Ten years ago I was working with a London based health and safety consultancy with one of their major clients. When I started in 2007, the client had 10 northern offices each running their own health and safety management systems. There was no structure.
After a very detailed audit, over seventy major actions were identified, and over the following 12-18 months I helped this client implement a management plan that integrated the 10 offices, and put them in alignment with the rest of the UK offices.
To my surprise, the client and my employer put me forward for a national award. Ten years ago this week, I attended the SHP IOSH Awards at the prestigious Park Lane Hilton for the ceremony.
A room full to the brim of the elite in the health and safety industry field were present. After the meal and the after dinner speech by the compère for the evening, comedian Hugh Dennis, the awards started.
Eventually the category for which I had been shortlisted came up. SHP IOSH Consultant of the Year 2009. To my utter shock and amazement, I won, and suddenly I found myself on stage holding a green Perspex block that was my award.
After ten years of training, various jobs, and many ups and downs I had reached a high point being chosen by prominent figures in my profession as best of the best.
The euphoria was immense and lasted a long long time. The publicity was something I have never ever known. It gave me a unique selling point. Not everyone gets such an accolade.
The Consultant of the Year Award was never presented again after that year, so in theory I still hold the title now. It is something I am still immensely proud of. Even now, ten years down the line, it shows clients that I am good at my job, that I know what I am talking about. But has it changed me?
I don’t think so. I now run my own consultancy, and I go out of my way to help others, to aid clients, and to educate people. My main aim is to allow things to happen - as long as they are done in a safe and healthy way. You never see me with a clipboard. You rarely see me in a suit. I am hands on.
I am a consultant that wants to move things forward the correct way using simple advice in small bite size chunks that allow employees at client companies to take ownership of what they do.
That is what I did with that original client. I gave them the ability to take thinks forward and own their health and safety systems. That is why I was nominated and won that award ten years ago. Why change what works?
That is why I do what I do.