Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association :: View topic - Dave Emblen

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Executive Committee
Executive Committee

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Sheffield
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Iíll add to the rouges gallery when I get a suitable photo to put on.

I got dragged into Health and Safety almost 30 years ago back in the good old days of British Coal, I finished up running salvage teams and pit closure programmes throughout the Midlands and Yorkshire before moving into Civil Engineering as a Site/Contract Manager and then onto working for a chemical company as the Maintenance Controller. What worried me then was that Health and Safety was being delivered and portrayed in the work place as an onerous task, a job that had to be done. Also how bad my presentation of the subject was so it was no wonder that people did not want anything to do with Health and Safety. It was about then that I came to realise that Health and Safety was about common sense and allowing people to make informed choices. How to promote that and deliver a better understanding of Health, Safety and Risk was what took me back to night school and into distance learning for a teaching qualification.

That was seven years ago, I moved from chemicals to manufacturing and from manufacturing into the abyss that is the NHS and if anyone was looking for a challenge I found it. In saying that it is never dull, it stretches you every day and the satisfaction when people respond and realise that what you are asking makes sense, makes it worth it. We work in an industry that by nature is reactive where people are trained to respond to a crisis and when there is no crisis they worry why they have no crises. To get these people to be proactive about risk, health, & safety and all the other similar topics means changing a culture both at board level and on the shop floor so to speak.

Itís frustrating but satisfying, you go unseen but everything you do is in the spotlight and as a job Iím almost certainly working harder than I did down the pit, yet this is where I want to be.
Head of Soft Facilities Management, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust
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