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Sustainability Week at Joseph Ash Galvanizing

Last week was sustainability week at Joseph Ash Galvanizing; a week for colleagues to focus on all things sustainability.

It can be easy to forget about sustainability when busy with day-to-day tasks, so the week serves to encourage colleagues to focus on environmental impacts and engage with the natural environment.

As part of the wider Hill & Smith PLC Group, Joseph Ash Galvanizing’s Technical department developed several activities and initiatives for the week to boost our site’s green credentials, have fun, and compete for prizes.

Take a look at some of the activities that took place across our sites below:

Biodiversity initiatives

Some of our galvanizing sites have large spaces of land surrounding them, which could be rewilded to encourage biodiversity. Managers were encouraged to let nature reclaim some of this excess land by allocating sections to be reclaimed by nature and scattering wildflower seeds to encourage new plant growth.

The new areas reclaimed by nature also serve to give colleagues a change of scenery, and potentially allow for new break areas for colleagues as we get closer to the warmer months.

Our Telford site was particularly keen to share their rewilding activities, fencing off a section of land using galvanized steel and dedicating the land enclosed to wildflower growth.

A competition to make the best birdbox was also held to further encourage biodiversity, with vouchers up for grabs for the winner.

Team Premier Galvanizing Corby‘s birdbox entry

Litter picking

Our Telford and Walsall sites have been busy taking part in some litter picking. The litter picked up can be correctly recycled instead of being left out and harming the environment.

Litter picking and rewilding at Joseph Ash Telford
Litter picking at Joseph Ash Walsall

Energy saving treasure hunt

To reduce carbon footprints at each of our sites, colleagues were encouraged to form groups and walk around the sites and and evaluate their environment, keeping sustainability in mind. This could include turning off lights, machines and other resources and questioning if they need to be used.

The energy saving treasure hunt is not a new concept; it was developed in 1999 by Toyota, and is a great activity for all companies to conduct, regardless of industry.

Competitions and prizes

There’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition, especially if it helps the environment! Prizes will be awarded for colleagues on a number of different categories:

  • Best Birdbox” award for the colleague who makes the best birdbox, with a voucher up for grabs for the winner – congratulations to Team Premier Galvanizing Corby!
  • Greatest Reduction in Energy” award for the site with the greatest reduction in CO² emissions per ton of galvanized steel for the month of May.
  • Most Sustainable Site” award for the site with the lowest year-to-date CO² output relative to galvanizing output.

Winners will be confirmed in the next few days/weeks.

Karl Hicks, Environmental and ESG Advisor at Joseph Ash, commented on the week:

“It’s been a great Sustainability Week where all the sites I’ve been to have shown real enthusiasm for getting involved, with dare I say a bit of competitive spirit. I am particularly chuffed with the fusion of “sustainability” & “galvanizing” that I’ve seen this week that demonstrates that the two are interconnected within the circular economy.

“My initial ideas for how sites could get involved have been improved on. I know that other things are in the pipeline across the sites in the next few weeks, and I’m looking forward to seeing those and dishing out awards for them accordingly.”

Overall, the week has been a huge success. Thank you and well done to all for your efforts in improving our sustainability and environmental impact!

Plant pots at Premier Galvanizing Corby

Interested in learning more about our sustainability initiatives?

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A huge congratulations to Gurpal (Charlie) Singh, who celebrated an incredible 40 years at Joseph Ash Galvanizing!

Gurpal is our General Manager at our Walsall site and has been invaluable to the company since he joined.

Colleagues from throughout the site gathered for the occasion. Jason Anderson, Managing Director, visited the site and congratulated Gurpal on his long service achievement.

Congratulations Gurpal, and thank you for all of your hard work over the past 40 years!

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A huge congratulations to Jackie Wright, who celebrated 25 years at Joseph Ash Galvanizing today!

Jackie is our Office Manager at our Bilston site, and has been invaluable to the Company ever since she joined back in 1999.

She was surprised with a lovely bouquet of flowers by her colleagues.

Congratulations Jackie!

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A huge congratulations to Pauline Alcide who recently celebrated 30 years at Joseph Ash Galvanizing!

