So much more than just ‘Health and Safety’

As Health & Safety Manager for MacIntyre, one of my roles is to carry out audits in MacIntyre services. I try to do about one a month and they provide a great opportunity to meet MacIntyre staff and the people we support. During a typical audit I spend a lot of time with the Frontline Manager looking at paperwork as health and safety has to be evidenced through records. However, I also look at practice and just get talking to people. Not only do I find out a lot this way but it makes the audit seem to go much faster and a much more pleasant experience for all involved.

One of the first things I like to do when arriving on site is to meet the people we support. Sometimes this happens straight away because I am greeted at the front door by someone. Quite often I will hear another voice in the background saying something like; “Don’t forget to ask him for his ID!” and “get him to sign the visitors book!” This always makes me grin! I don’t know why.

Other times I meet people while we take a bit of a tour round the property. Quite often the people we support want to show me their bedroom which is always an honour as they are so often beautifully decorated and have posters, ornaments and décor that say a lot about the person, their interests, personality and the love they share with friends or family. When it comes to posters, I have come to the conclusion that the most popular poster of people supported by MacIntyre is the one of the Beatles walking across the Zebra Crossing at Abbey Road. I see that everywhere! It’s very bad because Paul McCartney is not wearing shoes! – That’s not safe and what’s more, he’s smoking! Shocking!

Anyway back to interactions with people on audits.

I experience lots of Great Interactions when I meet people during audits. I remember a gentleman I met a few months ago at one of our Adult Learning Services who was hilarious. It was like being audience to a live comedy act – just for me. Some of his humour was a bit risqué but very funny! I’ve been meaning to go back for more! During a recent BSi audit I met a gentleman in one of our registered care services who had a great repertoire of jokes that he makes up himself. My favourite one was this: “What type of health and safety document is the chef’s favourite? Answer: A whisk assessment!”

Of course not everyone I meet wants my company. I was head-butted once when I was too close to someone and in another situation I was marched off the premises by a young lady who had had enough of me talking to her staff! However, most of the time, people are very friendly, welcoming and polite.

A gentleman I met recently at one of our supported living services was really into woodwork and gave me a special tour of his shed. It was immaculately maintained. I wish staff kept sheds this safe and tidy. He had made some great pieces of woodwork such as a plant tray and bird box. It was nice to see the proud look on his face when he was showing me these things.

Even when words and signing are not the preferred form of communication, a friendly wave, smile or enthusiastic sound is all that it takes to connect with people. It’s these connections and the humour that make my job so much more than just ‘Health & Safety’.

Nigel Hammond
Health and Safety Manager


  • Tess Marshall says:

    That joke is hilarious! I also love visiting services when I get the chance. You’ve put into words what I feel about my job, too, so much more than just ‘Recruitment’.

  • Donald says:

    Nice blog Mr Health & Safety Manager Nigel. Now I understand a little bit more of what you do. It’s nice to understand what other staff do and why you have to do it and how it fits in with the rest of MacIntyre.

  • Jan Kendall says:

    A great blog – especially like the joke!! That maybe added to my repertoire at some point 🙂

  • Fay Walker says:

    What a lovely blog! It must be nice to get out and about and see health and safety in practice and in people’s lives.

  • natalie macpherson says:

    Great blog Nigel, really made me smile (apart from the head butting of course). It’s fantastic to hear the observations you’ve made on your travels.

  • Deb Ibbetson says:

    Lovely blog Nigel. It’s always such an honour to be invited into people’s homes and personal spaces.

  • Leander McFadden says:

    I think I may have heard that joke before… Excellent… How dare Sir Paul take such a ‘whisk’…. (I hear ya groaning)…

    Lovely reflection, thank you for sharing

  • Emma Killick says:

    Nice blog Nigel – “whisk assessment” that’s a good one!
    MacIntyre’s ethos and Great Interactions runs through everything and is part of all that we are and do – so its great to read how much you feel and experience that when carrying out a H&S Audit!

  • Beth Payne says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog Nigel!!!

  • Nigel Hammond says:

    Thanks for all the nice comments!

  • Jackie Alexander says:

    A lovely blog Nigel, I really enjoyed reading it and yes it is lovely to meet people we support across MacIntyre.

  • Patsy Kitt-Manning says:

    Lovely blog I have been volunteered to be the health and safety person at our service. Not sure what it entails. Reading this blog was lovely and I hope I can keep a sense of humor when I find out what the role entails.

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