The British Drilling Association (BDA) is the UK's trade association for the ground drilling industry.

Current Issues

At any one time we are dealing with a variety of industry matters, some new but many ongoing. The list below is not exhaustive and enquiry should be made to the BDA on any item not listed.

Hazardous Gases - Coal areas

An incident in 2005, whereby two elderly people died overnight from carbon monoxide poisoning adjacent to an air flush drilling site on coal measures, has given rise to the formation of a working party to produce guidance on drilling into coal. The working party, principally Coal Authority, Health & Safety Executive and BDA, is producing a document titled "Guidance on Managing the Risk of Hazardous Gases when Drilling or Piling Near Coal". The document will be published in early 2011.

Coal Authority permission has to be obtained when drilling into its property. For further details click here. Water flush is generally required when property and public is nearby. Please also read the HSE Position Statement.


Current Issues ShaftsIn 2009 a drill rig and its steel platform disappeared into a shaft that collapsed in North Wales. The drilling operatives stepped off just in time.

You can see the drill rods and flushing hoses. The rotary rig was not found even though the ground was excavated subsequently to 13 metres to cap the shaft.

BDA together with Coal Authority will be producing guidance for shaft drilling works. A major review on platform requirements and design will be addressed in the guidance.

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