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Ben Williams’s January Industry Update

Jan 29, 2024

As EPC-UK welcomes the positive potential that 2024 can deliver, I would like to thank every member of our team for their commitment to making another series of our New Year Safety Kick Offs an outstanding success, both for our employees and our culture.

2024’s culture of trust

January delivery of these nationwide, safety focussed events takes place annually, marking the start of the EPC-UK year. 2024’s Safety Kick Off messaging has prioritised health, safety and wellbeing as our company continues to develop its culture of trust — the ethos that enables us to perform business confidently and competently. In these sessions, team member opinions and perspectives are always encouraged and utilised, as respecting them is necessary to achieving our goal of performing as an interdependent organisation and a safe place of work. This culture is the EPC way and I value its ability to inspire every individual employed to look out for and trust one another. By making disciplined procedures integral to our ways of working, and matching them with behaviours of trust, we will, throughout 2024, continue to maintain our trust focussed culture and the positive role our business plays in society, further galvanised by our SPIRIT values.

Together our culture and SPIRIT values of Safety, Passion, Integrity, Respect, Innovation and Teamwork will help EPC-UK to navigate the challenging climate 2024 is predicted to present, demonstrating to stakeholders that the trust they have in our services and products is warranted. 

Addressing the challenges ahead 

The challenges I anticipate stem from our government’s lack of effective leadership regarding infrastructure, strategy and spend and, with an election forecast for the latter part of the year, it will be interesting to see the direction our political wind takes. I hope it will deliver an enabling decision on UK energy sourcing in the months to come and address the balance of sustainable energy supplies from nuclear power, wind and hydroelectric. 

It is my belief that as an industry we need to receive vital, clear direction in this area; and whilst I feel reassured by the recent economic data, we need the output sustained as we continue to face the commercial challenges of raw material sourcing, where instability caused by conflicts in key global areas continues to affect the market. 

In a time when environmental sustainability has never mattered more, EPC-UK intends to focus further on implementing sustainable sourcing and energy provision for our own activities throughout 2024. As such, the investment we’ve placed in our new manufacturing plant will help us to overcome particular sustainability challenges by securing availability of a UK made booster product.   

Solutions to many of the trials we face this year will be enabled through our use of digitalization. At present, we are working to ensure effective implementation of our technology in remote areas and sites and are overcoming issues with our proven innovations and Research and Development expertise.  We anticipate our return to Hillhead 2024 in June, as it will once again present us with the ideal stage from which our passionate team can demonstrate its expanding range of technological and safety-focussed solutions. With health and safety always considered EPC-UK’s utmost priority, I also look forward to continuing my role as chairman of QNJAC this year and helping deliver excellence through my place at the table of the Minerals Sector Safety Forum.

This year, as with every other, EPC-UK intends to go above and beyond with its efforts to improve operations and standards for the industry as a whole. News of our endeavours, successes and drive for change is regularly reported in the monthly issues of Onsite, so please do encourage your colleagues to subscribe to increase their own industry awareness.

Past results, future potential

In this month’s Onsite edition, the first of the year, we reflect on some of 2023’s marked achievements; including the safe demolition and removal of the purpose-built buildings and redundant processing equipment associated with our former EPC Chemicals operation at Bramble Island, Harwich, and the success of November’s COMAH site emergency preparedness planning exercise. Looking forward, we also share articles that support the direction we’ll take in 2024 with further details of our Safety Kick Off session highlights, and a congratulatory feature on Head of Supply Chain, Lakhy Dhillon, as she celebrates her new year appointment to the Senior Team. From those established within the company to individuals starting their careers with us, we also introduce the EPC way diary in which new recruits will detail their experience this year of taking a fast-tracked route to becoming qualified shotfirers. Despite the challenges, there is plenty ahead to feel positive about. 

I wish you all a successful and rewarding year. Most of all stay safe! 

Ben Williams
Managing Director, EPC-UK

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