Group Health, Safety and Wellbeing Director
Health and Safety, UK
With more than 25 years' of experience in the construction industry, Andy’s career has developed from site based delivery to strategic planning and development for health and safety. As a leader in his field, Andy oversees a team of more than 100 specialists, ensuring safety and wellbeing on all Mace sites and raising global standards across the industry.
- How did you get into what you do?
At school I wanted to be a cartographer but I did some work experience and hated it so I trained to be a land surveyor. I worked in surveying for a few years and after getting some great life experience from various different roles and companies, I joined a demolition firm as a contract manager.
There’s a big element of health and safety (H&S) associated with demolition work, and regrettably a colleague was fatally injured doing a very basic task, so I put myself through training to become qualified and that experience has always been a core part of my drive and purpose. I joined a construction company around 1996 and started working as a safety manager before working my way up to Head of H&S for EMEA.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
Ten years ago I joined Mace as a H&S operations director in construction. Three years ago I became Head of Health and Safety and recently I was promoted to Group H&S Director.
Although Mace has always been committed to H&S, our Board and the vision for Safety first, Second nature has raised the bar and, more recently, has made ‘health’ an equal partner to ‘safety’. I’ve been constantly challenged to do more and push the boundaries - that level of interest and commitment is what you want from a Board.
- What makes you proud at Mace?
- I couldn’t name one thing other than people - both those who work for Mace and those we work with. Take the Mace Safety Awards for example - they’ve been a huge success - and when I think what I’m proud of, it’s the people and the teams who have been recognised. This year, two award winners really stood out for me. They were both from outside the UK and had achieved phenomenal success in countries where health and safety is still a very real challenge. I feel proud of them and that Mace has given them the recognition they deserve. As a result, those two people will go on to be leaders and champions of health and safety.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
- Mace is now of a size that we have a responsibility to challenge the industry and raise standards so you have to be competent in your knowledge, confident in answering any questions and be prepared to keep setting the benchmarks and moving the goalposts. Beyond that, it’s about being someone who can listen and work with people to reach solutions. It’s never about being a policeman and spoiling the fun.
- What do you hope you will be doing in the next 5-10 years?
- I’d like to still be with Mace but maybe doing something different. I don’t want to ever be the reason that my team can’t progress because I’m in a position that other people are ready to step into. I have a responsibility to develop and, where necessary, recruit people who will be the future of this business and our profession and be better than me - it challenges me and my knowledge and helps me to develop - it’s the right thing to do.
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
- When I’m not at work I keep bees. I only started 12 months ago but I had five hives this year and lots of honey. It’s something I’d always wanted to do as it has so many personal benefits and it’s good for the environment. I find it really relaxing.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what would you have done?
- I would have been a motor racing driver. I did rallycross with my son a few years ago. We were a good team and I'm proud to say we have a few trophies in the cabinet.
“I’ve been constantly challenged to do more and push the boundaries - that level of interest and commitment is what you want from a Board.”