Based at Head Office as an Assistant Accountant, Pauline has played a fundamental role within the Finance department and the wider Joseph Ash Group for many years.

Pauline commented on her time at Joseph Ash:

“I started with Joseph Ash Ltd when the company was called “Joseph Ash & Son Galvanizing Ltd“ and the head office was still in Birmingham. I was 30 years of age at the time.

“During this time, I have seen people come and go and I have also made lots of friends over the years.

“I have watched the business grow from strength to strength and worked under 4 Managing Directors who have made the company what it is today.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working at Joseph Ash Ltd over the last 30 years and I am looking forward to many more years to come.”

Congratulations Pauline!

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We were proud to hold our own Oscars Awards Evening to celebrate the colleagues who played a role in helping create new internal Joseph Ash video content. The videos were created as part of a new induction process, to help introduce new starters to the company.

The evening served as a thank you to those who were closely involved in the making and filming of the videos. Their input was recognised and celebrated, with four people winning awards based on Joseph Ash Galvanizing’s values – Respect and Decency, Team Spirit, Learning and Improvement, and Taking Responsibility. Awards were presented by Stuart Whitehouse, Managing Director.

The winners were:

Respect and Decency: Osmond Crosdale

Osmond pulled together a meaningful summary of what he felt Respect and Decency looks like in Joseph Ash and went on camera to talk about this in the film. He also had his own “mic drop” moment with the final line of his summary:

“So if you have respect and you’re decent, welcome to Joseph Ash, we need you”.

Team Spirit: Estera Bak

Estera helped massively in ensuring that the Health and Safety element of our Induction video was accurate and covered everything we needed. She then travelled over from Telford to Walsall for just 15 minutes of filming for the Respect and Decency section of the video.

Learning and Improvement: Prakash Patel

Prakash was asked to do some acting during a segment of one of the films. He displayed perseverance despite needing a few takes, and progressively got more comfortable with the role. He won the Learning and Improvement award for his development and dedication during the filming process.

Taking Responsibility: Mick Barber

Mick was fundamental to the creation of the four films. He took it on his shoulders to advise technically and operationally; to cajole colleagues into acting; to get them to move products backwards and forwards on fork lifts; to stop the jig and move it back if the shot hadn’t gone right. Mick assumed responsibility from the start and demonstrated the kind of leadership that should stand as a model for our business.

Congratulations to those who won an award, and thank you to everybody involved in the creation of the videos!

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After 19 years working at Joseph Ash Galvanizing, the company said farewell to John McMahon on the 30th of June.

To say goodbye, staff at Head Office arranged a buffet lunch and a gift collection pot. Neil Kanagaratnam presented a bottle of bubbly, and delivered a farewell speech.

John has had a number of different jobs outside of the company over his lifetime, including a job as a magistrate! But his longest role has been at Joseph Ash Galvanizing.

John McMahon left parting words for his colleagues.

“I would like to thank you all for your professionalism and support over those years and I have enjoyed working with you all.”

“Like Spock says, live long and prosper!”

We wish you all the best for the future, John!

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The year 2023 has been full of long services at Joseph Ash Galvanizing, and June 6th means that Jeannette Dixon has been with the Company for 40 years!

Jeannette has had a fantastic journey though the Company. She started back in 1983, just before her 18th birthday, shortly after finishing secretarial college. There were only two plants back then – one in Birmingham and one in Telford. She was secretary to the Galvanizing Director at the time, working for him for several years before he retired.

The company expanded, and Jeannette became secretary to the Managing Director. She left after some years to have her child and worked part-time on her return, working for the Sales Manager. After another few years she went to work within Transport department before finally relocating with other colleagues to our current Head Office in Halesowen.

In her speech, she commented: “I’ve seen lots of changes, met lots of great people, seen the company develop, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

Jeannette was gifted with a lovely bouquet of flowers as well as £500 which she towards a brand new laptop. She and her colleagues at Head Office will also be going out for a celebratory meal at Miller & Carter.

Congratulations Jeannette!

View the video on our TikTok page.

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In 1998, Ranjit Singh started work as a new team member at our Walsall plant. Fast forward 25 years, and we proudly say he is still here and part of our Joseph Ash family.

