Chance to test your thoughts ‘a real lifesaver’

James Hymers CMIOSH signed up as a mentor on the IOSH Mentoring platform, last April. Since then he’s worked with four mentees and says he is looking forward to meeting more mentee requests…

I’ve been working as a health and safety consultant for nearly eight years now and thinking back over my career I’ve always really enjoyed sharing the knowledge I’ve gained.

When I first started in health and safety I enjoyed attending my local IOSH branch events and local Safety Groups UK meetings. Through these I had the opportunity to rapidly increase my knowledge, learning from both the presenters and the people around me. It helped me learn but more importantly I became more confident in my approach to managing health and safety.

As has become apparent under the Covid-19 restrictions, health and safety allows for risk management rather than absolute management; as such, you have to be able to assess the risk to apply proportionate controls. This can sometimes mean you are challenged for being over cautious or maybe too reserved. Being able to test your thoughts with others can be a real lifesaver so, in turn, I became very keen to help others on this journey.

While the pandemic and its remote relationships don’t make things easy, platforms like Teams have really opened up possibilities for distance relationships. Through my Teams calls or phone calls I’ve really enjoyed getting to know new people and share experiences. Finding time to fit in the sessions is always a challenge, especially given recent workloads but it’s well worth all the shuffling of calendars. The IOSH Mentoring platform really helps here as it allows you to schedule your meetings and send any updates to the mentee, which can then be imported into your calendar. Once a meeting is on the platform it can also be updated to share the resulting notes and agreed actions to go away and work on until the next meeting. 

I found career planning important to help get me to where I wanted to be, yet I had a lot of help and it could take some turns, twists and back tracking along the way. It’s fantastic when mentees come to a session really clear about what they need help with but in most cases we work together to work out how we can move things forward. I enjoy this sharing and discussion, identifying strengths and weaknesses, highlighting areas to work on.

The IOSH platform has some simple but effective tools to help you tease all of this out, such as completing a SWOT analysis. Sometimes, by simply sharing stories, the goals can become clear. Setting out an action plan together engenders motivation and builds confidence in what you are looking to achieve.

I would highly recommend IOSH members getting involved in IOSH Mentoring, either as a mentee or mentor. It’s a great opportunity to progress your career goals and learn something new from others… on either side.


James Hymers CMIOSH

Associate Health & Safety Consultant, Pick Everard


  • The IOSH Future Leaders Virtual Conference 2021 (16-18 March), designed especially for early career professionals in occupational safety and health, will include a final day session on ‘How mentorship drives development’. The session will feature OSH professionals from two IOSH Mentoring relationships: Liam Dee (mentor) and Mansur Mubarak (mentee), plus David Day (mentor) and Amanda Fox (mentee). You can register and pay for the virtual conference at https://iosh.com/events/future-leaders-conference/
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