Corps Security is working in partnership with Outokumpu, the famous stainless steel producer, to enhance on-site security provisions at its UK bases.
Sheffield is synonymous with the metal industry and was the home of British Steel. In 1992, British Steel Stainless merged with the Swedish firm, Avesta which in 2001 merged with Outokumpu, making it the third largest stainless steel producing company in the world at the time.
Outokumpu has two sites in Sheffield covering more than 50 acres in total, manufacturing stainless steel into wire rod coil which is then used in a diverse range of applications including needles and pins, springs, welding consumables, yacht rigging and medical implant components.
The larger of the Outokumpu sites in Sheffield is the home of the SMACC melting shop and the Sheffield Stainless bar finishing works, along with Europe’s largest stainless steel service and distribution centre.
The smaller of the two sites accommodates the hot rolling and acid de-scaling sites known as ASR. This site is designated a Tier One location under the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (COMAH), due to the degree of hazard posed to people on site and the surrounding area (which includes the Meadowhall Shopping Centre).
One of Corps Security’s officers on duty at the recent conference
“This is a massive site and maintaining its security is incredibly important due to the materials kept here and the work that takes place on a daily basis,” explained John McLean-Searle, security manager at Outokumpu.
“Having met with Salman Shamim, the business development manager at Corps Security, we invited him to submit a tender proposal to outline how he could enhance security on site.”
Tackling the TUPE process
Shamim’s recommendations were accepted and the contract was awarded in September 2012. “John and his team were pleased to hear that we attach great importance to the welfare of all our officers,” said Shamim, “and this was particularly evident during the TUPE process.”
To comply with the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 – otherwise known as TUPE – the 15 individuals that worked for the previous guarding supplier had to transfer their employment to Corps Security. While this can be a problematic process if not handled correctly, Corps Security prides itself on its ability to ensure a smooth transition and views legal compliance as a bare minimum requirement.
Adopting a policy of inclusivity, consultation and Best Practice means that Corps Security generates a motivated and engaged workforce – ultimately ensuring that high levels of productivity and service provision are maintained.
Mike Bluestone CSyP: director of security consulting at Corps Security
To develop the most appropriate and beneficial security operation, Shamim recommended the completion of a comprehensive risk and threat assessment. This was undertaken by Corps Security’s director of security consulting, Mike Bluestone CSyP.
“This process involved an analysis of Outokumpu’s activities, premises and facilities,” stated Bluestone, “and addressed all the risks posed to staff, visitors and customers. Vandalism, metal theft, the protection of an on-site power plant and the safety of the company’s trainline that connects to the mainline rail network were just a few of the issues that had to be addressed. Once I’d finished this process I presented my recommendations, which are now being rolled out.”
Among their other duties, Corps Security’s officers are responsible for the radiation scanning of any trucks entering the site – an important process that can stop harmful contaminants from accessing the production chain.
The way the site is patrolled has also changed. Those who work independently have now been furnished with GPS lone worker protection devices tracked by operators at the Corps Monitoring Centre (CMC) in Glasgow.
Security at conference time
Corps Security played a major role in a recent event at Outokumpu’s site when the British Stainless Steel Association and the Sheffield Metallurgical and Engineering Association hosted an international conference and exhibition which focused on the future for stainless steel.
Part of Sheffield’s celebrations to mark the 100th Anniversary of the discovery of stainless steel, the site was visited by a number of industry VIPs. Corps Security officers in full commissionaire uniforms were on duty.
“I’m incredibly impressed with the improvements we have experienced since Corps Security began working with us,” said John McLean-Searle. “The company has consistently delivered on its promises and clearly has an unrivalled level of expertise. What’s more, all those staff who transferred are very pleased to be working for the company.”