Investing in our staff

Jack Macfarlane

TJ believes in investing in their staff, giving them what they need to develop and they advocate continuing professional development within their workforce. Here we meet a TJ employee who has benefitted from this ethos.

Jack MacFarlane, Health & Safety Compliance Supervisor, joined TJ in February 2017 during his university placement year. Jack impressed TJ’s Managing Director John Gosling, who continued Jack’s employment part time while he completed the final year of his degree.

When Jack graduated from the University of Portsmouth with his LLB (Hons) in Law last summer, he was taken on full time to continue his work and has benefitted from continuing professional development since then.

You studied law at university, how relevant is that to the health and safety role?

It’s extremely relevant. The knowledge and skills I gained during my degree have enabled me to read and apply the law in the areas of health and safety compliance as needed. I also have the ability to deliver legal information through oral presentations and written documentation, which is a big part of my role.

Tell me a bit more about your duties and responsibilities

I work for both arms of the company, TJ Transport and TJ Waste. I am the health and safety advisor for all of our vehicles and our sites – inert landfills, material recovery facilities and our two quarries. I carry out audits at all of our sites and investigate incidents of personal injury and assist the fleet department in any road traffic accidents that occur.

I also investigate every ‘near miss’ that’s recorded within the company, which is great because we can learn from these close calls, put new procedures in place to prevent future occurrences, which should mean a higher level of safety in the future.

I ensure the entire workforce across TJ is fully up to date and compliant with external, internal and regulatory training. As well as ensuring all our plant machinery and equipment in our widely diverse business remains legal and compliant.

How has TJ invested in you?

They’ve been really great in supporting my development and giving me opportunities to gain safety qualifications relevant to my role. At the end of last year I completed the IOSH Managing Safely course and I’ve just finished my Level 6 Certificate in Applied Health & Safety.

I’m currently doing my the NCRQ Level 6 Diploma in Applied Health & Safety which is really interesting. TJ allow me to fit in bits of study during working hours around my duties and I also put in some time at home as well. I chose this course because it can be done at your own pace, so I can fit it in around my job, stepping back from it during particularly busy periods at work.

TJ has an external health & safety advisor as well as myself as it’s always good practice to have both internal and external advisors. Stuart Etherington of BHP Group is a chartered member of IOSH, the highest level you can be, and he has given me a great deal of support and is helping me along my career path, which I am extremely grateful for.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I sit in the Transport office and it’s a lovely team to be amongst. I love the content of the job itself, getting to use my legal knowledge, but also learning new things. No two days are the same; much of the job is reactive to things that are happening at different sites. I spend a lot of my time out and about which provides variety and there is flexibility with the hours too as I manage my own time around the day’s tasks.

Can you tell us about some of the bigger projects you’re working on?

We hold an annual health and safety training event every January and I played a big part in this year’s one. We will start working on that again in the autumn and I hope to have even more involvement this time, perhaps getting more involved in the content itself as well. It’s a really valuable event as it gives new staff a valuable induction in health and safety and it also acts as a refresher to existing staff with the chance to be informed about updates within the industry.

Another project that I’m going to be involved in is the roll out of a new computer system that will hopefully be going live later this year. It will mean that from then on, everything will be digitised and all drivers will be using tablets instead of paperwork. I have asked to be involved in delivering the training as it is something that I’m interested and skilled in.

Does your work extend outside of TJ?

I represent TJ at the South East Quarries and Landfill Group and the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum.

The WISH Forum consists of representatives from the waste management and recycling industry that have come together with the aim to identify, devise and promote activities to improve industry health and safety standards. Last year TJ hosted the first ever WISH Safety Awareness Day which was held at our Quartremaine Road Waste Transfer Station. The event consisted of informative presentations, educating people on various health and safety issues and hot topics.


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