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Staff Profile: Ben Higham

Ben Higham

Ben Higham started his career with B&A Group nearly eight years ago, after securing his initial position as an Environmental Technician.

Since then, he has become one of our key personnel, helping B&A Group deliver on its customer promises, particularly with brownfield construction sites and more recently installing large development platforms.

Prior to his post, Ben studied at University of Bristol where he attained a MSci (Hons) Masters in Chemistry, which equipped him with the transferrable skills for employment and a proficient knowledge base for contaminant analysis.

His industry training includes HazWasteOnline, WAMITAB Level 4 Waste and Resource Management (currently undertaking High Risk Operator Competence for Managing Physical and Chemical Treatment of Hazardous Waste) CL:AIRE DoW CoP – Transfer of Materials and application of Category 4 Screening Levels.

“There is no black and white distinctions with contaminated land as soil conditions vary depending on each site,” Ben remarked. “The key is to help clients and show them what they’re up against,” he said, adding, “It’s important to breakdown and explain the recommendations we have made for our customers, after collating the relevant GI data, so they have a better understanding of how we got to that point and price for the job,” highlighting that all assignments must comply with current regulatory legislation. “On a broader level, providing quotes and timescales are only half the service. Things can and do change for our clients during the life of a project. I strive to ensure they can fully appreciate the balance required to weigh-up possible cost outlay (e.g. at a project start) vs risk of delaying material movement decisions. It always boils down to cost, time and space (not always in that order!)”.

Within the last year of his employment he has built on all his experience to date to price large scale earthmoving, enabling and remediation projects for future sites ranging typically from £50K to £2M. Assessing and mitigating risk is a key element to his involvement at tender stage. Ben then actively effects successful project delivery and client satisfaction. This is done with tight teamwork across the technical, operations and transport staff at Bristol & Avon.

A particular project focus for Ben has been the vast bulk earthworks operation at Meadfileds, Weston-Super-Mare. Ben has been a key contact across all the consortium members (and contractors) during this developments’ progress. Taylor Wimpey’s demanding schedule has required over 100,000 tonnes of material be temporarily placed in a matter of weeks and then utilised to force settlement of underlying water-bearing peat strata. Close liaison with Taylor Wimpey management, technical consultants and surveyors has meant the earthmoving and parcel loading is calibrated to the specific ground behavior at each monitoring point.

Explaining what he enjoys most about his job, Ben said: “I love how dynamic my role is working through projects from being out on site to speaking with many different people such as, directors, land owners and site managers.” He added. “It’s about providing an excellent service and building relationships with clients by being responsible, reliable and delivering results in line with their vision.”