My name is Natasha Thomson and I am NJC’s Health, Safety, Environmental and Quality Specialist. I have worked in health and safety for nearly 5 years, starting as an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), regulating and enforcing health and safety legislation in the Field Operation Directorate. I moved into the private sector 3 years ago when I started my journey at NJC and in FM.
What does your role involve?
NJC is a prestigious cleaning and support services company with approximately 1000 employees, carrying out horizontal and vertical cleaning services including, specialist cleaning ,rope access and waste management. My role involves assisting with the implementation, update and maintenance of our HSEQ standards and procedures, as laid out in the company's ISO 45001, 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001 management systems. I help to protect the health and safety of employees, customers and members of the public by ensuring that risks in the workplace are properly controlled and that impacts on the environment are minimised, whilst delivering a high quality service to our customers.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
My favourite aspect is making a difference and protecting people from harm, which I find very rewarding. To achieve this, it is important to provide the right tools to our operations team to allow them to work safely and to have the right rapport with both management and frontline colleagues. I meet so many wonderful people in my job which makes it all worthwhile.
In addition, I love working with others to achieve best practice and key milestones for the company, for example obtaining full IRATA membership and our ROSPA Gold award.
What are the biggest benefits you bring to your customers?
My experience as an Inspector included proactive and preventable inspections, investigating accidents and complaints and preparing and presenting court cases for ‘guilty pleas’ in the Magistrates Court. This means I often approach situations with a ‘legal mindset’, which is invaluable for ensuring NJC remains compliant and our customer's brand is protected from harm. It is my goal to make sure no one suffers an injury at work.
In addition, achieving my work through good rapport with everyone I encounter and with a smile on my face, being assertive where required, makes health and safety ‘approachable’ for customers and NJC operations. This dissolves any negative pre-existing opinions people may have.
What is the most challenging aspect of what you do?
The most challenging aspect is continually working to progress a positive safety culture. It is vital to embed the ethos with every employee that health and safety is NJC’s top priority and therefore their priority above anything else. NJC is on a journey and we can demonstrate a positive safety culture, but we are continuously reviewing our performance as we feel we can go further! To fully achieve a positive safety culture, we have some exciting initiatives that we are implementing and have planned for the future.
NJC has a zero tolerance towards harm and unsafe working practices and promoting this message and embedding it within our culture is fundamental.
In 2022, we’ll all be talking about?
Mental health! We are only just scratching the surface when it comes to mental health in the workplace. I believe we will see significant changes in legislation and an increase in regulatory enforcement in the workplace to ensure employers are helping their people manage wellbeing and stress. NJC is already a champion for mental wellbeing and I am very fortunate to work for a company which takes a strong approach to stopping stigmatisation in the workplace and encourages positive wellbeing for all their employees.
Where will we find you when you are not at work?
I wish I could answer this question with a more interesting answer, but you may find me at aerial hoop classes, at the gym, or relaxing with a hot chocolate (I love them!)