I have been in the rail sector for 16 years. I joined in 2000 just after the Ladbroke Grove Accident and the Public Inquiry that highlighted the need for the industry to focus on Human Factors (HF) issues and Safety Culture. Since joining the company I have worked to raise the industries understanding of the discipline and its importance to the rail industry and to help our members address their hf issues.
Every day is different! It may be drafting industry standards, undertaking research, providing support and advice to our members, delivering training to name but a few. What all of these activities have in common is that they are aimed at helping the industry get the best from their most important resource – their staff.
It’s a struggle because I enjoy what I do so much – that said I ensure that I really prioritise and ensure I get as much time with and enjoyment from family, friends and the activities I love to do outside of work – that way you can give your best when you are at work.
I love the fact that despite working in the industry for such a long time I still learn something new every day, that and the people who are always exceptionally helpful and committed to the industry. The rail industry in is their blood!
The fact that the GB railway is seen to be the one of the most advanced in understanding and addressing its HF issues. I truly believe that the team at RSSB has had a key role in this.
I think it was early in my career convincing colleagues of the business benefit our discipline could bring to a very traditional and well established industry.
When I joined the railway I was lucky enough to work with Emma Lowe. She is now at Network Rail and her dedication to our discipline and its integration into their activities in such a way non-specialists can understand has formed the blueprint for many of our approaches at RSSB.
Listening and valuing others opinions and really caring about the impact your work will have.
Yes – I think we take less risks, by that I mean we only undertake something or put ourselves forward when we know we can deliver 100%.
I think it is still perceived as a very traditional industry and I don’t think we are always as good as we could be about promoting all of the exciting opportunities that it brings.
Learn from your experienced colleagues, take every opportunity that presents itself to you and never be worried to question established approaches – you never know you may have an alternative that is safer or more productive.
Interviewed October 2016