New Operations Manager appointed at Alpha Chemical Technologies site in Stafford
Meet the Maintenance Team
Michael has one of the most unique stories in the HEX Group, having, in one form or another, been with us 3 times. He first joined in 1992, working as a general operative on the night shift in Alpha Manufacturing, where he recalls at the time, he was one of only 3 shift staff, and there was only one punch machine. He soon progressed to shift supervisor, running the then, weekend shift to support some of our earliest work for British Telecommunications.
Seeking a new challenge, Michael then spent time at JCB. It was here where he found his calling: Health and Safety. Having suffered a nasty accident very early in his career while working in the electrical industry, Michael had a keener eye than most for health and safety, and it was in this role he would eventually find his way back to Alpha. In 2013, he re-joined the business as Health and Safety Officer, leading inductions for new starters and implementing management systems that have transformed the business even to this day.
“It’s definitely one of the most rewarding things about the job now. Those systems that I helped put in place nearly 10 years ago are still there now, and we’re still seeing results. Of course, it was tough, and I can now say with experience I was a bit fresh faced and fiery, but I learnt a lot along the way and it’s really satisfying to see the cultural impact it’s had on the business”.
“People really are the biggest asset of any business. At the end of the day, we’re all working towards one goal. To keep our people safer and have them leave at the end of the day in the same condition they arrived. Yes, we have a job to do, but it’s about doing that job safely. That has always been my biggest thing. One of the things I’m most proud of is our accidents record. We’ve seen a sizeable reduction in accidents since I first started and to have our commitment to health and safety recognised with ISO 18001 accreditation is something we should all be proud of. It shows not only that this is a safe place to work, but that as a business, we’re committed to our people.”
Michael departed in 2017, seeking a new challenge and to broaden his knowledge-base, continuing as Health and Safety Officer, but this time in the steel industry.
In 2022, Michael returned to an entirely different role, as Group Environment, Health and Safety and Sustainability manager. This new role reinforced the health and safety commitment of the HEX Group, while also recognising the changing landscape we work in, addressing our responsibilities to the environment and sustainable processes.
“I was really excited to be back. The new role has brought new challenges and there’s no doubt it’s going to take a lot of work to reach the ambitious targets that we have set as a business. But that’s also the most exciting thing about the job. It’s really rewarding work and I really feel like I’m making a difference. It’s now just about engaging everyone within the business to work towards those common goals, getting different ideas and getting people to buy into what we’re doing.
"I know better than most that cultural change takes time but once it’s in place the rewards are there for all to see. It’s now about getting people to buy in and work together towards that common goal, 2037, 2050 and beyond, and that is a joy to be a part of. I’ve always said, and I suppose this is why I have ended up back here time and again, that this is a company of doers, not sayers. When we say we’re going to do something, we do it. And I’m so proud to continue to play a role in some of those things."