Two former SSI employees, who decided to use their medical expertise and experience of managing the steel company’s occupational health challenges to start a business, have already won new contracts and taken on two other members of their former team.
When Occupational Physician Dr Tony Moran and Occupation Health Specialist Nurse Denise Fisher created Probitas Occupational Health Ltd, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise quickly stepped in with a £3,500 loan and premises in its Innovation Centre on the Kirkleatham Business Park in Redcar.
Probitas has already secured two significant contracts with Teesside companies that have more than 700 employees in total. Tricia Briggs-Billyard and Andy Richardson, both former Occupational Health Technicians at SSI, have now joined the company and more jobs are possible with growth expected through 2016.
Probitas provides occupational health services both on-site, to minimise disruption for client companies and at the new Occupational Health Suite they have created at the Innovation Centre.
“We are able to carry out consultations, tests and screenings for a range of occupational diseases,” said Tony Moran. “These can be caused by various exposures and work activities including work with chemicals, noise, vibration and dusts.
“Sickness absence can arise when the balance between work and health is disturbed by changes in either work activity or in an employee’s health. Hopefully, we can restore that balance, by supporting improvements in health through advice and other interventions, and help with rehabilitation after illness by working with employer and employee.
“Companies can benefit from our advice and expertise in various ways. They not only have to meet their statutory obligations but should also want to protect their employees and business from the effects of ill-health. A healthy and happy business translates into a profitable business,” he added.
Both Probitas partners have years of experience in occupational health, including their combined eight years with SSI and former GP Tony’s 15 years of experience that includes working in the offshore and maritime sectors.
“We have always worked well together as a team and find occupational health highly rewarding,” said Tony Moran. “Setting up Probitas seemed the right move when we were faced with redundancy and we’re pleased that we can now take on two other colleagues.”
“UK Steel Enterprise has been fantastic,” said Denise Fisher. “The Innovation Centre location and facilities are ideal for us and we were able to adapt the space for the Occupational Health Suite we needed. The loan to buy screening and other equipment has really helped as the initial stages of any new business are costly.”
Peter Taylor of UK Steel Enterprise, said: “Our Regeneration Fund helps businesses at an early stage when even relatively small amounts of funding can be difficult to find. We have helped former steel workers and others to start businesses and our aim is to keep the application process simple and speedy.
“We’re pleased that we’ve been able to help Probitas with premises as well. Our Innovation Centres are designed to support tenants so they can concentrate all their time on growing their core business.”
Probitas Occupational Health is on 01642 777 910. Details of UK Steel Enterprise’s support for business from 01642 777 777 and at www.uksteelenterprise.co.uk