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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard Magazine

Redefining the role

PETER BATEMAN challenged a selected group to come up with an interesting job description to attract the best and brightest candidates.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the phrase “health & safety” invokes negative feelings in most people, who hear it and immediately, without conscious effort, apply certain associations to it. Such as “boring”, or “compliance”, or “trouble”, or “slows down my real work”.

For many people health and safety invokes a MEGO response. (As a university lecturer a thousand years ago once scrawled on one of my more feeble assignments. It took me a while to realise he meant My Eyes Glaze Over).

This reaction immediately creates barriers to getting anything worthwhile done. Which led me to muse that seeing a job advertisement for a health & safety position is unlikely to attract the best and brightest candidates because straight away their MEGO alarm would go off: boring, dull etc.

The best and brightest people probably wouldn’t even apply to a conventional job ad for a conventional H&S role, and that’s a worry for an occupation where demand is rising but the existing workforce is ageing.

So I challenged a few people to create a job title for an entry-level role, with an associated role description, that would attract the candidates of their dreams: people who shared their vision for H&S and its true nature and value, and who want to explore this as a new career.

Their efforts follow. Enjoy!

Business Partner – Safe at Work

Do you see yourself as intrinsically driven, with the ability to set goals and work within a multi-disciplinary team? This could be the start of a great career.


The people that you get to work and interact with.

Not being at your desk 100% of the time, getting out and about, variety, no one day the same.

The ability to influence workplace planning and ultimately be part of a team that adds value to our organisation.

Great camaraderie.

You will feel valued!


Being open-minded to other ideas and opinions and able to apply a level of pragmatism to the job.

Be able to listen well, seek clarification and articulate a response appropriate to the issue.

Good people skills, being able to communicate effectively, solution-based

Ability to develop relationships with a variety of people and earn their trust. Enjoying helping people and doing your bit to keep them safe.

Patience and a thick skin sometimes helps!


A formal HSE qualification is not necessary but could be an advantage. NZQA-based training combined with on-job experience would help.

We are looking for someone with a broad range of experience from previous work and particularly with communication and influencing skills.

We will support you with the specialised training you need.


Being calm and level headed – the ability to remain generally unflustered.

Being able to contribute to a team (a good sense of humour will help!)

Being approachable and able to interact and build relationships with people at different levels of the business. Open minded. Not afraid to step outside your comfort zone.

Empathy, the ability to work with a variety of people and earn their trust.

Being able to support people to solve problems.

A desire to do the best job possible.

John Skudder

Contact Energy

Professional Enquirer


Here at Generic Products and Services we are very good at what we do, but we don’t fully know why. We are looking for a candidate to help us understand our own organisation better. Instead of hiring a consultant who already has answers, we want you – intelligent, insatiably curious, and fascinated by ideas and by people. We need you to come into our organisation and discover what makes our work work and our people happy.

As a Professional Enquirer you will be part of GP&S’s organisational improvement team. You will develop first-hand knowledge about our operations, collect ideas from others, and bring new ideas from outside the organisation. This learning ensures that we can collaborate with our workforce to create new initiatives that are consistent with current challenges and conditions.

Your time as a Professional Enquirer will help you build the skills to advance within any part of our organisation. Your next step could be in engineering, product development, sales, safety, HR, or site management.


You must be interested in learning. You probably have formal university qualifications (in any discipline), but not for their own sake – study and learning is just part of who you are. You should be a passionate collector of ideas outside of your primary discipline.

You must be able to let other people be the expert. We know you already know a lot, but you know that you always have more to learn. You treat everyone with respect, knowing that they all have wisdom to share.

You must be willing to try things that you are not good at. A professional enquirer is expected to get their hands dirty trying out as many jobs as possible within our organisation.

You must be good at listening to other people, and summarising the ideas of staff with differing ideas without excluding anyone. Ideally you already have training in active listening or qualitative research. Enhancing your already strong listening skills will be part of your training as soon as you join us.

