Logistics profile: Martin Welch

Martin Welch joined British Steel in 1979 straight from school. He's now Compliance Operations Manager but, with more than 40 years' experience behind him, Martin's path to this role has provided him with a broad range of experiences and knowledge.

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

Well, it’s a long time ago now but my first role at 16 years of age was as a production services trainee within the Rail Traffic department, now Internal Logistics. The role covered all aspects from rail traffic shunting, controlling, weighbridge duties and road/rail demurrage admin. At the age of 21, I transferred to British Steel Corporation's Security department before transferring to the Emergency Services department (Fire, Ambulance & Rescue).

I also volunteered on my days off at Scunthorpe General Hospital's A&E department and East Midlands Ambulance Service to keep my skills up to date. It was during my period as a shift supervisor in the Emergency Services team that I was asked to deputise for the Area Security Services Manager. Due to the improvements being made to the service delivery, I was subsequently appointed as Group Security Services Manager. I was responsible for all the company's Northern sites, from Immingham in North East Lincolnshire to Dalzell in Scotland. This included port security, first aid and driver training and I was also responsible for managing our contract with Humberside Fire & Rescue Solutions Community partnership. During this time, I visited many UK and European sites, sharing and learning along the way.

In 2014, due to business restructuring, I transferred back to the Internal Logistics department as Area Manager where I was responsible for the Scunthorpe site's road logistics. Most recently, I've been appointed as Compliance Operations Manager. I was also asked to take on the role of Port Security Officer due to the recent acquisition of Immingham Bulk Terminal (IBT); part of this role was to make sure the relevant security accreditation ISPS was awarded to IBT from the start and, on doing so, certification was granted enabling us to trade from the outset of the acquisition. I continue to manage several contracts and have lately also overseen the transfer of site services from Hargreaves to British Steel on 11 January 2021. 

Another key role I currently hold is Community Union safety rep, something I've done since 1998. Safety is a key area of business focus and I'm keen to play my part in creating a safe working environment.

What does your day-to-day role involve?

My daily activities can be pretty varied - and because I have been here a long time, I'm asked a lot of questions! A key part of my role is to make sure we have the right resources systems in place to deliver to our internal and external customers. Other activities include:

  • providing support to all the team and feeding back to others as expected
  • ensuring the safe storage and despatch of sections and semi-finished products (billets, blooms and slabs)
  • managing container and on-site fuel deliveries
  • undertaking investigations and audits
  • overseeing activities at our weighbridges, port security, safety and training
  • ensuring best value, delivering savings and making significant improvements
  • offering mental health support, part of my remit as a trained Mental Health First Aider  

Why do you enjoy working for British Steel?

No day is the same! The team I work with now - as well as those I've worked with along the way - are passionate about what we do. There's a real can-do attitude, teams across the business are working together to help us grow market share and work towards our business objectives.

What is your proudest achievement?

There are many things I'm proud of, from getting my first start as a manager, from people believing in me, from driving my first emergency vehicle on blue lights to an emergency to helping others when help was some time away. I'm also very proud of receiving an Outstanding Health Champion award for mental health support in the workplace.

My dad worked for most of his life on the works in the Civils department, starting at the age of 15 and retiring at 65. Sadly, he passed away shortly after retirement but before my mum died, she said "Dad would have been proud of you. You have done well!" He taught me the importance of honesty, commitment, support and reliability - key work ethics. Everyone who knew him said he was a real character.

I haven't mentioned my wife but on my headstone I suspect she'll add the words 'British Steel' somewhere!

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am the Chair of Humberside Crime Stoppers, a charity I have supported for around 11 years now.

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

Believe in yourself, we have a fantastic team of professionals on this site who are willing to help you. Don’t feel like you are on your own, ask if you need advice or help. From little acorns, mighty oaks grow.