Health and Safety, MENA
Tony's life has taken many interesting twists and turns. A skiing instructor with dreams of sailing the French Riviera, Tony started his career in the Army before joining Mace as a health and safety expert. With extensive knowledge of working with machinery, he has taken his career in a different direction and is now managing the safe delivery of a high profile construction project in Dubai.
- What did you do from leaving school to joining Mace?
I left school at 16 and joined the Royal Engineers in The British Army. My interest for all things mechanical started during my training as a plant operator mechanic.
After 18 years’ service, I studied health and safety and was awarded a Diploma in Health and Safety Management by the British Safety Council. My first job saw me work for a consultancy firm who were used across Mace’s aviation projects. After working on both Gatwick and Heathrow Airports, I was offered a role at Mace as a resident health and safety manager, which turned out to be my stepping stone to some great projects.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
I joined Mace in March 1998 and worked on some prestigious projects with some fantastic teams. After leaving Mace for a short period to work on the 40-storey Gherkin building, I returned in 2005 with new skills and valuable knowledge and put them to good use on The Shard.
I am now an associate director responsible for major projects and the management of health and safety professionals. In 2014, I was looking for a change from the construction' norm' when an opportunity came up with the international team in Dubai.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
Working at The Shard between 2007 and 2012 where I was responsible for managing health and safety. Because it was such a high profile and complex project, I worked closely with Network Rail, London Underground and more specifically, the Health and Safety Executive, who, along with their nuclear division, were keen to share knowledge of fire and safety engineering on high-rise structures.
It was a learning curve for everyone involved, but my proudest moment was the professional manner, collaborative working and being a key part of the team who completed the job. We always raised the standards and explored new ways of building safely.
“You need to be able to educate people so that they understand why being safe is important, and that it’s not just because of legislation.”
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
- You need to be approachable, a good listener, a good communicator at all levels, and achieve compliance without needing to enforce legislation. You need to be able to educate people so that they understand why being safe is important, and that it’s not just because of legislation. Being a team player, a problem-solver, pragmatic and a good influencer are also good traits.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work, what do you think you might be doing?
If I had not met my wife when I did, my plan was to be a ski instructor during the winter months, and travel or work on boats in the south of France in the summer. I was a qualified ski instructor in the Army; both in downhill and cross country.
My new hobby is golf. I 'to and fro' between being good and bad, but my best ever round is 74. Once I hang up the helmet and gloves, I hope to retire to Portugal and enjoy some quality time with my wife.