As part of our Next Generation series, I met with Carl Morgan, H&S Advisor at Hinckley Point C Nuclear Power Station. Carl is working on behalf of NNB Genco, an EDF owned company who have responsibility for the Client, Principal Contractor and Principal Designer duties during the construction of Hinkley Point C, the largest building site in Europe, Carl is currently responsible for managing the health & safety of both EPR Nuclear Reactor buildings.
Carl is CMIOSH, has 9 years of Health, Safety and Fire experience and at only 28 has already worked on major projects including Pembroke Power Station, Nottingham Tram Expansion & Crossrail.
I was keen to explore how Carl first got into a career in H&S and what he has learned so far in an impressive career.
What attracted you to H&S as a career?
“I hadn’t planned a career in H&S and as a 16-year-old who had just left school, I was keen to join the Fire Service and joined my local Fire Station as a Junior Fire Fighter. At age 18 I was a fully retained Firefighter and at this point, I was one of the youngest Fire Fighters in Wales! During this time my father ran an Electrical business and had just won a contract on Pembroke Power Station for which they needed someone to do the H&S and Fire elements and I took the opportunity. This linked well with my fire experience, was great exposure to H&S, and I found it both interesting and enjoyable. Through my work on the project I was approached by Alstom Power to work for them on the power station, this was a great training ground for me and an experience that I still use in my role today. I was responsible for Fire Safety & Emergency response arrangements throughout the construction and commissioning phases and one of my proudest achievements was achieving 99.42% in a British Safety Council Audit for Emergency Control & Fire Safety, receiving recognition from the auditor. This played a significant role in Pembroke Power Station winning the prestigious Sword of Honor. I achieved this when I was only 19.”
“I have always been motivated by the scale of projects I have worked on, seeing how the projects come together and learning from the collective knowledge of the people who run these projects.”
What qualities do you bring to the profession?
“Communication is key. An ability to communicate at all levels within the project is vital. I have always taken a genuine interest in every part of the projects I have worked on and demonstrated a willingness to learn. I discovered quickly that you can’t know everything and learnt to ask lots of questions to fuel my understanding and development. Even now there are situations I come up against that I haven’t been involved in before and I will always go to the expert to learn more about it. Building relationships on projects of the enormity of Hinkley Point C is essential, as it is through these relationships that you are able to influence people. Conflict management is also a part of any safety role, so by building relationships you are able to influence effectively to get the desired outcome. I also value innovation; I am interested in how we can use technology effectively and safely to save time and money on the project.”
What do you enjoy most about your work day to day?
“I am currently working with some of the best HSE & construction professionals in the industry on a highly prestigious and demanding project. I am motivated by the satisfaction of hitting milestones and seeing the project coming “out of the ground”. Being responsible for the health and safety of the 1st nuclear reactors constructed in 20 years is certainly giving me a unique experience and great job satisfaction.”
What advice would you give someone looking to join & succeed in the profession?
“Find an H&S related role that interests you and start to build your qualifications. When looking at qualifications think about your individual learning style and match the qualification accordingly. Most importantly you need to stick with it, take every opportunity put in front of you and don’t rush to get the big jobs. Working for smaller organisations can give you invaluable experience and knowledge of working on the other side of the fence, which you will use throughout your career.
Start at a grass root level and work your way up, don’t get hung up on titles early on in your career and go for the roles that give you the experience to get you where you want to go. Be approachable and ask lots of questions, never be afraid to admit what you don’t know and ask for help as this is the only way you will learn. Spend time with people, understand them and learn from them.
It’s very important to develop your own brand- a positive brand and values will give you more opportunities. I pride myself on doing what I say I am going do and I believe this has served me well in my career”.
Has anything surprised you about the work you do?
“Everything! The projects I have worked on have been so large and diverse that they have driven me to want to learn more. I have recently led the development of the Hinkley Point C Safety Management System one of the biggest projects in the world, and if someone had told me this time last year I would have achieved this, I wouldn’t have believed them. Health & Safety gives you the opportunity to work across different sectors and on major projects that give you exposure to different approaches and ways of working. I will continue to take these opportunities and learn from them.”
What would you like to achieve next in your career?
“My long-term goal is to one-day head up health & safety on a major project. For now, though there is no rush, I am enjoying and gaining experience in this project. I would also like to see more use of technology in Health & Safety and would like to be a pioneer on major projects for this. In the meantime, I am busy completing my MSc in Occupational Health Safety & Environmental Management.”
Carl Morgan is an H&S Advisor at Hinckley Point C Nuclear Power Station. Find him on LinkedIn.
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