Engineering profile: Nick Milnes

Structural Team Craft Member Nick Milnes working on our Scunthorpe site
Nick Milnes, Structural Team Craft Member, in action on our site in Scunthorpe

Nick Milnes joined us as a Structural Team Craft Member in August 2018. He’s currently working at our Blending Plant in Scunthorpe. Find out more about Nick and his thoughts on working with us…

What was your previous experience before joining British Steel?

I served my time in a structural steel workshop in Halifax and also worked on various worksites throughout the UK and Europe.

I was promoted to foreman status, my duties included day-to-day running of a very busy fabrication workshop where I was also responsible for quality control.

For the past 20 years I’ve worked offshore in the oil and gas industry in some very harsh and hazardous conditions in the North Sea, where safety for yourself and others was absolutely paramount. I took great pride in my work and the safety of the plant and workforce, and I was promoted to foreman / supervisor.

I also became a safety rep and was requested by BP to become a DRR (Dynamic Risk Review) Coach. This involved visiting various worksites and discussing with the work parties their roles and responsibilities via the Permit to Work, risk assessments and tool box talks. I really enjoyed this role and found it very rewarding. One day I’d like to continue in the safety side of the construction industry.

I have a range of qualifications and training including:

  • City & Guilds in Manual Metal Arc and Plate
  • NVQ Level 3 Fabricating Steel Structures
  • IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health)
  • Control of work
  • Confined space
  • Asbestos awareness

What knowledge do you bring to the business?

I bring more than 35 years’ experience and knowledge in structural steel. I fully understand Integrated Safe Systems of Work (ISSOW), risk assessments, method statements and tool box talks. 

What are you enjoying about working with us so far?

I’ve been supported and made very welcome by all at the Blending Plant and, in such a short space of time, already feel part of the team. They are very open to new ideas and take a keen interest in my opinions. 

I believe I’ve made an impact with my work ethics and suggested the use of a reciprocating saw, which we used offshore to reduce spark potential so minimising the risk of injury to personnel and damage to plant and equipment. I’ve been told an order’s already been placed for this saw.

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years’ time within British Steel?

I’d like more roles and responsibilities i.e. become a team leader / supervisor or a take up a safety advising role.

Why did you choose to apply to British Steel?

I wanted to work more locally but stay in the structural steel industry and there isn’t anyone bigger than British Steel.

I also believe in British Steel’s core values: Pride, Passion and Performance.

What does your day-to-day role involve?

My role involves:

  • Visiting the worksite and discussing the task in hand with the Team Leader. I also take out the relevant work permit and tool box talk
  • I identify any hazards prior to work starting and report them if required
  • I make sure other work parties in the same area are aware of the task about to be carried out
  • I check the equipment is certified and that colleagues have the correct tools for the task
  • I make sure the task’s performed in a safe and efficient manner
  • And on completion, I tidy up the worksite and dispose of waste in the correct skips

What advice would you give to other people considering a career at British Steel?

There are plenty of opportunities to better yourself within the company and receive all the support you need from British Steel to reach your goals.