“My overriding objective is to make sure that everyone at AJN is working in the safest way possible. Our team’s directive (at both Henstridge and Kentford) is to eliminate the risk where possible and reduce the accident frequency rate year-on-year! Creating a great Safety Culture is what it’s all about.”

Those are the words of Alex Field, our Health and Safety Manager, based in Henstridge, and they have never been more appropriate and meaningful than during the current coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

As soon as the government started to give advice about the impending pandemic, the Safety Team – working closely with AJNs directors – sprang into action and very quickly began to carefully implement some basic control measures.

“With advice and guidance changing on an almost daily basis during the early stages we made it a priority to ensure that we communicated as much as possible with all of our staff, constantly adapting to the new guidelines and making sure that everyone was being looked after and kept as safe as possible.

“Internal Risk Assessments were also drawn up and constantly reviewed to ensure AJN was inline with the latest government advice and we were doing everything that we could to keep our crews fit and well, and to help keep the business going. Everyone pulled together really well, directors, managers and the main workforce all worked together with the guidance and new rules.”

AJN’s procurement team also stepped up to ensure that everyone working at and with AJN could do so in a safe and Covid-19 compliant way by sourcing some amazing deals with suppliers for an ongoing provision of PPE including gloves, masks, hand sanitiser stations and refills. All deserving a big thanks!

Extra stand-alone sinks for washing hands and extra external WCs and locker rooms were also brought in and AJNs maintenance teams went into overdrive ensuring that floor markings were put down and safety screens were installed in the offices.

“I’m incredibly proud of my colleagues and everyone I work with here”, adds Alex. “Everyone has adapted and performed really well to the new way of working. As new advice has been issued and communicated to our teams everyone has kicked up a gear or two to make sure we are all doing our bit. Our admin teams have become a force to be reckoned with taking the role of door supervisors and ensuring that everyone keeps two meters apart in communal areas at the start of every shift.

“I think everyone at AJN should be really proud of themselves for all that they have done to keep our personnel – and our customers – as safe and risk free as possible.”

Covid-19 issues aside, the safety of staff, suppliers and customers working in or around a steel stockyard, is of paramount importance and a prime objective for Alex and the Health & Safety managers and coordinators.

“Essentially, we tri-age the everyday activities, from high risk to low, look at all the normal everyday activities of the company and not only evaluate any risks associated with those tasks, but once identified, we aim to drive those risks out so that we all work in the safest way possible.” Says Alex.

“We never look for quick fixes. For example, if you eliminate the risk on one area, you must be sure you are not creating another unintended issue in another area. It is vital that we take a 360-degree view of all our risk mitigation measures to ensure we are all safe at work.

“I’m also really proud to say that our AJN team helped us accomplish EN ISO:45001:2018 Health & Safety Standard, last year. And I want to say thank you and well done too everyone in the workplace who helped us make that possible. It’s a great step for AJN and I’m proud to be part of a great team. We just have to make sure that these standards are now maintained!”

Before joining AJN, Alex worked in the automotive industry for a few years and before that,  overseas for 15 years as a security and safety consultant in Latin America and the Middle East for various industries, including both the British and American embassies in some of the world’s hottest hotspots.

In his free time, Alex is an avid reader of swashbuckling novels of the sixteenth century and is a martial arts enthusiast. Modesty prevents Alex from calling himself an expert, but he used to teach Aikido – a traditional Japanese martial art.

That’s ‘expert’ enough for us. Thanks Alex.


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