Safety is looking good!
Posted on November 2, 2015
Our very own Jyssica Murphy has been interviewed for the November 2015 issue of the Safety & Health Practitioner (SHP) magazine. We are extremely proud of Jyssica’s efforts make the world a safer place to work. Read her interview below.
How did you get into health and safety?
I started an apprenticeship after leaving school as I didn’t think university was for me. I studied chemistry and worked for a hazardous waste management company. I began doing weekly safety inspections. I really enjoyed them and decided to enrol on my NEBOSH certificate.
What is it about health and safety that appeals to you?
I like changing people’s perceptions of health and safety. Often, when we engage with people their opinion is changed after a discussion or example of how H&S is misinterpreted. I think I’m very proactive, getting out to a diverse range of sites and understanding how different people do their jobs, I never pretend to know about something I don’t, or tell them how they should do it differently I just want to understand and for them to understand the safety element.
What has been the biggest health and safety challenge you’ve experienced?
When I first started with my current company was required to deliver training. I had all the necessary qualifications to do so however the thought of standing up and talking to people alone terrified me. I got out of my comfort zone and I loved it. I realised that you aren’t alone as you can draw on experiences and stories from the group and it is a relaxing environment.
What aspect of your current role do you most enjoy?
I enjoy the contact with lots of different people; we work for a diverse range of companies, from different industries so there are contrasting personalities to engage with. I enjoy assisting people with problems they encounter and providing them with an understandable solution for the health and safety aspect of the job.
One of your previous roles involved investigating accidents. What common causes have you found, and how do you think they could be prevented?
What I find is that most companies put it down to the fault of individuals, and I think as a safety professional we should be encouraging people to investigate the root cause and get to the bottom of it as often there are many causes and opportunities to improve and prevent them happening again.
How would you advise a young person beginning a career in health and safety?
There aren’t enough young people involved with health and safety, mainly down to the negative image of it. I love my job and every day is different, fun and challenging. I would say, just give it a chance. I always feel supported. It has opened up many doors for me and I enjoy a rewarding career already at a young age. I look forward to developing my role further at Courtley Health & Safety and would hope to one day mentor someone in a similar position that I was in when starting out.
What have been the highest and lowest points in your career?
One of my low points was failing one of my units for my NEBOSH diploma; I felt like I had worked so hard and failed. I realised that there were other routes and decided to do the NVQ Level 5 instead and that suited my role much more.
If you could do anything other than your current job, what would you do?
This is a hard one as I can’t really see myself doing anything else. I think I would like to be involved in construction in some form, as it is such a rapid moving environment with so many characters in.
What qualities does an effective health and safety practitioner need?
An effective health and safety practitioner needs to be able to communicate. This includes body language and tone. I was once told by a wise man that communication isn’t what you say, it’s what people interpret. So you have to be able to ensure they have received the correct information. You also need to be compassionate and understand situations from different points of view.