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Benefits of NDA Membership Come Alive Through Active Involvement

Demolition-specific safety programs, industry advocacy and networking with fellow professionals are just a few of the benefits of becoming involved in the association.

 By: Ben Hayden 

When my brothers Brian and Nick and I took over as co-owners of Hayden Wrecking in Washington Park, IL, we thought the time was right to get more out of our company's long-time membership in the National Demolition Association (NDA).  

Our grandfather, William Hayden, founded the business in 1945 after returning home from World War II.  Our father, Ron, understood the value of partnering with other professionals in the demolition industry and when the NDA was established in 1973, Hayden Wrecking became a founding member. 

Although he was very active in the association, as the years passed, our company became less involved.  But that all changed when we finally decided the time was right to take advantage of our membership.  We wanted to see how other people within our industry are doing business. We wanted to get a new perspective on running a demolition business and we knew aligning ourselves with others who are facing the same challenges and problems we do could be very beneficial to our company. 

The fact is that until we took the step to volunteer with the NDA, we didn't fully grasp the value of our membership.  We didn't realize all the things that the NDA is doing to provide safety education to its members or the advocacy role it plays working positively and closely with OSHA and the EPA. 

For a relatively smaller company like ours, we depend on much of the safety materials the NDA provides its members.  We also are so appreciative that fellow members, especially those safety professionals who are members of the NDA Safety Committee, are so willing to share their knowledge.  

We're not a large enough company to support a full-time safety director, so we use a third-party safety consultant.  But the demolition industry is so specific, that we often find we're training those we bring in to oversee our safety compliance. That's why the knowledge sharing with people who have had challenges and handled them successfully is so important. 

The way we've been able to take best advantage of our membership has been by attending Board Meetings and conventions regularly, as well as volunteering on different committees within the association.  Right now I'm on the Education Committee and working towards promoting the message that a career in the demolition industry can be a great way to contribute to the environment, make a living, and be engaged in an interesting occupation. 

I think that the NDA should continue to support demolition industry education in higher learning settings such as our program at Purdue University.  But I also think it's important to reach out to young people in high school who may not intend to attend college but who are looking for satisfying, interesting work.  Our industry has a constant need for hard-working laborers and operators who are part of the backbone of the industry. 

At Hayden Wrecking, we value our membership and use it to market ourselves.  We think it legitimizes our company as one which belongs to a professional organization that itself is completely dedicated to demolition safety, environmental stewardship and response in case of disasters. 

In my opinion, the NDA is pushing the industry forward, making it better, and raising the bar for all of in this great industry.

About the author: Ben Hayden is co-owner of Hayden Wrecking, a nationwide full-service demolition, dismantling and asset recovery company based in metropolitan St. Louis, MO. The website is


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