Drew Rae

Griffith University, Queensland

Shoe-shifter: possessing powers to gain insight from others’ perspectives


A shoe-shifter

Comfortable in your own shoes with the ability to gain insight into what it’s like to be in other people’s – whether these are the mud-covered boots of a farm client, the steel toecaps of a construction client, or the shiny shoes of a director.

A word interpreter

A clear communicator able to create dialogue with a range of people. You actively listen and clarify understanding and are able to infer what people are really saying.

A brazen explorer

Intellectually curious and possessing an unapologetic compulsion to test and challenge the fundamentals of your basic health and safety training. You will seek learnings from other disciplines and fields, and you will have an uncanny way of bringing this to create new ways of approaching your work.


You will be part of a small team so the role is yours to shape and nurture. There will of course be some basics – like talking to clients, scoping the work, and delivering to their expectations – but the real challenge and opportunity is in how you add value. We expect you to:

  • • 
    Support positive change and integration of health and safety into their business.
  • • 
    Identify opportunities for them to focus on what they need but might not have realised for themselves.
  • • 
    Hold a mirror up in a way that allows them to acknowledge their true reflection and not shy away from a potentially uncomfortable image.
  • • 
    Support them to see the way forward for themselves.
  • • 
    Wear the shoes of those you interact with and use this insight to inform the advice you give.

Helen Parkes

Cosman Parkes, Wellington

Human Experience Pioneer

About one-third of our lives are spent working. Our mission is to make “work” a great experience for everyone. We are on the search for a Pioneer to join our Great Work Vanguard: A group of future-fit leaders who believe great work should be diverse, free from harm, flexible and fulfilling.


We believe a positive work experience is achieved when harmony exists between physical, psychological and organisational factors. We believe humans are critical for a positive work experience and our leadership team “value human” above all else.


As a Human Experience Pioneer you will be supported by a Vanguard mentor to gain insights from inside and outside the organisation as to how we can continue to make our company a better place to be human. You will collaborate with your mentor to ideate, iterate, prototype and implement solutions designed to enhance the human experience at work. Your portfolio will evolve to suit your strengths and your mentor will support you to develop your desired interests.


We want your human skills: creativity, curiosity, empathy and trust. University degree? Diploma? Life experience? If you can demonstrate to us that you have great communication skills and thrive on solving complex problems – we’ll listen. How you do that is up to you. We value diverse experience and know that learning comes in many forms. However you will need to demonstrate how you are developing the following critical skills for the future of work:

  • • 
    Tech literacy: critical for cross-team communication
  • • 
    Design thinking approach for complex problem solving
  • • 
    Collaborative mindset
  • • 
    Strategies for managing rapid change

Select “Apply Now” to shape the future of work.

Cameron Stevens

Percolate Ideas, Perth

Wanted: Innovation guru

Are you the type of person:

  • • 
    who likes to see things go faster, smarter, higher but likes to see it done right, first time, every time?
  • • 
    who believes in people and that if you listen to them they will probably give you the answer?
  • • 
    whose passion is for improvement and is willing to learn from failure?
  • • 
    who gets a kick out of other people’s success?

Our operational teams are focused on doing excellent work, making money and meeting our customers’ expectations. They are under a lot of pressure to do things in certain ways, and each customer has different expectations.

These teams need your help. We need an innovation guru whose role is to enable success. You will look at the way we do things – what causes complications, what are the frustrations, how we learn from our mistakes – and work with our people to turn those challenges into opportunities.

The outcome of the role is that every single staff member has the tools, processes, competencies and systems to enable them to succeed every day. The biggest kick of all is that you will know that not only have you made things better, but every single staff member will go home safely to their families every day.


  • • 
    A good listener
  • • 
    Creative thinking
  • • 
  • • 
  • • 
    Collaborative manner
  • • 
    Commitment to excellence

There is no set format for application – take it as a chance to demonstrate your innovation skills!

Jono Brent

CEO, Connetics Ltd, Christchurch


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