Drilling firm doubles staff numbers in year

One year on from joining environmental consultancy RSK, Berwick-based drilling contractor JB Site Investigations has doubled both its staff and drilling rig numbers.

Friday, 28th April 2017, 7:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:07 pm
John Lawrence of JB Site Investigations.

Queen’s Award winner RSK bought JB’s assets in April 2016, and JB has since increased its staff numbers from 14 to 28 and its drilling rig count from seven to 14.

JB has been an integral part of the Berwick community since 1979, when founder Jeff Burnlees established the site investigation contracting business. Its original offerings of cable percussion and rotary drilling services are still its central provisions today.

Jeff made a big success of the small local business, which employed 50 people at its peak. Sadly though, Jeff passed away in 2014 and, by December 2015, staff numbers had dwindled to 14.

In April 2016, RSK recognised JB’s potential and shared values, so purchased its assets. JB’s drilling services were added to the company’s extensive environment and planning, geosciences and engineering, and contracting services.

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Over the last year, JB has worked on more than 250 projects, many small and local, but also in support of sister RSK company Structural Soils on large national projects such as the HS2 railway and the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station.

John Lawrence, who became JB’s managing director when RSK acquired its assets, said: “JB has always been proud to be a local Berwick business employing local people and supporting the local community. Although RSK is a global company, it shares JB’s values. We pride ourselves on our friendly nature and employing local staff in all the regions where we work. Together, RSK and JB can do great things. Our next aim is to return JB to its former glory by employing 50 staff.”

He added: “Until 2015, JB had enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Berwick Rangers FC, so, last year, we were delighted to be able to reinstate that by becoming back-shirt sponsors.”

As well as continuing to grow the business over the next year, JB aims to achieve the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards, which will give the company an internationally recognised stamp of approval regarding its environmental, quality, and health and safety management systems.

Founded in 1989, RSK now has more than 1600 employees worldwide and a turnover of £100million.