A day in the life of our QHSE Manager - Kevin Spicer

As our QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental) Manager, Kevin has a wide range of responsibilities which are integral to the success of Sowga and the wellbeing of our people.

Alongside his day-to-day responsibilities, Kevin's role has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Having worked at Sowga for 14 years and counting, Kevin's role has grown into him being ultimately responsible for the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, partners, clients and the environments they work in, believing in a proactive approach to Health & Safety through mentoring, guiding and encouraging people in safe working practices.

Kevin is a holder of a NEBOSH General Certificate, an IOSH Technical Member and is also responsible for the optimisation of our Quality and Environmental Management processes as Company ISO Internal Auditor.

With a vast experience in continuous improvement methods from his former years in manufacturing, Kevin assists and encourages our teams in making adjustments to their procedures to provide cost effective improvements.

As a result of Kevin's work, Sowga are highly accredited to ISO 9001, 14001, OHSAS 18001 standards while also working towards the ISO 45001 transition.

Alongside all of this, Kevin is also Sowga's Legionella Responsible Person, managing all aspects regarding ACoP L8 and Water Treatment within our service contracts.

The importance of Health and Safety has not changed for Sowga with the arrival of COVID-19.  The same risks remain alongside new ones emerging due to the pandemic, which Kevin plays a crucial role in mitigating.

day in life of Sowga estimator

When COVID-19 first arrived in the UK, the virus was an unknown quantity and guidance on the control measures required to control the spread of COVID-19 changed frequently. This has led to Kevin tirelessly dedicating time researching information to produce risk assessments and guidance for all of our people across all departments of the organisation, to allow them to continue working safely during lockdown and the ever-changing landscape we all find ourselves in.

Kevin continues to keep up with the frequent changes to Government guidelines and put them in practice to suit our environment ensuring our workplaces are COVID-19 secure, with the safety of our employees being paramount to Sowga during these unprecedented times.

Although the lockdown has started to ease and our clients have begun returning to work, the risk of COVID-19 remains and with the risk of a potential second wave, Kevin will continue to focus on keeping Sowga and our clients safe.

A typical week for Kevin involves producing safety alerts, toolbox talks and guidance as new information is provided by the Government, Public Health England and our industry trade bodies.

Kevin has also provided guidance and advice to our clients on preparing office spaces for their return from lockdown.

Like most people, Kevin worked from home during the early stages of the lockdown and although this brought about its own challenges, he quickly adapted to the new way of working.

In fact, for Kevin using video conferencing through Microsoft Teams has been a revelation, utilising the power of technology to communicate remotely and effectively with our teams.

However, technology is no substitute for visiting sites and meeting with our teams, with the easing of lockdown restrictions meaning that Kevin has started being able to travel out to our sites to meet team members and discuss any concerns they have regarding safety and COVID-19 going forward.

The main challenge Kevin has had to deal with during the COVID-19 crisis has been to maintain the 'Status Quo' as much as possible from a QHSE perspective, with there being a constant need to ensure that all our Health and Safety needs are consistently met as well as those relating to COVID-19.

As many have encountered, the lack of interaction with people on site and in the office has also been a challenge for Kevin, with communicating through email, phone and video calls lacking the personability of face to face conversations.

To relax after a busy day of ensuring everyone at Sowga is aware, compliant and safe regarding all things COVID-19, Kevin enjoys spending time with his new granddaughter, while also keeping himself busy during his downtime studying for his Occupational Health & Safety Diploma and building a garden bar from reclaimed wood.

As an avid Rugby Fan, Kevin also likes to keep up with the New Zealand Super Rugby Aotearoa, kicking off earlier this month after the 2020 Super Rugby season was suspended in March.

As someone heavily involved in continuous improvement, being able to support and provide assistance to others is highly rewarding for Kev, helping those around him improve their working practices in both quality and health & safety.


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