Marc Briscoe has got used to the sharp intake of breath whenever he tells people he works with lead.
But, he says, the firm follows HSE guidelines and has invested around £120,000 recently in fume extraction and abatement equipment to keep itself at the forefront in ensuring its processes and people are as safe as possible.
“There are big differences between what we do and what we would call the dirty side,” says Mr Briscoe.
“People involved in smelting lead take raw materials from the ground and melt them at extremely high temperatures, whereas we are reworking lead at much lower temperatures, which is much cleaner.”
While Heaps does cast some products, most of its products are made by extrusion, which also reduces the risks involved.
Although lead has been around for years as a manufacturing material, that doesn’t mean that everything that could be done with it or to it has been done.
The firm, which employs 14 people in Rotherham and a further nine at its Starweld Engineering subsidiary in Sheffield, continued to invest in research and development and recently invested in expanding its CAD design and research facilities by taking on two design engineers.
A loyal workforce and experienced management team has also helped to ensure the company’s success.
“Most of the staff have been here for 15 years. They are very loyal, they know their jobs inside out and have helped to make the company what it is,” says Marc Briscoe.
“The management team works very well. Everyone is very good at what they do. We have all got our areas of expertise and can rely on each other for support.”