H&S profile: David Green

David Green joined British Steel in November 2001. He was 17 years old when he embarked on his career as a metallurgical trainee in Scunthorpe. Now enjoying working in Health & Safety, find out how and why his career took this turn...

What was your first role in British Steel and what's been your journey since?

My first role was as a 17-year-old metallurgical trainee based at Central Labs in Scunthorpe. Upon turning 18, the lure of shift work and the perks that came with it pulled me in and I joined Scunthorpe Rod Mill (SRM), initially based in the Shift Technical Team. After spending 5 years in the Technical department, I then moved into the Stelmor department (the cooling and reforming part of the wire rod process) as a Deputy Team Leader. During the next 10 years, I progressed to the Team Leader position and took a very active role in workplace health and safety, becoming a Trade Union Safety Rep along the way.

In 2018, I spent a year seconded onto days working within the local Health & Safety team and it was during this time I completed my NEBOSH General Certificate. Being extremely passionate about health and safety, I knew this was the career path I wanted to take. After a short stint in the SRM Coil Handling team as a Production Team Leader, in November 2019 I got my break and was seconded once again, this time to shadow our outgoing Health & Safety (H&S) Facilitator. In March 2020, I was offered the H&S Facilitator job on a permanent basis. As you can imagine, for a H&S Facilitator during a global pandemic, it has certainly been an interesting first year and sometimes a challenging one - but that said, it’s been a challenge I have absolutely relished! And now, I'm in the midst of furthering my skills as I am studying for my Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety. 

What did you do prior to joining British Steel?

Having left school aspiring to be a journalist, I went to Scunthorpe's John Leggott College to study Media Studies and English. It quickly became apparent that college, at that time, wasn’t for me and I decided to take a different career path. I kept busy working in a couple of local factories before the opportunity came about to join the business.    

What does your day-to-day role involve?

My role is to provide guidance and support to plant colleagues to ensure we keep everyone safe, stay up-to-date and comply with relevant legislation and drive continuous improvements in our health and safety performance. Although I'm employed by a plant area, my role also involves liaising with the Central Health & Safety team on a regular basis. I attend daily meetings and chair a monthly safety committee meeting. My role also involves a wide range of activities including:

  • facilitating investigations
  • writing reports and ensuring actions are aligned, implemented and completed
  • inspections of plant and equipment
  • supporting senior management tours
  • providing support to the workforce
  • managing the workwear contract locally, ensuring all SRM employees are provided with suitable workwear for their daily duties

And of course, over the last year, managing COVID-19 procedures has played a large part of my daily role.

Why do you enjoy working for British Steel?

It’s in my blood. I come from a long line of Scunthorpe steelworkers. On my dad’s side, every male since my great-grandad has worked on the steelworks at some point or other. Being Scunthorpe born and bred, I'm immensely proud to work at the very heart of our town's industry. I enjoy the different challenges my role brings and I love having a job where no 2 days are the same, especially in recent times!

Most of all though, it’s the people that make British Steel what it is. We may be one of the largest employers in the area, but at the heart of it is a community-like spirit that I believe you'd would have to go a long way to rival. 

What is your proudest achievement?

Apart from my family and children, I would have to say getting into the position I am in today and learning how to channel and focus my enthusiasm and determination to get things across in a diplomatic and professional manner.

I don’t believe anyone in Health & Safety should be scared to speak out or be afraid to challenge when required. As anyone who has worked with me in the past would testify, that’s never been an issue for me. My challenge was to ensure I focused that passion in a positive and proactive manner, and I'm proud of how doing that has got me to where I am today.   

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Apart from the fact I'm one of the faces of British Steel?! Maybe that I once ran the line for a Scunthorpe United first team match as I used to be a qualified football referee.   

What advice would you give to other people considering a career here?

Go for it! If you're prepared to work hard and challenge yourself, then British Steel will provide opportunities to match your ambition and further your career.