‘A creative thinker passionate about putting common sense back into risk management.’
Jerry Flechais, who is a Freelance Safety and Risk Management consultant, coach and auditor has over 20 years’ experience within the health and safety industry.
Born and raised in France until he moved to London to start his BSc in Molecular Biology, Jerry then went on to complete his Master's in Forensic Science before taking a break from studying to enjoy his passion of climbing.
“Climbing was actually how I got into health and safety.”
Jerry’s first position in health and safety was working at the Mile End Climbing Wall in London.
“There’s no doubt that climbing is a high-risk hobby but, I’ve never understood the concept that safety is there to stop things. It’s always been about – how do you enable things to happen? As with all the physical challenges I participate in, they’re environments that have been made as safe as can be, without taking away the excitement of it. That’s everything safety should be about.
Jerry then became a full-time health and safety consultant. Tying in nicely with his scientific background, his experience came from working within property and facilities before shifting to the safety of people.
“Why do people behave in certain ways? Why do they do the things they do? Then, how do we tap into that to gain their knowledge and maximise the chances of things going right and minimise things going wrong?
Creating an inclusive environment
‘It's the Henry Ford analogy, we don't need faster horses. We need to redefine the problem.’
Creating an inclusive environment in HSEQ is at the forefront of Jerry’s vision and the belief that something is missing is one of the main reasons he joined the Beyond HSEQ Steering Group.
“There is something missing in the industry. You can be the best risk assessor in the world, you can have the most knowledge around fire safety or legionella or asbestos etc. But, if you can't talk to people, if you can’t convince businesses, if you can’t sell your ideas, you won't ever be able to have the impact that you know you should have, and that's the bit that's missing for me.”
Jerry explains that getting to the root cause of the problem and looking at the wider picture is key to redesigning the solution.
“My involvement with the steering group came about because for years I have been observing people who are coming into / progressing through the profession and not progressing as far or as fast as they should. So, by using my own experience in the industry, how can I help?
“There are great benefits about being part of the Steering Group. A major benefit for me is being able to give something back and help people. There are plenty of other professionals who don't have that access to a network of peers and who may be struggling. I’m hoping maybe this is what we can help them with.”
Extreme sports to extreme running
After years of being an avid climber, an injury meant Jerry had to put his passion on hold. In 2015 he took part in a Tough Mudder and reignited his passion for outdoor sport. However, as the events become more popular, Jerry felt as if he was spending more time waiting for the obstacles to become available than doing them. This is when he started running.
“Running became my release, to me it's a form of meditation.”
May 2020 was the first time Jerry ran 100 miles. Then, in September 2021 after reconnecting with an old friend, they challenged themselves to run 100 km and one half-marathon every month. Carrying this on throughout 2022, Jerry looked for new challenges.
As well as a Man vs Mountain and Polar Marathon later this year, Jerry is also running the London Landmarks Half Marathon on April 2nd to raise money for Makomborero, a charity who works to relieve poverty in Zimbabwe through the education of children. Then on 28th May he will run his first full length marathon in Edinburgh in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
If you’d like to sponsor Jerry do reach out to him on LinkedIn. Good luck Jerry!