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Matt Jenkins - Health, Safety and Environment Manager Q&A

4 Oct 2022

How would you explain your current role?

 Primarily the role is to ensure the business remains compliant with statutory requirements across all aspects of its operations.


Day to day this involves reporting to and advising the Management Team as well as the Board of overall performance, accident and incident investigation, monitoring of construction sites, sales offices and head office facility.


A wider aspect of the role focuses on the development, review and implementation of the safety management system, a range of policies, procedures and forms. This will include stipulating who, when and how activities will take place and ensuring these are recorded accordingly.  


How did you get into health and safety?

Safety has always been an aspect of all roles throughout my career. However, a previous role in facilities management had a heavy focus on safety. The variation of areas, risks posed, and associated control measures really interested me.   


What do you like about your role?

Safety is incredibly varied and applies to all industries and walks of life. I have met people from nuclear plants to salmon farms, yet as safety professionals we all have share similar experiences and scenarios. Safety allows me to meet, interact and help people across all aspects of an organisation.    


Worst day/best day?

Over the course of the Covid pandemic there were many challenging days as there were for a lot of people. Government guidelines were continually evolving, we were dealing with positive cases, maintaining and amending control measures. To date the best day has to be when we received the ROSPA Silver Award, which was very rewarding to receive this and the result of a big team effort.   

How important is the environment part of your role?

The environmental focus continues to grow across the business. For me the key focus remains around the required site-specific control measures required during the construction phase.  


Would you recommend a career in housebuilding to a school leaver?

Absolutely, the focus is often on building and selling houses but the industry is much wider. There are a vast number of roles involved in pre-construction, design, surveying and planning stages, creating a wide range of opportunities.  


What advice would you give a school leaver?

There are various routes into the industry, with a range of departments and roles to suit everyone. The industry allows for great opportunities and career development as well as fulfilment.


Your CV

I started my working career as an apprentice bricklayer, working through to an assistant site manager on main contract projects. Following some time travelling I took on a role in facilities management. This role started my interest in H&S and from there I moved into a role as a H&S Advisor for a local authority. Some years and other H&S roles later I moved back into the world of construction, working for Persimmon Homes. Following on I worked in multiple H&S roles for Barratt Developments before moving to Bewley Homes.


What do you do away from work/ hobbies/interests?

Away from work I enjoy the great outdoors. I have spent many years mountain biking but more recently have enjoyed trial running. With a young family, trips to the beach, forest and camping are always high on the agenda.


What makes Bewley a special company?

There is a sustained aim for good practice and continued improvement, in safety, product, process and people. It is important to work in an environment where people are allowed a voice and are able to have an input. We are all able to do that working for Bewley Homes.