Air Safety Manager
Devon Air Ambulance

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My name is Rob.

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I have been working for Devon Air Ambulance for about three months now.

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And I’m the air safety manager.

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It’s a really nice, interesting, varied job – bit of office time.

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But I also get out and about and I get to go and see airplanes

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and the crews, which is good fun. Being around aviation, is great

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but actually the nicest bit is the people

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I have to get out and about and speak to people.

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You can’t be a safety manager sitting at a desk.

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You do have to balance it and build the trust and confidence

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of people in the organization so you can understand what’s wrong.

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At school, I loved sport as well, so I played rugby,

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played basketball, I was a swimmer.

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I learned a lot, I think, from sport, which was really helpful.

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It’s great for team building.

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Learning to be a follower as well as perhaps being a leader.

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When I got

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to further on in school in my A-levels, I chose to do

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I had an inkling I wanted to go and do an engineering degree,

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but about that time I also start to get really interested in the Royal Air Force.

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Flying for me was something I thought I wanted to do,

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and I was very lucky that I was able to get sponsored through university.

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So I did an engineering degree and that then led to me joining the Air Force.

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The one thing I would say with the Air Force

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was they offered me lots of opportunities to develop new skills.

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I flew C-130 transport aircraft, commanded a squadron, but also did various

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what I would call desk jobs, office type jobs in the latter part of my career.

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That was when I branched into safety, which actually was by accident rather

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than by design.

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But I spent

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four years working as a safety regulator.

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If you’d asked me when I was younger in the middle point of my RAF career,

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whether that was something I’d have done, I think I’d have laughed and gone ‘no way’.

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For me, it was really interesting.

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I was a bit reluctant to start, but actually, as I got into the job,

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I realized two things. One, I really quite enjoyed

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trying to understand what wasn’t right and the things that needed to be fixed.

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And I also seems to be quite good at actually understanding the problems.

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Communication is absolutely fundamental, whether that’s written communication

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or the ability to relate to different people in the organization.

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In my role, I have to talk to the very top of the shop to talk to the boss

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and advise her of the things that are going well

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and the things that maybe aren’t so good so that we can perhaps make changes.

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But similarly, I have to talk to all the people across the organization,

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so the ability to communicate and to listen is really, really important.

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I don’t think you could do the job without that particular skill.

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What I would say is life is rarely going to run

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to the plan that you might have. Try and be adaptable.

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You might find you change your mind about the direction you want to go in.

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So keep your options open

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where you can, because that’s always a good thing to do.

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And when life throws up those unexpected

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opportunities, have a think about it because you never know.

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It might take you down a really interesting pathway.

“When life throws up those unexpected opportunities, have a think about it
because you never know – it might take you down a really interesting pathway”. After an engineering degree, Rob joined the RAF where he held a variety of roles. Initially not enthusiatic about taking a saftey job, Rob later found he really enjoyed it, and has continued his career in safety after leaving the air force.

More information about Health and safety officers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

75%  male 
25%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Health and safety officers counsel employees to ensure and promote health and safety in the workplace and co-ordinate accident prevention and health and safety measures within an establishment or organisation.
Entrants usually possess an NVQ/SVQ at Level 3 in Occupational Health and Safety Practice. Higher level accredited qualifications (at Levels 4 to 6) are achievable via the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Inspects workplace areas to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation;
  • Helps to develop effective health and safety policies and procedures and carries out risk assessments;
  • Instructs workers in the proper use of protective clothing and safety devices and conducts routine tests on that equipment;
  • Compiles statistics on accidents and injuries, analyses their causes and makes recommendations to management accordingly;
  • Maintains contact with those off work due to illness;
  • Counsels individuals on any personal or domestic problems affecting their work;
  • Gives talks and distributes information on accident prevention, and keeps up to date with the relevant legislation.
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