All posts by Richard Davis


Steven Barnfield is on his way to realising his ambition of a job in industrial asset protection as one of ten apprentices selected for the second scheme run by Teesside-based CFB Risk Management.

The 27-year old from Hartlepool, studied for a BSc in applied sport and exercise science at university and was working temporarily in a restaurant when he saw the apprenticeship advertised and jumped at the opportunity.


The intensive 18-month apprenticeship was set up in 2015 by CFB Risk Management, the first company of its kind in the UK to be set up by a Fire Authority, and it leads to a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Industrial Emergency Fire Services Operations.

CFB Risk Management provides a range of industrial asset protection services to blue-chip companies operating in high hazard sectors that include chemical, oil and gas, petrochemical, nuclear and energy. Their biggest multi-million contract to date is to protect the £2.9 billion Sirius Minerals Mine project in Yorkshire.

The 10 North East apprentices currently on the second scheme are Steven Barnfield, Hartlepool; Aaron Davison and Brendan White from Middlesbrough; Jonathan Colclough, Newcastle; Liam Hodgson, Seaham; Jamie Scott and Daniel Wilkinson from Stockton; Joe Wattis, Acklam; Ross Boardman, Sedgefield and Alex Whitehill from Durham.

“I was so pleased to be selected as I knew there was a lot of competition for the apprenticeships,” said Steven. “I’m enjoying it a lot and we are already covering so many aspects from security and maintenance to emergency response and hands-on site experience. It is demanding but CFB Risk Management has unique expertise and experience and I know this qualification will give me numerous different opportunities to work in the sector.”

Steven is currently working alongside a graduate from CFB Risk Management’s first apprenticeship intake, 22 year old Jack McTiernan from Middlesbrough who is now a Site Protection Officer at the Ineos Nitriles site. CFB Risk Management provides 24/7 protection to Ineos, Navigator Terminals and Venator at their sites on Seal Sands.


“I had always wanted to be involved with the Fire Service,” said Jack, “and had just completed college when I read about this apprenticeship scheme starting. Over eighteen months we covered a lot of material and benefitted from hands-on experience and I’m now thoroughly enjoying the job.”

Barry Whitton, Emergency Capability Manager for CFB Risk Management at the Ineos Nitriles site, said: “Our apprenticeships have attracted hundreds of applications since they started and both the selection process and the apprenticeship itself are rigorous. The 10 apprentices in our first intake, aged up to 27 and from right across Teesside, were praised for their hard work and commitment. All are now employed, six of them working as Site Protection Officers on various sites with us.


“We have every confidence that this second group will do just as well. These apprenticeships not only provide valuable opportunities for young people in our local communities, giving them nationally recognised qualifications, but also help to create the specialist skills needed in this sector,” he added.


Tees-based CFB Risk Management has announced its biggest contract win to date. It was secured thanks to the growing demand for its services and expertise from some of the world’s biggest companies operating in high hazard areas including the petrochemical, oil and gas, energy and nuclear sectors.

CFB Risk Management has one of the largest workforces in the UK with the skills and competence needed to deal with emergencies occurring in high hazard industries. Now it is applying its unique expertise, experience and innovative approach to the mining industry winning a multi-million pound agreement to protect the major £2.9 billion Sirius Minerals Mine project in North Yorkshire.

CFB Risk Management, established in 2011 as the first company of its kind to be set up by a UK fire authority, will provide 24 hour 7 day a week integrated Preparedness and Response services across all of the project’s locations. CFB Risk Management will protect assets, equipment, workforce and the local community during the five-year construction period and continue to do so when the project becomes operational.

Welcoming the highly significant contract, won in the face of strong competition from around the UK, Managing Director Ian Hayton said: “This is our biggest contract to date and a massive vote of confidence in our technical expertise, innovative approach and highly professional and skilled workforce.”

As a result, additional highly skilled emergency management and security professionals have now joined CFB Risk Management’s growing workforce, bringing the current team of permanent employees to around 100, as this new contract will involve significant manpower requirements for many years. They have all undergone specialised training to meet the particular challenges of dealing with emergencies in a mining environment and ensuring the round-the-clock safety of the workforces employed by both Sirius and the project’s contractors.

The UK’s first new sub-surface mine development for 40 years is already under construction near Whitby. Sirius Minerals PLC, a multi-national and world-leading fertiliser company, plans to invest billions of pounds into the project, which will produce an initial 10m tonnes each year of polyhalite, a highly effective fertiliser to be marketed as POLY4. The project will create thousands of jobs in construction, mining and in the supply chain, which Sirius is proud to support, bringing enormous economic benefits to the area.

“This is a multi-billion pound project for Sirius Minerals and currently the second largest construction project in the UK and one of the biggest in Europe,” said Ian Hayton. “We are proud to have been entrusted with securing and protecting such a major investment that will provide a massive boost to the economy.”

“Our integrated Emergency Preparedness and Response services are in place across all the project’s key locations and are designed to allow Sirius to focus on it its core activities, secure in the knowledge that the entire project is protected 24/7 by world class security and emergency arrangements for many years to come.
“Our workforce is one of the largest in the UK with the skills and competence needed to deal with emergencies that occur in high hazard industries and we already provide our services to some of the world’s largest chemical, plastics, nuclear and power companies that operate to strict safety regulations.

“I am sure that our unique expertise and experience within the high hazard sector has been a major factor in securing this contract and we invested considerable time and commitment into providing Sirius Minerals with a pioneering and tailored solution to meet the needs of today’s mining industry.

“We have been able to demonstrate that our innovative approach can provide high quality service standards using the most cost effective delivery models. Industries in sectors that are often thought of as traditional now operate in a very different way and our services are tailored to recognise and meet those specific needs.

“We drew on the risk-based solutions and principles that have won us our reputation for operating successfully in high hazard sectors and showed that they could be successfully transferred to the mining industry.

“We are delighted that we demonstrated to Sirius that they can assure their investors, workforce, customers and the local community that a world-class service is in place to protect them,” he added.

“There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our staff,” said Nigel Chapman, Head of Health and Safety at Sirius Minerals. “We needed to partner with someone who was capable of delivering world-class safety and security procedures and rigorous emergency protocols and was capable of applying them to the unique challenges of a deep mine.
“The fact that we managed to find this expertise locally on Teesside with CFB Risk Management is a huge bonus, as we are committed to ensuring that local people share in the economic benefits from the project as much as possible.”

CFB Risk Management already provides integrated security and emergency management services to blue-chip companies that include Ineos Nitriles (UK) Ltd, BP, Navigator Terminals (Vopak) and Venator (Huntsman). With a recently established office in Abu Dhabi it is winning contacts in the Middle East as well as across the UK and Europe. Its services include technical consultancy and fire engineering, emergency planning, training and exercising, integrated security and emergency management.