John Doodson understands first-hand that workplace accidents do happen.
A trip to the local hardware store in 2005 turned into a life and death struggle for a store worker caught in a major gas explosion.
‘’I was the first on scene – I was with him for quite a few minutes – seemed like an eternity,” Mr Doodson said.
‘’I was able to put the fire out and get him to water which effectively saved his life.
“The guy was horribly burned after not following the proper processes and not having the right supervision.’’
It seems fitting that Mr Doodson, a former electrician, is now the Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager at Paynter Dixon.
“The hardware accident taught me that many people out in the workforce don’t have control over what they are doing,’’ he said.
‘’It comes down to supervision and the quality of the training that people receive.
“I am quite passionate about looking after people in the field, and that means that their supervisors are doing the right thing by them.”
Mr Doodson, who has experience working on large construction and infrastructure projects, believes that mistakes are often made when supervisors become too focused on the paperwork.
Mr Doodson on-site at Stage Two of Club Parramatta.
“We have checks and processes to ensure things are done and signed off,’’ he said.
“But we also need to think about the safety process, so what is signed off is right.’’
Mr Doodson said the key to effective staff training was to make it personal.
“It is about getting them to look at what would happen if they were to be injured, how it would impact them, their family and friends.’’
“If you can get that penny to drop, I think you are half-way there.’’
Investing in a safety culture is critical to any business, but particularly in the construction sector.
“Putting aside the potential financial impact of a workplace accident, no-one wants to be associated with an unsafe company,’’ Mr Doodson said.
Paynter Dixon invests in safety – the company has Federal Safety Commission accreditation.
“Having dealt with FSC accreditation requirements for the past 15 years, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t like to work for a company that doesn’t have it due to the high level of safety compliance it drives,” he said.
“I haven’t worked for a better company than Paynter Dixon – the people we have are a cut above.’’
The role of a safety manager can be all consuming, so life balance is important.
Mr Doodson lives a stone’s throw from the shores of Lake Macquarie where his other passion in life is moored – a 28-foot Marina Flybridge cruiser.