‘The job I didn’t know I wanted.’ Female Operator Elise is made for the role

Mar 8, 2024

This International Women’s Day, Onsite talks to EPC-UK Multiblend / Multiskilled Operator, Elise Gilbert, who recommends her non-traditional role to any woman interested in working within our industry: 

“When I applied for the job, I was looking for change — and that’s exactly what I’ve found,” Elise says. “In fact, it’s actually become the career I never knew I wanted.”

A new direction

“I originally saw the position advertised online and found the description intriguing. I had previously performed different roles that had manual responsibilities, including warehouse jobs and forklift operation, and I’d also worked in offices. I’d been a driver too and had recently gained my standard HGV license, so thought it was worth applying for the Multiblend / Multiskilled Operator role, just to see if my experience might fit. EPC-UK liked the look of my ‘multiskilled’ work history, and here I am!”

What’s involved:

EPC-UK’s Multiblend / Multiskilled Operators work as part of our Services team, supporting our Multiblend Supervisors and Transport Managers. They deliver bulk explosives and ensure equipment is effectively and safely utilised, inspected and maintained in line with standards and safety regulations. They also assist our Shotfirers and customers in producing accurate records of the products supplied and used, producing risk assessments and method statements, and reporting on near misses.

A fresh challenge

“The complete change of employment scene has been great,” Elise continues. “I enjoy being out in the vast, quarrying environment and find the work very interesting. Being part of the blasting process is literally awesome and, while I did feel some initial pressure of being a female operator in a male dominated field, my previous experience within industrial settings has been useful to draw on. I didn’t find adapting hard, and I don’t find the work too difficult. There was a lot to take in during the first few weeks, but the training process has been excellent, and I soon settled in. Everyone I have worked with has taken very good care of me and I’m happy to say that it’s a team of fantastic people that work here.”

Are you right for the role?

“The advice I would give to any woman considering a similar role is, go for it. There’s so much opportunity to develop a successful career in this industry and the work is genuinely fascinating. Quick mental maths skills would be helpful to have. There’s no denying that the work is physical, and you have to get used to being outside in most weather conditions…it can be muddy too! However, for me personally this is just the sort of job I was looking for.”

Rave review

“Elise is a real credit to the team, proving that she’s an asset to the team,” Transport Manager, John Baker says. “She’s responded well to mentoring and has achieved so much already, including gaining her Quarry passport and ADR license to carry High Consequence Dangerous Goods. It’s clear to see how hard she’s worked on learning the hose handling and on site activities involved in the job, and to continue her learning she’ll be working towards achieving her BETO NVQ very soon.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about the operational job opportunities EPC-UK has open at present, contact Head of Human Resources Julie.Wootton@epc-groupe.co.uk

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