Added 10 Oct 2023
Last updated 10 Oct 2023

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In 2022, IPAF President Karin Nars launched the 'Women in Powered Access' initiative, inviting women of all ages and different professional roles to share their stories of inclusivity. The initiative includes a number of key actions, including providing a platform to tell the stories of women in powered access in both the media and at industry events. IPAF will also use its own print, web and social media platforms to share these inspirational case studies and will also continue to invite prominent women speakers to present at IPAF events. IPAF will share a series of case studies at  www.ipaf.org/casestudy to communicate the opportunities our industry offers women. 

What is your role in powered access? I am currently Trainee HSE Advisor for Nationwide platforms and my day to day job requires me to visit our depots and support our operational staff in relation to all aspects of health, safety and the environment within our business. Much of my time is spent engaging with our LGV drivers, engineers and machine operators as well as ensuring health, safety and environmental compliance.

How did you come into this industry and what attracted you to it? Prior to joining Nationwide Platforms, I was an Executive Chef, however during the pandemic and more specifically in lockdown, I realised my passion was for Health and Safety. Therefore I decided to complete the IOSH Managing Safely course and went on to successfully achieve the NEBOSH General Certificate. I applied for numerous health and safety roles, however due to my lack of experience many organisations were reluctant to give me an oppportunity.

Nationwide Platforms advertised the position of Trainee Health and Safety Advisor, which after researching the company I was very keen to be given the opportunity to show case my passion in this industry. I applied for the role, and was so excited when I got the call to say I was the successful candidate following the interview and assessment process. Powered access rental is so niche and I could never see myself working in any other industry as there are constant learning opportunities.

What do you find inspiring about your role? Working in health and safety is a highly rewarding profession, that involves supporting health, wellbeing and the safety of the workforce so they can return home to their loved ones at the end of the working day. It is never dull, and presents new challenges daily. It is the people who inspire me the most, because I love to help people. And I’m in awe of the fact that people who have so much experience in powered access come to me for advice and support and I am able to influence their approach to health and safety. Particularly in such a fast paced industry.

Where do you see yourself in five years and what do you want to achieve? I am about to start an NVQ in Occupational Health and Safety as part of my career progression plan and I would like to continue to develop in my role and eventually work my way up to Head of HSE. Hopefully inspiring others along the way, demonstrating that you can achieve anything you set your mind to if you work hard and are passionate about what you do.

What one piece of advice would you give to other women in/thinking of entering the industry? If Powered access is an industry you are interested in working in, I can assure you that working in this environment is not something you would regret. The progression and learning opportunities are in abundance. The industry is very diverse and inclusive, I have never experienced any discrimination due to my gender, so don’t be scared to enter the industry. Everyone is accepted.

“It is never dull, and presents new challenges daily. It is the people who inspire me the most.”