Leadership, risk management and a go-getting attitude
From a materials engineer in research, Evelyn’s move into safety scaled up her science and technical skills to focus on making plants safer and healthier places to work. She explains why leadership, risk management and a go-getting attitude are health and safety must-haves.
Q: When did becoming a safety professional appear on your radar, and what are the main challenges related to your work?
Evelyn: When I started working as a materials engineer, becoming a safety professional was not on my radar. For several years, I was managing process and product development projects in the research department. But I found out that what inspired me most was using my knowledge, science and technology skills for that higher purpose: making plants where people can work in safe and healthy conditions. That led me on the path to become a process safety manager. I’ve since progressed to take on the responsibility of process safety management for all our sites worldwide. In terms of challenges, It’s being aware that safety is not an exact science. For example, in thermodynamics and chemistry, you can measure inputs and outputs and establish a clear relationship between both. In safety management, it’s more challenging to demonstrate the impact of safety programmes, and clear-cut answers can’t always be provided.