Barry Gaffney Grad IOSH explains how he has gone from being a panel beater to a senior safety adviser, and how he has combined that with keeping his continuing professional development (CPD) record up to date.
Being a leading engineering and construction firm, the safety and health of employees is central to J. Murphy & Sons (Murphy).
Safety and health is one of our five core values, under the banner of “never harm”; it is a major focus area of our sustainability strategy and is at the heart of everything that Murphy does.
I am proud to be a part of this area of the business, developing and putting in place systems designed to keep staff safe and healthy. But I haven’t always worked in safety and health – in fact, I started out at Murphy as a panel beater.
While I did enjoy this role, I was interested in safety and health, so when a vacancy arose as a safety and health officer I thought it was a great opportunity for progression and I got the job. I started out doing basic safety and health training courses, and have managed to work my way up the ladder to where I am now, as a senior safety adviser for our transport depot.
IOSH has been a major part of my recent progression. I joined the institution about five years ago, with the aim of furthering my career. I passed my NVQ level four and I am currently a graduate member.
I view my CPD as a real priority no matter how busy I am. It is a great way of keeping check of my progression in safety and health. I am constantly looking to update it. Keeping your CPD updated does take time but I always feel it is worth it and I would certainly encourage others to view it in the same way.
There are so many different ways of updating it. Among the activities I have logged are reviewing risk assessments, conducting health and safety briefings, developing evacuation plans and developing depot management plans.
I have also developed a supervisor safety guide for our foremen, which includes emergency procedures and evacuation systems.
Essentially, keeping my CPD updated is about logging the activities I do. Organisation has been crucial to this so I’ve found that using either a desktop diary or a spreadsheet is a good way of keeping track.
The help I have received from IOSH in all of this has been extremely valuable. I can readily contact them for advice on updating my CPD. I am currently looking to work my way towards being a chartered member.
Being an OSH professional is a very busy life. We all have an important role to play within our organisations, whether it is by designing management systems or implementing them. With all of that you could be forgiven for thinking, “I haven’t got time for my CPD”, but I would urge people to make the time. It is great for your career progression and, more importantly still, can help make you even better at your job.
Murphy provides construction and engineering services to the main sectors of rail, water, power and natural resources, as well as offering capabilities in building and other specialist areas, such as piling and design. With activities including work on pipelines and tunnelling there are many inherent risks but our team of OSH professionals works hard to prevent our employees from coming to harm.
For more information about completing your CPD call the IOSH membership team on +44 (0)116 257 3198 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit www.iosh.co.uk to find out about IOSH group or branch events taking place near you.