David Donnelly Re-Gen Group SHEQ (Health and Safety) Manager

Re-Gen Group’s SHEQ Manager David Donnelly making a difference where it matters

A severe workplace accident in 2004 really opened David Donnelly’s eyes to the importance of Health and Safety in the workplace.

With a background in construction and engineering, danger was all around; one of David’s first accidents was in a tech lab where he run a saw through his fingertip.

David joined Re-Gen Group in December 2019, an environment he really makes a difference in – and it’s a role he wouldn’t swap for any other in the world.

Check out our Q&A with Re-Gen Group’s SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) Manager below..

What is your role in the company and what does a typical day entail?

My role at Re-Gen is Safety, Health, Environment & Quality Manager. A typical day starts with preparation for the morning management meeting. We review and discuss any health and safety issues, and plan for projects, inspections, audits, and visitors onto the site.

Once the morning meeting is completed, I meet my team and discuss the day’s work and the plan for the following week. I have 1:1 meetings with my staff every fortnight but we are a small team and have the opportunity to discuss our work every day.

I will undertake safety walks at Re-Gen Waste, Re-Gen Robotics, Connex Offsite and Versaffix and speak to employees to ensure my team is aware of, and monitoring, health and safety issues. I also prepare for the ISO 9001, 45001 and 14001 audits for the group, carry out research on fire suppression systems, and plan training.

What was your route into the company?

I worked in engineering and construction for a number of years before moving into the health and safety sector. I’ve experience in investigating incidents and accidents, and inspecting work practises and delivering training. I joined the Re-Gen Group in December 2019.

How long have you been involved in this type of work?

I have over 20 years’ experience in workplaces and completed my first health and safety training in 2001. I started my journey to work in a dedicated health and safety role in 2011 and have not looked back. I’ve been Secretary of the Waste Industry Safety and Health forum for Northern Ireland (WISHNI) since December 2022. I enjoy working with representatives from the waste management and recycling industry. The forum’s membership is from private sector companies, local government and the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland who all volunteer their time and expertise to advise and support others, and raise awareness of important issues.

Where did you work before this?

Before I came to Re-Gen I had been working as a H&S instructor and consultant. Alongside my work delivering training and instruction on safe working practices and general health and safety. I’m particularly interested in sharing my experiences from the construction industry to improve health and safety practise and culture.

What were your favourite subjects at school and why?

I found technology and design interesting as I enjoyed designing and creating products, and using various machinery and processes. I was involved in one of my first accidents in the tech lab during which I ran a saw through my fingertip. Globalisation was an interesting area in business studies.

Did you go on to university or further education and what did you study?

After I left school, I completed a modern apprenticeship in engineering construction through the Construction Industry Training Board. The apprenticeship allowed me the opportunity to develop practical skills and knowledge that I still use and which are relevant in health and safety.

After a severe workplace accident in 2004, I commenced a journey to develop my skills by taking on a range of health & safety assessments, and instructor, teaching and training qualifications. My professional development continued, and I completed my Diploma in health and safety. This allowed me to achieve Graduate level of Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). I became a chartered member of IOSH in January 2023.

What do you enjoy about it?

I enjoy being able to make a positive difference to standards of health and safety. Driving forward health and safety practises, challenging inappropriate behaviour, and striving for high standards mean that I can make a difference and get everyone home safe every day.

What are the main skills required for it?

Listening and communication skills are essential parts of my role. They are as important as knowledge and understanding of health and safety regulations and methodology for risk assessing, inspecting, and investigating. Attention to detail is important for reports, audits and assessments. Resilience and role modelling are vital in demonstrating adherence to site rules and professional standards.

What would your advice be to anyone thinking of it as a career?

Health and safety is a valuable and rewarding career that improves working conditions and reduces harm. I would recommend it as a career path for any young person who wishes to make a difference and who enjoys working with people.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?

I am very lucky to hold my ideal job role. I appreciate my ability to practise in recycling, manufacturing, logistics and construction which have many hazards and risks. This is where I feel I am most valuable and have the ability to make a difference. I enjoy learning and developing my practical and professional skills.

How do you relax when you’re not working?

When not working I enjoy spending time with my family and going out for meals. I enjoy walking my dogs and completed the Cancer Research UK 100 Miles Challenge earlier this year. It’s great being outside at the end of the working day.

Search ArmaghJobs.com for your perfect career here.

Job Profiles, News