The website demolitionnews.com, based in the UK, has an opinion piece about demolitions in Christchurch. It looks at the tension between working as quickly as possible to deconstruct or demolish unsafe structures, and protecting workers from hazards on the job – especially aftershocks.
Pressure to save old buildings, or get buildings down quickly, will increase the hazard risk. As the article mentions, those working on the timeball station had a narrow escape. Deconstruction of old stone and brick buildings has proven too risky; it would be better to say goodbye and just bring them down. Big modern buildings should be brought down in however long it takes to do it safely. Artificial deadlines, such as getting ready for Show Week, arise only from the desire of some to make money. The safety of workers is more important than that.
The article New Zealand and the Safety Paradox is here.