My first full-time role after completing my degree, was working as a laboratory technician performing microbiological testing of pharmaceutical products. I worked there for a couple of years until I relocated to Oxfordshire where I got a job as a facilities support officer in the Department of Oncology at The University of Oxford. My manager at the time was the departmental safety officer, which is what first sparked my interest in the field. I began to incorporate elements of health and safety within my role and had the opportunity to study for a variety of safety, health and environmental related qualifications.
Once I felt that I had some experience behind me and a few qualifications under my belt, I decided to apply for a role focused purely on health and safety, which is when my employment at Diamond commenced.
Congratulations on receiving the top performing student award from NEBOSH. What did you study with NEBOSH and how will it affect your role here at Diamond?
Thank you! I studied the NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety. The diploma is the ‘must have’ qualification for health and safety professionals and is highly sought after by employers. Completion of the diploma will help me to assist in maintaining a healthy workforce at Diamond by managing risks effectively, which ultimately contributes to an overall safe, healthy and environmentally sound workplace. The diploma also provides me with professional level competence and will enable me to work towards becoming a chartered health and safety practitioner.
Can you walk us through a typical day?
My role involves providing proactive general safety, health and environmental advice across Diamond’s operations. A typical day may consist of evaluating experimental risk assessments for beam time proposals, giving consideration to how risks can be reduced. One day I might be reading up on legislation with a view to writing a new procedure or I could be developing presentations and training. I could be carrying out a site inspection to ensure working practices are safe or undertaking an accident or incident investigation.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like the fact that my role is concerned with all areas of Diamond, as it is a subject that applies to everyone and everything. This means that the role is very diverse and I get to work with lots of different groups across a wide range of subject areas. It is good to know that by performing my role, it is contributing towards Diamond’s endeavour to be a leading-edge scientific research facility by enabling science to take place effectively. I also enjoy the many opportunities Diamond presents to learn new skills and develop professionally.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get involved in your field?
I would try and get involved in any health and safety aspects of your current role if you have the opportunity. I would also recommend having a look at different courses and undertake some training if possible. By trying out lots of different things, you can see if health and safety really interests you. You may also get an idea of any particular subject areas, for example, construction, fire safety, environment, etc. that particularly interests you.