Jane Patching – my health and safety journey
My health and safety journey began in 2014 when I was recruited from a quality auditing position into a health and safety role and subsequently studied for my NEBOSH General Certificate. This was an exciting challenge and I strongly believe my auditing background gave me a good platform to start from. I was already used to carrying out workplace inspections and identifying non-conformances, but by transferring these skills to focus on health and safety I could now make a difference to the welfare of individuals. This was a completely new career path for me, but I found I enjoyed the challenge of delivering health and safety and ensuring compliance across all levels of the company and I had an excellent mentor to help me on my path.
My role led me to Health and Safety Manager of a multi-site recycling company. Along with the compliance team, we initiated and delivered the health and safety management system and achieved (what was) OHSAS 18001. Following this I decided I was ready for a new challenge and took the role of HSEQ Manager for a group of companies, including a manufacturing site and security firm. I continued to study a variety of health and safety qualifications and key for me were NEBOSH Environmental and NEBOSH Fire certificates and in recognition of my continual development, I achieved IOSH Technical membership.
In this particular role, I updated and developed the current quality and environment management systems and throughout the process worked to integrate them with a robust health and safety management system. This led to full ISO9001, ISO14001 and ISO45001 integration and accreditation across the group. My proudest moment was receiving the ISO45001 accreditation, as at the time we were one of the first companies in the UK to achieve this new standard which had previously been known as OHSAS 18001 and without the support of all the employees, this would never have been possible – this was testament to the development of the positive culture at all levels, something I am still very proud of today.
Following this I then moved to managing health and safety for a biomass power plant and the associated fuel storage sites. We then moved into the pandemic and lockdown era. This gave me the opportunity to evaluate my career path and I decided that the aspect of my role I enjoyed the most was training. I regularly delivered a variety of training sessions and toolbox talks to all levels within the companies I had worked for and several years ago I had completed my Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector qualification – with this, I was equipped to deliver training effectively.
I take great pleasure from sharing my knowledge and skills with others and helping them de-mystify health and safety and develop their confidence in their own workplaces to enable them to move forward and improve health and safety across all levels.
I am extremely fortunate to have been able to join the fabulous team at International Workplace and spend my time delivering IOSH Managing Safely and Working safely courses, along with using my extensive knowledge base to develop content and deliver bespoke subjects such as asbestos, working at height and manual handling, to a wide range of delegates from all backgrounds.
I am passionate about health and safety and nothing gives me more enjoyment than helping to set people on their own path to understanding health and safety in the workplace. My next steps are to continue developing my knowledge base further to ensure I can deliver relevant, accurate and up to date content.