In honour of World Health & Safety at Work Day we had a chat with our own expert, Health and Safety Manager, Stewart Ritchie. We asked Stewart about his job and life and what he does to make sure DM Hall’s 26 offices across the country are all compliant with the necessary rules.
• What does your daily routine include?
After my early trip to the gym I carry out risk assessments & audits in DM Hall branches and in properties where the staff are working from home. I report back accordingly with my findings to branches and management as required. I liaise with the relevant contractors and I am also assisting in the progress towards the ISO 9001:2015 standards.
• How has the Health and Safety field progressed over the years?
There are more specifics around the required standards and the material available has become more appropriate. The penalties for non-compliance have also become more severe.
• What are your goals for the future and how is DM Hall supporting you to achieve them?
To ensure branches adhere to all H&S requirements as an ongoing routine so it is completed quickly and effectively and is not seen as an onerous task. In some ways my goal mirrors the topic for this year’s topic for World Day for Safety & Health at Work – “To optimise the collection and use of Occupational Safety & Health data”. I also aim to achieve a high standard of adherence to the ISO9001:2015 standard to assist with DM Halls objectives.
• What is the best book you have read and why?
The Blackhouse by Peter May. It was the first book I read by this author which set me out on reading all his other work. He is a hugely talented crime writer whose books I really enjoy.
• What is the best holiday you have been on and why?
Antigua – It was our Silver Wedding Anniversary holiday (although our daughter was with us). A beautiful Island, lots of history and lots of water sports, although our 6 trips to Cuba are always hard to beat.
• Tell us something not many people know about you…
I have had 2 serious unsuccessful attempts at retiring – 11 months and 9 months respectively. Not recommended – it’s boring!!
• Apart from being in property (of course!), what did you want to be when you grew up and why?
P.E. Teacher – I have always enjoyed fitness and coaching children. Maybe there is still time when I grow up
• Who is / are your musical idols and why?
The Rolling Stones & Bryan Adams – just grew up in that era. Saw them in concert many times and they are entertainers.
• What’s the best thing about working in this industry?
Probably the people. Generally professional with a common goal – to service the customer effectively who often are operating to tight but important deadlines.