Meet our Make it Safe team – Five questions, five minutes
05 Oct 2020
For the third in our ‘Health and Safety’ meet the team we’re off over the border to our Boxshop site, in East Kilbride.
This is where David Milligan, Compliance Manager, takes care of all things Health and Safety, and this is his ‘Five questions in five minutes’.
How long have you worked in H&S and how long at Boxshop
I have been involved with Health and Safety for around 30 years as I was previously employed as Operations Manager in a molten metal high risk environment which included various hazardous chemical processes and the handling of 400-500 tonnes of steel per week by overhead cranes. I have been employed at the Boxshop for over 9 years and I am responsible for Health and Safety in conjunction with the maintenance of all company equipment and assets with the maintenance team.
Have you seen a change in the emphasis of H&S in the workplace during your career/recent years
I have seen a significant transformation regarding H&S in my working life. Health & Safety was suffered, rather than seen as a priority. For various reasons it has increased in importance throughout all industries for both moral and legal reasons. Companies increasingly see the benefit to the business of having a positive Health & Safety culture as this goes hand in hand with productivity and efficiency. A positive health & safety climate is conducive to increased productivity and staff wellbeing and a positive working environment where people feel valued and safe. Now our staff understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure Health and Safety policies are complied with at all times.
What do you believe to be the most important part of your role
Employee empowerment through education achieved by provision of information, training and instruction and, of course, providing employees with a safe working environment so that they come to work knowing they are part of an organisation that listens to their opinions and encourages their participation in improvements.
What qualifications do you have pertaining to the role and what are you working towards?
We are lucky in that there are lots of training options available in this line of work and I currently have NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety, NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management, IOSH Managing Occupational Health and Wellbeing Certificate, IOSH Behavioural Safety Leadership Certificate, City & Guilds Manual Handling Instructor Assessor Certificate and Professional Certificate in Management from the Open University. All have had a very positive impact on my role, and I am now working on implementing improvements from the IOSH Behavioural Safety leadership Certificate course as to how I support our employees.
How has the ‘Make it Safe’ initiative impacted on H&S operations at Boxshop
The ‘Make it Safe’ initiative provided us with an opportunity to step back and reconsider the whole working environment and challenge existing concepts regarding our use of space and ways of work & working practices. As a result, although we have just completed the transition from ISO 18001 to ISO 45001, the initiative has resulted in a safer working environment and contributes to an ongoing improvement in our safety attitude and culture. This also provided another opportunity for employee involvement in process improvements which contributed to their understanding of their ability to influence the process.
With 119 employees, it is clear that David is a key part of the team, and continues to be instrumental in the ongoing safety successes at Boxshop.