Ranjit began his career in galvanizing on the yard. After that, he worked in the fettling/packing team before moving on to other groups and departments, including as a Galvanizing Operative (his current role).

What Ranjit doesn’t know about galvanizing isn’t worth knowing as he has worked in most parts of the plant throughout his career!

During his 25 years of service at Joseph Ash, Ranjit has displayed all the attributes required to be a fantastic member of our team. He has the knowledge and skillsets needed to excel at his job daily. He is also loyal, friendly and a great all-around employee.

Charlie Singh, Divisional Manager at Joseph Ash Walsall, said: “Ranjit is well respected by his colleagues and always has time to chat with anyone around the site. At a recent Walsall charity event, we were thrilled to give him a gift and a celebratory round of applause to reward his quarter century’s hard work and loyalty to Joseph Ash and fellow team members.”

Congratulations Ranjit!

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Another new face to the Joseph Ash Group, keen to introduce themselves! Paul Williams has joined our team at Widnes Galvanising as Maintenance Manager for the branch. We took the chance to speak with Paul in our latest ‘Meet the Team’ and find out all about him and his new role.

Meet Paul Williams:

Role: Maintenance Manager

Branch: Widnes

Started: 2023


Food: Love a Chinese banquet

Film: A good action film like the John Wick series is always a winner (I was lucky enough to use the Kiltech shot gun from the film while in the States). I’m also a big F1 fan and love watching the race on weekends.

Pastime: I try and keep fit, attending my local Men’s Hub facility in Warrington 3-4 times a week, running and cycling now and then. I also enjoy meals out with my wife and kids, and long beach walks with our border collie Rosy.

Can you give a brief overview of your role?

My role as Maintenance Manager is to keep production running smoothly. I liaise with contractors, management, and staff to keep the daily operations of the plant working as they should. Basically, if it breaks, it’s my job to fix it.

Can you give us some history on your career?

My previous job was as an electrical contractor working on all manner of sites, from hospitals to petrochemical sites. This came to an end in 2009 when I took up a maintenance role for another galvanizing company, which was my introduction to the galvanizing industry.

What drew you to the company?

I saw the job advertised at Joseph Ash and saw there was potential to grow, improve and challenge myself in my first management role. I love a challenge and felt that my skillset very much matched the job advertised, and I wanted to progress.

What is your favourite/most memorable project to date?

Being so new to the company I’m just starting to get my teeth into our first round of improvement works over Easter. I actually enjoy the planning stages and seeing the various works come together to reach the common goal.

What projects are you looking forward to in the coming year?

I’m generally looking forward to improving the site, how we operate, working as part of a larger team and increasing production.

Tell us something that people might find surprising about you.

People normally double take when I tell them I’m a professional wrestler (WWE style) and have worked on shows up and down the country. I have also been lucky enough to wrestle internationally in Belgium, Australia and the United States. I even had a small part in the Hollywood movie “Fighting With My Family”, starring The Rock.

I’ve also completed a few marathons – one ultra marathon and a century bike ride (not on the same day though!). I also help coach a local football under 16 team (Cromwell Thunderbolts) which my son plays for too, so I’m quite busy generally.

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2023 is the year of incredible long service milestones, as Dalit Singh recently celebrated 45 years at the Company! It was only last month on Valentine’s Day that Mick Jackson celebrated 40 years at Joseph Ash Galvanizing. Now, Dalit from Joseph Ash Walsall has his long service recognised.

Dalit started working for Joseph Ash in March 1978. He has worked through every role in the Walsall galvanizing plant, including Shift Supervisor for over 12 years.

Dalit first started his job with a company called Walker Brothers Galvanizing. The company was later taken over by Hill & Smith, Joseph Ash Galvanizing’s parent company. His first job was in Jigging Materials, and he then moved to become a Pot Man before his aforementioned Shift Supervisor role.

Daljit Singh's incredible 45 year anniversary

Amy Leachman from Joseph Ash Walsall commented on Dalit’s 45 years:

“Through his time, he has been a fantastic employee, with vast experience in our industry and someone that the division has been able to rely on. I personally have learned from Dalit’s expertise during my time spent with the production team and can see just how important a role he has played!”

Thank you for all your years of service, Dalit!

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