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A day in the life of Paul Ablitt, SHEQ Director

Posted: 28th January 2020

Hello, my name is Paul Ablitt. I have been a SHEQ Director at Obelisk for three and a half years. If you've ever wondered what a typical day at the office looks like for me, keep reading.

I arrive in the office around 7am and my role for each day is to ensure SHEQ standards are met across all our sites. The day starts with a coffee and breakfast, normally overnight oats (one of my favourites) and a quick scan of emails to see which are urgent and which can be dealt with throughout the day.

A quick look at the calendar will tell me how many meetings are scheduled for the day and any ad-hoc ones that have been put in the diary at short notice. For me, while I may have my day planned, it can change at any time with a phone call from an Obelisk employee. It could be anything from a quick chat, someone looking for advice, or from time to time to report an unplanned event. There are trackers and reports to be updated and produced in the morning, statistics to be reviewed and Purchase Orders to be approved. Time tends to pass quickly so around 10am a coffee is in hand and it’s time to re-focus!

The commercial team keep me busy throughout the day answering pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQ’s) and tender documents which often include SHEQ questions. A few more calls, a review of Risk Assessments/Method Statements (RAMS), helping with templated documents and testing documents on Kizeo, our forms APP software, and it’s soon lunchtime.

The afternoon is often spent answering emails, approving documents and organising client and in-house meetings. After client reports are submitted, it’s off to another meeting and more actions to address. A quick call with each of the SHEQ team members to catch up on how things are going and giving them support and guidance is all part of the day.

I sit down to focus on preparing a report and then somebody comes into the office and asks, “Can I have five minutes of your time?” is normally the opening line. Five minutes turns into 30 minutes or more, but I don’t mind this as they have gone away with the advice and answers to the questions asked, and they can progress with their work.

An email pops up from one of our employees titled ‘Safety Alert’. “What has happened?”, “Has anybody been injured?”, “How will it affect Obelisk?”. These are the quick questions that go through my mind. It is read, digested and circulated with some information from me as to what we need to do.

On the rare occasion that a call comes in that an incident has taken place on site, the adrenalin starts pumping and I question if anybody has been injured. "No" is the response. I have a sigh of relief and leave my desk for the site. The most important thing is not to stress and remain focused, what’s done is done, nobody is hurt. I complete the on-site investigation and gather all the facts to update the Executive Team. Back in the office I digest the information and think about writing the report. A clear head is needed so a coffee is made, and the report writing process starts.

A quick look at the clock and it tells me it’s time to go home and relax. I lock the office, turn off the lights, lock the gates and turn on the cameras. I am happy another day is done and everyone is home safe, and I look forward to doing it all again tomorrow!

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