“It’s important to use common sense to strike a balance. There’s no point overloading businesses with paperwork and additional tasks they don’t need to do – keeping health and safety simple is the best way forward for everyone.”
Q&A with David
I think the best way of describing my role is helping companies with their safe systems of work, how to implement them to ensure their staff and other persons on their site go home safely, as well as assisting them to comply with their statutory requirements by offering practical advice.
Some people assume it’s a boring job, I deal with so many different types of organisations all over the UK from small family business’s to large PLC’s so I get to meet a variety of people and their requirements.
My dad started the company in 1978 and Milne was my mother’s maiden name, so that’s where it came from. He just wanted something a bit different!
I actually trained as a chef at college. I did a few years in the catering trade – I was OK, but no Jamie Oliver! I then went on to work at the front of house for a few different hotels.
I took a job at a hotel in Barnham Broom where I already played golf, and they even offered me a golf package as part of the role. When they realised I had good communication skills, they offered me the chance to take a training qualification. I thought it was a great opportunity, not really knowing what it would lead to.
At the same time my dad was really busy with his business, but didn’t have enough time to dedicate to the industrial chemicals side of things. So I joined and took over running that part of Milne Safety.
It all went on from there – I got more qualifications as regulations changed over the years and the business got bigger and bigger. Now I’m dedicated to the safety side of the business, but as a company director, I get to oversee everything.
I get a real sense of pride from being involved and assisting small organisations improve their safety, to working on large projects such as the 2012 Olympic Games for BMW, who built a glass structure over the River Lea.
No generally there aren’t any, sometimes I do get people who don’t buy into Safety, but that’s the challenge to convert them which I relish, and then seeing that. I enjoy all the aspects of the industry, no to days are the alike.
Mary works as our HR consultant, so she approached me about joining The People Kit.
Clients are always asking where they can get help with different services and we pride ourselves on being able to provide solutions, so having a network of people on hand is ideal.
Myself and Mary have passed a few referrals to each other which have worked out really well.
I think I’ll also work quite closely with Rachel, because there’s a clear link between what we do at Milne Safety and occupational health.
COSHH looks at the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health. Businesses where employees work with hazardous substances legally have to carry out assessments, and we help with that.
So for example, we work with timber mills that generate lots of sawdust, engineers who use oil and grease, industries producing gases or vapours, and all sorts of businesses using cleaning materials.
Milne Marketing Limited is well equipped at operating in a variety of commercial sectors; with our consultancy, training and Health surveillance being successful in all sizes of organisations ranging from; engineering, haulage, joinery, sawmills, warehouses, production, shops, construction, window manufacturing, automotive trades, local authorities, waste management, retail, hotels, food industry and the leisure industry.
You can’t really make it fun, but it’s important to use common sense to strike a balance. There’s no point overloading businesses with paperwork and additional tasks they don’t need to do – keeping health and safety simple is the best way forward for everyone.
Apart from spending time with my family, the biggest thing I do outside of work is play golf.