenham Hotspur’s rival bid effectively involved dismantling the stadium completely and starting again.

That proposal received a lot of public criticism because it appeared wasteful and extravagant. But it can often be the case that starting from scratch is cheaper in the long run.

Michael Sergeant is a partner in the construction team at HFW and the author of Construction Contract Variations

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