A Day In The Life Of A DIamond Driller

No day is the same, from one end of the country to the other, one project to the next. A diamond drilling operative can be working on a historic site, a much needed hospital improvement or cutting concrete on the highways, the work is varied and can be both indoors and out.

For one day, we followed Castle and Pryor’s Diamond Drilling Operative, Luke Biard as he spent his ‘typical’ day drilling holes and cutting concrete. Luke has been working with Castle & Pryor for the last three years.

05:30 I’m used to early starts and it means I beat the traffic and don’t have the hassles that I would in an ordinary office job. My van has all the equipment required for each job and if I need anything else, I usually pick it up the night before from head office.

06:00 I’m usually on the road after a hot coffee by six, heading straight to my first job of the day, most sites start at 08:00, sometimes 07:30. On every job I get a brief from my Supervisor the day before and then I’m given the paperwork to do the job, equally when I’m at the site things can come up so I always have an assigned Contracts Manager who I can call at any time.

In every job there are risks and although I have gone through a formal risk assessment, before I start my job I am always really careful for my own safety and for my work colleagues and actually anyone that is on the site; you have to be really sensible and I know that is my responsibility.

08:00The job today is at Reading Viaduct in Berkshire and is for a regular Castle and Pryor client, Balfour Beatty. After the induction, which lasts about two hours, I’m permitted to work on the site. The induction covered the health and safety aspects and the important things I need to know about the project; if I miss the induction I can’t work on site – so it’s really important that I attend.

10:00 Before I start the job it’s very important that I also complete a ‘Dynamic Risk Assessment’. This covers specific safety factors and potential risks within my working area, I have to complete this every day that I’m working on the site as the environment can change. The form that I complete covers more than 30 points and is then signed off by the Site Manager. I can then get on and set up the drill, which takes about 20 minutes.

The holes are marked-up by the client, I never mark up the points, even when asked, as this is the responsibility of the client and there may be site specific facts and issues that I am not aware of.

13:00 When I take lunch I might leave to get lunch or stay on-site, but it’s usually a good time to chat with the client and see if there’s work elsewhere, I tend to feed that back to the office.

13:30 After lunch it’s time to get on with some saw cutting and although the marking-out has been completed by the client, I counter scribe their mark with the diamond saw blade about 10mm deep to the full length of the cut, in this case 25 linear metres. This helps me to follow the line accurately just in case the mark is removed unexpectedly. This is common practice, we all do this, then I start cutting deeper, to a depth of about 25mm-30mm. I repeat this over and over again until I’ve reached 150mm.

16:30 After a full day's work in the fresh air I’m ready to head home. Firstly I check my emails and then I drop the floor saw and trailer back to head office and it looks as though I’ll be heading to Heathrow for my next project. Unfortunately I’m not flying anywhere exotic, but will be working on new gates for the airbus A380.