Job title: SHE & Security Manager
Location: St Fergus
First job: Admin assistant in a solicitor’s office
First car: Renault 5 Campus
Favourite TV show: Silent Witness
Books or podcasts: Books
Favourite music (artist/band): I can’t pick a favourite – I will listen to anything!
First holiday destination after Coronavirus: Dubai – hopefully!
My main ambition was to leave school, move away from my home town and earn money! My favourite subject at school was secretarial studies so once I left school I moved to Aberdeen to do a one year’s course in business administration.
By accident – I worked in a number of secretarial roles in a variety of companies, this was during the time when there were plenty jobs! I got bored in the job that I was doing and went into work one Monday, handed in my notice, left on the Friday, and started as a temp in the safety department at Total Oil Marine the following Monday. After 6 months I was taken on as staff and worked as the Safety Manager’s secretary. From then I got a keen interest in health and safety, I completed my NEBOSH training and became a safety adviser supporting the offshore sites and the St Fergus Terminal.
My main responsibility is to manage safety, health, environment, and security on site to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and px Group procedures. As part of my COMAH responsibilities I am the contact for the regulatory authorities and ensure full compliance with the COMAH Regulations. Emergency Response is another big part of my role which includes updating of procedures, ensuring all personnel are appropriately trained and having close contact with the emergency services. No two days are the same in my role and I have to adapt to the Terminal’s needs on a daily basis.
I have been actively involved in the continued safe operation of the Terminal and ensuring that the site had all the appropriate safe working measures in place. The day to day job continues the same and I’ve had the benefit of working on site part of the week and also working from home. I think I can say at the end of 3 months I have adapted well and just got on with it!
A number of measures have been put in place on site; one way systems, maximum occupancy for offices/shared areas, social distancing signage, additional cleaning/sanitising, no entry to a number of offices/areas that are not currently required as there are still a number of personnel working from home. This has all been documented in the COVID-19 risk assessment which everyone must sign on to. Also, for those that have not been on site, a Return to Work induction is being provided to ensure a safe return to work.
For me it is about being able to make our own decisions and having the accountability and responsibility on the site, which makes you feel valued. You get involved in so many different areas and this keeps the job challenging and interesting.
I have not had a mentor but had a number of bosses who have helped me develop and further my career over the years. The opportunities and support I have been given is the reason that I am in my current role. I remember getting one bit of advice many years ago – someone said I was too willing to say yes and advised me ‘to just say no’ sometimes! However, I have never heeded that, and I got the same advice a few weeks ago – so maybe I should have!
There have been a few challenges during my career and probably the hardest one was coming from a secretarial background and being accepted as a health and safety professional in an industry which was predominantly male at the time. The other challenge that sticks in my mind was the requirement to go offshore which I had no issue with; however, I had a fear of water and the thought of doing my survival course made me feel physically sick! However, I overcame that and passed my survival and really enjoyed going offshore. So, it’s fair to say I’ve overcome my ‘biggest’ challenges in my career and the day to day ones are somewhat easier!
The highlight of my career was being involved in a project when I worked at Total to implement Telemedicine offshore on the Alwyn platform. This involved installing hardware and software offshore which was linked to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where personnel could be seen remotely by a doctor, which would prevent personnel being medevaced onshore unnecessarily. During this project I spent a lot of time offshore and working with the project team in Brussels and London. The system was installed successfully on Alwyn and the team won an innovation prize for the work and my award sits proudly in my office.
I believe whatever you have an interest in you should go for it – and you can get a really interesting career out of it. You never know what direction your career will go in, so make the best of every opportunity.
There have been many changes in the industry over the year and I feel it is attractive whether you are male or female. There are a number of women in key roles throughout the industry which should give inspiration to those who are just starting out in their career.
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