What does your role involve?
I spin a lot of plates! I interact with clients on all our day-today consultancy work, including fire risk assessments and site inspections, as well as ad-hoc services like accident support. Currently I’m also working with clients on tenders and bids, as well as creating training packages that comply with external awarding bodies.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your role?
I previously did 16 years in the military, so I most enjoy getting amongst people and interacting with them – that’s always been what I’m best at. I’m generally out at client sites every week, performing audits and follow-up actions including toolbox talks and training.
And what do you find most challenging?
Procurement is a new area for me, so it’s been a new challenge to understand the thought process and how it all works. I can provide the technical expertise as to how the work will be carried out, and then I work with copywriters and bidding specialists to put that into words. It’s an enjoyable process, though – and it’s worth it when we win the work!
What led you to a career in the industry?
You get a year to transition from the military to civilian life. Health and safety wasn’t initially on the agenda, but when I tried my first consultancy job, I enjoyed how open it was. I could apply my broad knowledge and work with a range of companies. I get to work with a range of sectors: care, manufacturing, construction, food… it’s very interesting applying learnings from one sector to another.
What do you think differentiates SHEQ Aspen-Thorn from the competition?
In the short time since I’ve joined, I’ve noticed that SHEQ Aspen-Thorn are a lot more diligent and professional in their approach. The emphasis is on quality. If I need technical support to get the job done, I’ve always had plenty of resources to tap into, both in the immediate team and the wider HE Simm Group. Having those resources at our disposal means that we can always resolve
What advice would you give someone who wanted to work in your specialism?
Be open and honest – integrity is key. Don’t try and manipulate legislation to be a salesman. Just give honest feedback to the client; they’re not daft and will respect you more.
Also, have a lot of case studies to draw on and inform your judgement. They’re one of the most effective ways to encourage behavioural change. Having a variety of practical solutions up your sleeve is also really useful – think of it like a gold, silver and bronze approach, which you can help clients navigate depending on their budgets and capabilities.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Football – I’m a season ticket holder for Man United. I have one for me and one for my three daughters, who alternate coming along with me.
I also play darts – I had a misspent youth growing up in a pub! I played for Lancashire back in the day.