Director, Compliance LEV
What does the company do?
Dust and fume extraction
Where is it based?
Skares, near Cumnock, East Ayrshire
Briefly outline your working day
Start at 6am, currently in my home office while we await completion of our new workplace office; first task is to prepare and check quotes for work to be undertaken. Team arrives in office at 7.30; my role is to see our vans off to their various jobs by undertaking a risk assessment check, on such items as PPE.
Then travel out to meet clients, advising those who need to undertake work to comply with Health & Safety Executive (HSE) requirements, advising on new LEV equipment systems, then back to have lunch at my desk.
Afternoon is spent on housekeeping issues, taking and making telephone calls and emails, meetings with suppliers and planning meetings every three days with our team. I tend to finish between eight and nine o’clock in the evening and I work six days a week.
What is the biggest challenge facing your business right now?
Finding people with the right skills. We could complete more orders if we had more skilled people.
What should be done to overcome this challenge?
There should be substantial government financial support for skills training. It is hugely expensive for companies to do all the necessary training without financial support.
Has the Scottish Government called it right on taxes?
No. Nor has the UK Government. Increases in corporation tax means that businesses have fewer resources to invest in new technologies. Both governments should stand back and allow us to recycle profits into greater investment.
Has Brexit impacted on your business?
We recently purchased machinery from Taiwan and the paperwork required to do so was very complex. Before Brexit we could import such kit via the EU with far less trouble. Nowadays, materials we import from the EU often get stuck in the docks and arrive late.
Do you support plans for a workplace parking levy?
Do you use public transport?
It’s almost non-existent in rural areas like ours, so no. I could take the train to meetings in places like Aberdeen, but generally it’s not convenient.
Do you think this is the right time to call an independence referendum?
What do you drive? Is it petrol or electric? If petrol, what would make you switch?
A diesel car. There’s clearly a better infrastructure for petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles. I drive regularly to an important customer based in Derby, so diesel suits me fine.
What are your short- and long-term goals?
My short-term goal is to see the completion of our new factory and see our team solidly embedded there. Long term, I want to see this business move towards an annual turnover of £5m with highly skilled, happy staff.
Do you favour a four-day working week?
I like the idea but I’m not sure how it would work. In principle, I’m in favour, particularly for office staff.
What is your company doing to support the green agenda? Have you increased or decreased your commitment?
Our new factory building will be powered by solar energy and an air source heat pump, so our dependence upon fossil fuels will be minimised.
Are you a purpose-led company? If so, how?
Our purpose is to help preserve the long-term health of anyone who operates machinery or deals with substances, metal, wood, even flour, where inhalation can have a serious, sometimes fatal, impact.
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