EPC-UK, the UK blasting and explosives specialist – renowned for supporting the health and well-being of all employees through its business practice – has announced that a company-wide training programme has succeeded in ensuring that all of its 234 employees are now trained in the key life skill of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

The voluntary initiative was created following circumstances in January 2019, where EPC-UK’s Civils Manager, Mark Jones, administered CPR to two neighbours just a couple of weeks apart. The company’s Managing Director Ben Williams recognised Mark’s heroic actions and asked him to share his testimony at the EPC-UK annual communication conference.  Hearing about Mark’s experience convinced all conference delegates to agree to a 2019 company-wide target of achieving full CPR training for each and every employee.

The company’s Driver Training Manager Anthony Bird – himself a qualified CPR and AED instructor – volunteered to train each member of staff with the full support of the organisation.

“Mark’s conference testimony was extremely effective,” he comments. “It helped to generate an evident commitment to the training programme concept. The delegates’ visible reaction to Mark’s experience has helped to secure 100 percent engagement and buy-in, whilst the leadership support of our managers and Managing Director has made delivering on the commitment achievable.”

Equipping all employees with the confidence to deal with a CPR situation at work or home in the future, Anthony began the programme by training the EPC-Groupe CEO and Senior Executive team during a safety meeting and visit to the UK in July 2019.  He subsequently provided lifesaving instruction to every employee within the business; taking an interactive approach in demonstrating how to perform emergency CPR for adults and AED instruction, using simple but engaging tuition at operational roadshows and depot visits.

His training has created substantial engagement at all levels of the organisation and has proven to be a significant leadership triumph for Ben Williams; who after receiving the training in July 2019, went on to demonstrate his own personal capabilities in CPR and save the life of a stranger suffering a heart attack outside a supermarket the following December.

“Ben kept the success of his lifesaving act to himself,” Anthony explains, “only choosing to share his testimony at the EPC-UK Christmas Party.  Here his actions, capabilities and assurance in responding to the situation were recognised by all employees, proving that the initiative created by Mark Jones has been a company wide success.”

Ben Williams himself commented:

“Our company places the ‘health and well-being’ of our employees firmly at its centre and actively operates a ‘looking out for one another’ ethos as part of our SPIRIT values.  Mark’s experience has served to reinforce the importance of delivering lifesaving training as a compulsory measure and sets the tone and example for the rest of us to follow.


“Given the nature of our business and the remoteness of some of our operating environments it was seen as essential that every employee should have the competencies and confidence to administer basic lifesaving skills in the vital minutes until the emergency services could respond to an incident.”

The feedback received from staff regarding the training programme has been overwhelmingly positive. With all current employees now trained, the decision has been made to ensure that the lifesaving training forms a vital element of all future staff induction programmes.

Fortunately, there has not yet been a cause for any member of the EPC-UK team to put their CPR and AED skills into practice within the working environment, however the company has invested further into the vital equipment needed to support resuscitation and has installed an AED within each of its depots as a precautionary measure.

“Learning the simple skills that can help save a life is such a valuable exercise,” Anthony continues.  “Lifesaving capabilities can inspire individuals’ confidence both at work and home and encourage people to “step up” in the event of an emergency with certainty.


“We’re so pleased to have been able to achieve this company-wide programme of training and believe it will benefit each member of staff unilaterally, providing them with immeasurably important skills for life.”