The health, safety and well-being of our colleagues are paramount!

SBZ Corporation’s health & safety manager, Les Campen, answers a few questions about his experience, role, and passions.

What is your role within SBZ?
To manage health & safety, environmental and security issues.

What does your role involve?
I am working alongside SBZ colleagues to implement safe systems of work and ensure continued legal compliance, whilst enabling the business to flourish. 

What is the skill set you need to excel in your role?
You have to be qualified to act as the ‘appointed person’ in an organisation, but health & safety is about people, not just rules, so you need a good understanding of human behaviour.

How long have you worked within the industry?  
I have enjoyed working for Forty-five years in high-hazard industries, with 25 years of those as a health & safety practitioner.

What are the challenges you face? 
We are implementing a robust H&S management system that will enable SBZ to build on the ISO 45001 standard accreditation currently held. The ISO 45001 standard call for ‘sustained and continual improvement’ in the company’s health & safety performance.

Everyone understands the need for good working instructions and procedures that enable us to work efficiently and safely, provide a competitive edge and safeguard our livelihood. 

How has the pandemic affected the role of health and safety in the workplace?
We have a hazard, and we have the probability that the hazard will result in significant harm. We put effective control measures in place and then stick to them – that is what we have always done to manage risk, so nothing has changed except that every human being on the planet is exposed to the hazard.

We cannot simply go back to ‘normal’ as too many things have changed irreversible and the ‘old way’ was causing far too much environmental damage, but we have a golden opportunity to build back smarter, greener and safer.

What are your plans going forward with SBZ?
I am currently conducting an in-depth audit of the current SBZ health & safety management system, highlighting the actions we will need to complete to ensure legal compliance and enable us to set the goals for continual improvement.

How do you lead and keep up to date with legislation and new approaches? 
As a Chartered Member of IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety & Health), I am obliged to undertake CPD (Continual Professional Development) by attending courses and on-going training. I also sit on the IOSH Essex Branch executive committee, which holds bi-monthly meetings with a programme of relevant presentations and networking opportunities to keep up to date.

How do you relax in your spare time? 
I teach and practice Hatha Yoga. I also walk, take photos and play the piano – but not all at the same time!

What’s your motto for life?
“Live it!”