Katie Richardson - Group Safety Officer
Katie Richardson discusses career progression and how her varied job in health and safety allows her to help people working in all areas of Clarion Housing Group.
What is your current role?
I’m a group safety officer in the health and safety team. My role is really varied and no two days ever seem to be the same. I create and deliver training, complete display screen equipment assessments with employees, and complete investigations following accidents and incidents – as well as doing specific project work and answering day-to-day questions.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It’s feeling that I’m helping to make a difference to the people who work here. The work Clarion delivers is so vital and makes such a difference to the lives of our residents and other customers. Since starting, I’ve always tried my best to find suitable solutions for colleagues to be able to do their jobs.
For example, with display screen equipment assessments, I think that if I can help someone get more comfortable at their desk then they may be able to deliver better customer service.
Working in health and safety allows me to meet different people and teams and to visit different offices. I believe it is us, as employees, who make Clarion Housing a great place to work and I enjoy speaking with different people to see how my team can help them in their jobs.
How has your career developed with Clarion Housing?
I joined Clarion Housing in October 2015 in the HR recruitment team but, after the merger, my role was being moved from Haywards Heath to Norwich. I saw a vacancy for a Safety Systems Officer in health and safety and applied because the team had always been friendly and I wanted to continue working with internal customers.
I was worried about moving teams and departments – as I had enjoyed working in HR – but the health and safety team was incredibly supportive and encouraged me to progress. After a short time, I successfully applied for a new role as a trainee safety officer. My first year in this role was hard work: a mix of external and on-the-job training. Then, last year, I became a group safety officer.
What advice would you give to someone looking to join your team?
At the heart of it, problem solving is a big part of our role. We look to find practical, cost-effective solutions that work with legislation, company policy and our colleagues. So if that sounds interesting to you get in contact with Clarion’s recruitment team.
What is your favourite work memory?
Honestly, I have a lot: although I’ve only worked here for a relatively short period of time, I’ve been lucky enough to work in two brilliant, supportive teams. Though the work can be challenging, and occasionally frustrating, in my teams we’ve always been able to keep spirits high and help each other out. I’ve celebrated many birthdays, weddings and baby showers, and for my own wedding I had a number of colleagues celebrate with me.
Tell us an interesting fact about you.
A few years ago, an email came round saying that a tenant’s grandson was trying to rehome a cat: his grandma had gone into a care home and her wish was that the cat went to a home, not a rescue centre. This came at the right time, as I was thinking about adopting a cat. I called the grandson and a week later Toby came home with me…