HS&E Advisor, Natalie
One of AJN’s Health, Safety and Environment Advisors
Q. What does your role involve?
In a nutshell I work with all employees to create a workplace that is as safe as it can be. I work as part of a skilled team to help AJN and its employees comply with health and safety legislation by producing and reviewing risk assessments and SSOWs as well as various other documents.
I’m also responsible for completing new employee inductions, organising all statutory examinations, managing all contractors that come to site and investigating any accidents or near misses. It’s never a dull moment!
Q. How long have you worked at AJN and why did you choose to work here?
Almost eight years. I decided to work at AJN because I was looking for a change of career and was offered a job by Alan Boyden whilst I was working in the local pub. Having never worked in an office, or operated a computer since college, I decided to go to Kentford for a look around one afternoon and thought what have I got to lose?
Q. Looking at the company today compared to when you started, what do you think has changed the most and has it changed for the better?
The obvious I guess – the size of the company and the number of employees. Yes, I think so, the company is bigger and more successful but it still feels the same. It’s not lost any of its values and the way it’s run is the same.
Q. What do you best like about your job?
Every day there is something new. I also enjoy getting out in the yard and working with everyone.
Q. What’s your best memory or biggest achievement during your time at AJN?
I think the Christmas parties and social events have to be up there as my best memories to date. Or maybe the Steel Shifters coming fourth overall in the dragon boat race, having never been in a boat together before the day – and raising a decent amount of money for charity whilst doing so. My biggest work achievement has to be progressing from sales administrator to becoming part the Health and Safety team.
Q. The steel construction industry, typically, can be seen as a male dominant sector, do you feel that’s the case at AJN?
Although there are far more men at AJN than there are ladies, I don’t think we are overshadowed by the men. We are a fierce bunch! The ladies in this office (Henstridge) regularly get together for a drink or a meal of an evening or the weekend, we’re a great team. (girl power!!)
Q. Do you feel you are treated any different by your colleagues because you’re a woman?
No, I don’t think so, I don’t think people are put off asking for health and safety advice from me because I am a woman. They probably just see me as one of the big AJN team.
Q. What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in the steel construction industry?
Go for it, we are just as capable as the next person.
Q. What do you do in your spare time – any hobbies or interests?
I’ve been doing a lot of cycling as part of my training for the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance Coast to Coast charity bike ride. I love a trip to the beach for chips and an ice cream and also like to go away in my motorhome visiting different parts of the UK. We do a lot of walking when we are away and our dog, Winnie, is always ready to explore!
I’m really close to my family (I have a twin sister), so whenever I can, I love to get back to Suffolk to see them all. I would also never turn down the opportunity to get out and socialise with my friends.