So, Daniel you seem to have had a very busy 2018 both personally and professionally. Could you give us a bit of an insight to what the key events have been like for you?
1. You got engaged early 2018 and are expecting a baby boy very soon (and recently became an uncle again), How do you feel your experience as a Health and Safety Professional impacts those around you at home and what message do you want to deliver to the new additions to the family as they grow?
I must admit I am very nervous (excited) to be responsible for this little person’s life. However as a lot of my safety colleagues know it’s hard sometimes to take your ‘safety hat’ off. You don’t just clock out at the end of the day you’re always assessing your surroundings in the back of your head thinking of contingences for worst case scenarios. So as soon as I found out I was going to bed a dad I went very (as my partner will tell you) over the top with ‘baby safety’ I won’t go too far into the embarrassing details however I will chuck a few key words out there about things I did! (fire extinguishers, smoke alarm in every room, baby & child first aid, corner protection, thermostats in each room, emergency contacts on the wall, buying a full first aid kit, private health care, nursery complete 6 month prior, reading books, webinars, pre natal classes, hospital tours, mock ‘the babies coming drills’) and that’s about as much as I will embarrass myself and my partner……haha.
2. You have had a change of industry, from retail to manufacturing. How was that transition for you?
The transition was very difficult, it’s almost like being a child and learning to walk again. I went into the safety role thinking I knew about safety as I have worked in the field for a few years, however it was a like sitting my NEBOSH again! It was all about listening, reading, applying it and taking feedback, the two fields are worlds apart. I knew it would be a massive change but I did it for a reason, to push myself and work in a much higher risk industry that has a lot more ‘moving parts’. I did really love retail and its social front facing environment, however I felt I never really experienced the real meaty health and safety. Hence why I moved into manufacturing, and I can honestly say every day is a school day. But I am enjoying every single day.
3. There are roughly 65 people in the world with Chartered IOSH membership between the ages of 20 – 30 and you are one of them. What made you go for chartered, how was the process and what has it meant for you since achieving it?
I must admit I never really intended to go for charted yet, my plan was to build up more experience and then go for it in a couple of years. However a really good mentor and close friend of mine Gemma Parsons (also CMIOSH) had seen the experience and exposure I was getting in the safety world and recommended I go through the process. It’s not an easy process once your get your teeth stuck into it, for anyone doing it over the following year my advice would be to make sure you stay on top of your CPD and also keep your evidence from previous projects and work, stick it in a file in your desk because it will come in handy. The interview itself felt like such a daunting experience (I did it via webcam from work, as I couldn’t be off site due to shutdown overhaul maintenance) and as soon as the cam turned on and there was three experienced safety professionals staring at you….the sweat was pouring out of me (my grey suit soon turned to black!) however after about 5 minutes of chatting to the very very friendly and helpful interviewers I was fine. They started by having a very open and friendly chat explaining they have all been in my place once and can appreciate the nerves. After this I was fine, my advice to people would be to set out your answers in a clear structured way, so not to nervously ramble. It defiantly helped my confidence in the safety world, now I know I can perform at the level or chartered it helps me to be confident and outspoken in future projects and situations I get involved in.
4. I don’t know how you are doing all of this but you are also an on call fire fighter for LFRS, what kind of influence do you think this has on your chosen career and why?
Being an on call fire fighter definitely has a massive advantage because it gives me that practical knowledge in relation to fire safety and what legal building requirements are and also what the cause and effect will be in relation to fire safety scenarios. I can then map out in my head ‘how would the fire start and how would it grow and travel, and how could I mitigate this’. Both jobs really do go hand in hand really well. I have always wanted to be a fire fighter from a very young age. However as I got older my drive to want to do more and get ahead of the fire became greater, hence why I started in safety to get ahead and prevent incidents from every happening.
5. Will we be seeing you at future branch meetings?
100% I always try my best to make any meetings, seminars and webinars. Being charted doesn’t mean the pressure is off its just getting more intense as you need to make sure you keep up your skill set and grow with the time and technologies that are changing. Also it’s great to attended meetings because you get to network with other safety professionals in a similar field who could potentially help you with ideas and or issues you’re having ‘there’s no point re inventing the wheel if it’s already out there’