Work / Life: Health and Safety Manager

A day in the life of…
Steve Martin, Health and Safety Manager

What are you responsible for in your job? What does that involve, what do you do, who with?
I take responsibility for the health and safety aspects of the company. Together with my colleague Samantha we ensure that the workplace is safe and complies with the latest legislation. We work closely with the facilities department to look at equipment, working environment and occupational health so everyone has a safe, happy place to work and goes home safely at the end of the day.

Describe a typical day in your job.
Each day is very varied. On some days, I am working with the fire brigade to look at our procedures in the event of a fire. I might also be reviewing training requirements and organising training sessions, putting together and managing our Occupational Health programme, working out who needs health surveillance and then organising appointments. We have a lot of interaction with staff who come to us asking for advice regarding the health and safety requirements surrounding their jobs.

How did you get the job? What is your background and why did you take this job?
I started in F1 in 2000 with Jordan as a proof loader in the inspection department, but my background is in the aluminium business for aviation. I was testing aluminium that would makeup aircraft such as the A380 for wing spar failures, wing fatigue. Then Jordan bought one of the machines we used and asked if I could come and work for them. I worked in quality assurance, but when the facilities manager left I took on some tasks involving health and safety. I realised this was a huge area with lots of potential within the team so I focussed on this. I went back to college to get the right qualifications, then worked solely in H&S. I left Force India, as Jordan had become, in 2014 for a ‘normal’ job but I didn’t like the pace of life away from F1 so I returned to the sport with Lotus at the end of 2014. I’ve been here ever since.

What is your most memorable moment…
Getting a podium with Force India in Spa 2009 was amazing, and the win with Jordan in Brazil in 2003. I get the feeling we are part of something big at Renault so I look forward to our podiums!

And the worst part of your job…?
When someone has an accident. I feel like I’ve let them down or missed an opportunity to make the workplace safer.

The best part of your job then…
I love my job within health and safety, I strive to achieve the best we can be as a business working within the laws. But most of all, I enjoy protecting individuals and ensuring they have the necessary skills and understanding of how to be safe at work. Being there for someone who, for whatever reason, is having a hard time and helping them through difficult times is very rewarding.

What do you do after work? How do you unwind?
My children have left home now so my wife and I like socialising with friends, working in the garden and going out on our bikes.

What do you do before going to sleep?
Not much – I tend to unwind with a bit of TV and then go to sleep pretty quickly!

Plan B… If you weren’t doing your job, what would you have done instead? Paramedic. I’ve always admired what they do.