What does your role involve?
Broadly speaking I apply a Health & Safety mindset to our elderly tenants’ homes. My role specifically focuses on fall prevention for the over-60s. There’s no one size fits all but when I go out to visit tenants and advise on changes that I think will help them avoid accidents I try to offer options that I think are both achievable and effective.
What’s your average working day like?
My time is split 50:50 between visiting tenants and handling the results of my visits. During my visits I gather information on how much our tenants are falling, the causes and how different changes might reduce the risk they face. I then look for patterns in the data like how different property types or individual health might influence a tenants likelihood of falling. Most of the outcomes are things for the tenant to do but there are some repairs to raise and referrals to other departments sometimes too.
What do you like most about your role?
I like helping people and really enjoy getting time to listen to a tenant’s problem and suggest ways we or our community partners might be able to help.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
The challenges are prioritising those most in need. Everyone has their own perspective and when someone is struggling it can be hard for them to imagine someone else who struggles more!
What skills/qualities do you need in your role?
I think staying patient is a big one especially when listening. Sometimes it will take time for the tenant to open up about things that worry them. Small things can become big hurdles particularly for those who have had something like a fall to knock their confidence so empathy is important too.
How long have you worked in Health & Safety?
I started my NEBOSH course 2 years ago and have worked in Health & Safety for about 18 months.
What first attracted you to work in Health & Safety?
I like solving problems and getting to work with people from lots of different backgrounds and across specialties appeals to me.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
This role has encouraged me to speak publicly and give lots of presentations, something which used to terrify me, so I’m proud that I have delivered presentations of our work at the RoSPA Forum at Jaguar Land Rover and on an SHP webinar to around 300 people!
What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in Health & Safety?
Go for it! It’s got a bad reputation but it’s secretly a really varied and exciting field which is developing all the time with new regulation and technology. There is also a lot more focus on people and wellbeing post-pandemic too.
Do you feel that Health & Safety is mainly male dominated?
Yes that’s been my experience. Perhaps because historically the work was seen by companies as an obligation rather than something that would be beneficial it was lumped into other roles which were male dominated. Certainly during the pandemic companies found H&S professionals very helpful in keeping business moving and those benefits are starting to be more widely recognised.
If so, how do you succeed in this environment?
I don’t let the fact I’m a woman influence how I am at work as far as possible. People are a diverse bunch regardless of gender so I suppose trying to find common ground and a base for a human connection rather than focusing on how different you might feel is what I focus on.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I think it’s great to have a chance to share women’s perspective of the workplace. The more we share our perspective the easier it is for others to share and empathise issues we might have in common- to find that human connection.
What was your dream career when you were at school?
Professional video game tester/player.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I’ll be working in H&S as part of a proactive and enthusiastic team.
What are your career aspirations?
I’d like to continue in H&S and gather more experience before choosing a specialty where I might become a sector leading expert – that’s the dream anyway!
To find out more about Jules' Fall Prevention Project, please click here.