How to tackle Health and Safety in style

10 July 2014

We all know how important health and safety in the workplace is, but do you know what is involved on a day to day basis?

We spoke with Adam Fothergill, Group Health and Safety Manager, to find out more.

1.   Hi Adam. What is your current role at Pacific Hydro?

As Group Health & Safety Manager, I am responsible for ensuring the continuous improvement in global health and safety performance.

I work to achieve best practice in health and safety systems, ensuring they are consistently implemented and maintained across Pacific Hydro’s business units in Australia, Brazil and Chile. I do this by providing HSE leadership and support to key stakeholders globally who deal with the day to day issues at all of our operating assets and construction projects. A key part of my role is developing and supporting health and safety management systems, strategic initiatives and health and safety audit programs.

2.   What do you see as your major challenges and opportunities in this role?

Having the opportunity to travel to both Chile and Brazil is fantastic; I really enjoy working with the Health and Safety teams over there, as well as experiencing different cultures and meeting new people.

Some major challenges as Health and Safety Manager are constantly striving to reach our goal of Zero Harm across all three countries, as well as strengthening the safety culture within Pacific Hydro.  It feels pretty good to maintain global best practice in our safety performance to ensure the safety of our number one asset – our people.

3.   What do you enjoy about working at Pacific Hydro?

The people who I work with are all very excited about renewable energy, sustainability and the environment, which is really motivating and rewarding. I get a lot of satisfaction from improving our health and safety systems, keeping people safe and looking after the planet for future generations.

4.   Why have you chosen to work in the field of Health, Safety and Environmental Management?

I started out with a Bachelor in Geological Engineering because I wanted a career with an outdoors component, and something to do with the earth. After graduating, I practiced as an environmental consultant before working on the City Link tunnels, a unique experience as it was like working in an underground mine in the middle of the city! I then moved into an environmental / remediation project manager role whilst completing postgraduate studies in OHS & Risk Management.

5.   How does the approach to health and safety differ for Pacific Hydro compared to other companies (e.g. what is unique about health and safety with PH)?

There is a strong level of engagement amongst our team and a great sense that each one of us cares about what we do day to day.  It’s great to be presented with the challenge of updating and finessing the Health and Safety Management systems to ensure that we keep our people as healthy and safe as possible.

6.   This is the part of the interview when we get up close and personal! What do you do in your spare time?

I have three kids which keep me pretty busy! I’ve also recently started playing football again myself as part of the AFL Masters in the over 35’s competition. Fortunately, we only play every 2 weeks which is good as at my age, my body need that long to recover!  I also enjoy camping, sailing, DIY projects at home and of course supporting my AFL team, Collingwood*.

*Please do not hold this against Adam; he really is a top bloke.



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