Richard Byerley Grad IOSH, asphalt/recycling manager at Northumbrian Roads, explains why continuing professional development (CPD) has been important to him throughout his career.
Having a long history in management in the quarrying industry, I have had to be fully aware of the responsibilities that come with it. High on the list of these responsibilities is the health and safety of everyone who works within an organisation.
Northumbrian Roads is a small family-owned firm with about 70 employees. I joined the company ten years ago and was responsible for the opening of our first asphalt coating plant at the Port of Sunderland, from the design to the actual building work itself.
While my job title is asphalt/recycling manager, I am also the company’s safety officer, a role which I take very seriously.
With the industry we operate in being one where there are many risks to safety, having a culture of care within our organisation is extremely important. I want to know that all of our employees are looked after and they are able to go home at the end of their working day in the same state of health as they were when they started.
It was this desire which led to me taking my NVQ Level 4 and becoming an IOSH member in early 2013. IOSH has been fantastic in helping me with my CPD. What has been particularly useful
are the many excellent meetings held by the Tyne and Wear branch close to my place of work.
Why, you may ask, do I find it important for me to attend as many meetings as possible? The content of some of them is excellent and so are the speakers. Recently we had professor David Fishwick presenting When the Dust Settles - a presentation on dust inhalation to the lungs and body, followed by Mark Ashby of the Health and Safety Executive on the nuisance and risks of dust in the construction industry.
What events like these do is make you think about processes within your own company. Hence, after the aforementioned meeting, checks on the type
and availability of dust masks were made and the relevant toolbox talks were discussed with the staff.
To get the most from them, I believe it is important that you go to these meetings with an attitude of you are going to leave with something to show for it. I want to come away with something which I can pass on to the people who work within my organisation, something that can be used to ensure they do not come to any harm.
CPD to me is something of a habit. I have always found great value in it. While it is great to be able to get the points, it is a really good way of keeping yourself updated. For example, you are able to update your knowledge on any changes which are relevant to you. These can then be transferred to your own company.
For more information about completing your CPD call the IOSH Membership team on +44 (0)116 257 3198 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about IOSH group or branch events taking place near you.