Jim Kelleher, Group Health & Safety Manager

22-4-2020

Department: Health & Safety

Afbeelding: Jim Kelleher_sidebar

Jim Kelleher is ForFarmer's Group Health & Safety Manager.

Jim's role consists of developing and implementing Health & Safety intiatives for the organisation. 

From his office at home we interviewed him about his role and how the current Coronavirus outbreak is affecting it.

How long have you been working at ForFarmers?

“I began working for ForFarmers in September 2015. I have a technical background and have always worked in manufacturing industries, notably corrugated packaging and dairy food products. For the past 23 years I have worked in Health and Safety Management.”

What are your most important tasks?

“My current role, together with my team, involves developing and implementing the Health and Safety program for the organisation. Simply put, my work is about trying to create a safe place for our employees to work in, to create a culture that ensures employees work safely and that relevant legal requirements are complied with." 

"The one standout area that I always see as an important part of my H&S role is the engagement with all our colleagues. Leading by example and visual felt leadership sets the tone and the culture of how safety is seen in the organisation. Engagement with colleagues is about sending out the important messages of how important H&S really is at ForFarmers and what it means to our colleagues throughout the business.”

What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years?

“The ultimate goal is to achieve a zero harm workplace across all our business, where everyone goes home safe and unharmed at the end of each day.

Achieving zero LTI’S at ForFarmers would be a huge achievement, especially if you look at H&S performance of the animal feed industry in general. But it would be great if we, as ForFarmers, could play an exemplary role in this. Therefore in 5 years’ time, I would like to see ForFarmers, as a group, with as little as 10 LTI’s per year.”

What is your biggest challenge?

“The major challenge in H&S is always people's behaviour. People do not like change and introducing new H&S processes and procedures will always bring changes and often new ways of working as well, which can be frustrating."

"It is also a challenge to get five different countries consistently moving in the same direction. There are differences in H&S legislation and standards per country so some things can’t be tackled in the same way everywhere. This leads to different H&S maturity levels across the group and in some cases different standards.”

COVID-19 has had a big impact on all of us. How has it affected you and your team?

“The Coronavirus has impacted the H&S team and myself a lot, because it means that we cannot get out and about and visit the sites we need to. Being on-site more and engaging with all of the teams was one of our key objectives for 2020. Unfortunately, at the moment, we can only communicate remotely, which is better than no communication, however it's not ideal to keep up the momentum of the behavioural change we have initiated in recent years."

"I am also part of the Business Continuity Team. The team has been formed to help the organisation interpret and understand the various different government guidance that has been put in place to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. The team also helps to identify processes and procedures that help the organisation to safely continue producing feed for our customers and at the same time help safeguard the health and safety of our employees".