As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape corporate learning curves nationwide, we would like to share with you details of the measures we have taken to deliver successful results for our customers in these extraordinary times.
EPC-UK has always considered safety to be its fundamental operating principle and, due to monitoring international activity via the EPC Groupe business, we were quick to respond to the Government’s social distancing guidelines announced in March 2020. Always putting the wellbeing of our employees, customers and associates first, we have strived to continue specialist processes and services and have intently implemented a range of safety measures – both recommended and self-realised – across our sites and business functions.
“The very nature of our operation has led EPC-UK team members to think using a ‘safety first’ approach,” explains Ben Williams, EPC-UK Managing Director. “So, adopting the new social distancing methodology has readily become familiar practice for us all.
“From applying safety initiatives such as ‘virtual sign in and out’ processes within quarry environments to minimise human contact, to conducting ‘on bench briefings’ to plan jobs and discuss risks prior to charging a hole, our operating teams have made social distancing measures second nature functions.”
Ben goes on to describe further new systems that have become our new operating standards; such as the introduction of in-cab Perspex screens to keep both our drivers and passengers safely separated, the regular sanitation of all vehicle touch points, thorough risk assessments company-wide, and shared HSE guidance to ensure all employees are constantly updated regarding the latest advice and instruction.
The professional approach we are taking to implement and follow new best-practice measures has rewarded EPC-UK with enthusiastic appraisals from companies it’s worked to support since social distancing measures were put in place.
Partnering with Imerys
Ed Buscombe, Mobile Plant Manager at the UK division of Imerys – a world leader in mineral-based specialties – speaks of how impressed he’s been with EPC-UK’s commitment to working safely to maintain service and results:
“The EPC team’s competence throughout these challenging times has been exemplary,” he says, “as it’s continued to provide Imerys with uninterrupted, full rock-on-ground solutions for drilling and blasting services.
“Following the implementation of safeguarding measures introduced by EPC-UK and Imerys, we were – and continue to be – able to meet current demands. We’re delighted to report that due to the practicing measures that were quickly put in place, the overall result has been that nothing has changed during the pandemic.
“This achievement has further reinforced the level of confidence we have in EPC-UK to apply technical expertise and invaluable lines of communication that not only support our customers’ demand but improve costs wherever possible.”
Strong communications with Hanson
Similarly, Mark Gibbons, National Operations Director – Aggregates at leading supplier of heavy building materials, Hanson, has had a positive experience of dealing with EPC-UK in recent months, particularly in terms of our commitment to effective communications:
“Historically, we’ve brought EPC-UK on board to supply Hanson with explosives, shot firers, and explosive supervisors,” Mark explains.
“To date, the team has successfully helped to optimise blasting techniques, with the aid of drones, profiling and detailed drill patterns, with exacting levels of specialist work completed prior to the pandemic that ensured operations were safe and services were maintained.
“Once the severity of the COVID-19 situation became apparent, EPC-UK prioritised regular communications and were completely transparent, giving us reassurance that our resources were aligned and put to best use during a challenging time.
“The same class of professionalism and commitment was applied to our production levels, with Hanson keeping EPC-UK fully informed as to which of its sites were open and when, so safe operations could continue to be performed.
“Communications between both companies has increased rather than decreased during this unparalleled episode, which in turn has served to develop our relationship even further.”
We have been gratified to learn from these positive customer testimonials that the unified approach teams across EPC-UK have taken to not just comply with regulations during the pandemic, but seek out solutions designed to improve services and relationships, has been successful.
“We have applied and embraced new business practices in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of which are likely to become new operational norms.
“We’ve learnt how to safely and effectively perform for our customers in the current climate and have adopted additional methods which, as the ‘new normal’ continues to evolve, will serve us well; increasing both our business and safety resilience and strengthening our highly specialist industry offering.”