Could a role in our Safety Case profession be your next career move? We chatted to Curtis about our Safety Case Advisor opportunities.
- February 15, 2021
Curtis Radcliffe – Acting Safety Case Manager for SIXEP, MER Services and SCP.
How would you summarise the role of a Safety Case Advisor at Sellafield?
A Safety Case Advisor is responsible for supporting the Safety Case Manager in developing, maintaining and reviewing the Safety Case for their area.
What is a Safety Case?
It’s like a big risk assessment that justifies the risks of an activity, process or building are kept as low as practicable. It’s a role that covers a lot of scope and requires you to work with all sorts of different areas of the business.
What was your role prior to joining Sellafield?
I worked as contract supplied project support for a Safety Case team on site, prior to that I worked as home IT Support for BT after completing my History Degree at Northumbria University.
How did you get into the Safety Case profession?
Obviously working as project support for a Safety Case team I became familiar with what a Safety Case Advisor and Manager did day to day and found the profession really interesting, when an opportunity for external candidates to apply for Safety Case Advisor roles came up I jumped at the opportunity.
Joining a new business and industry can be quite daunting, how did you find your first your first twelve months and what training did you receive?
Joining any large company can be daunting, especially one as specialised as Sellafield. My first 12 months I spent a lot of time learning, getting familiar with terminology both SL and Safety Case specific, understanding plant and process, building relationships with my new team and other colleagues I needed to interact with on a regular basis. I received training as part of my Safety Case Advisor development, which helped me to understand the role, but also had a lot of local training from Subject Matter Experts on a variety of topics which helped me to understand the role my area plays in supporting the business.
What do you enjoy most about the Safety Case Advisor role?
I enjoy the scope for learning about new subjects, as a Safety Case Advisor you need to support work fronts which deal with numerous specialist topics such as Engineering Substantiation, Radiological Protection, Hydrogen generation, construction crane operations and many more. Whatever your personal areas of interest are, the Safety Case profession gives you the opportunity to explore and develop skills to hep support the business.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
One of the biggest challenges I face is the unpredictability of the role, especially supporting an operational plant. I’ve known issues arise on plant that challenge our understanding of the Safety Case and often need resolving asap, this means working under pressure to find a solution while ensuring that safety always remains the number one priority.
How many are in Safety Case Advisor Team at Sellafield?
There are 8 members of the team in my area, 3 managers, 3 advisors, 1 support and a Degree Apprentice, but there are many more Safety Case Advisors across site.
What is the working culture like at Sellafield?
It’s a very interesting place to work, for anyone who likes to learn new things and push themselves it’s a great environment. The recent launch of SL manifesto has seen a renewed focus on the culture within the company and has led to some extremely positive discussions within my team about what we do, why we do it and how we can support each other to all do our job better. I also think that as a Company SL has obvious ties to the local community and its easy to see what we do can have a positive impact on the local area.
What are the opportunities for progression for a Safety Case Advisor?
It’s a fantastic profession join because straight away you are on a pathway from trainee advisor to a fully competent vital member of the profession. You receive support from a designated mentor and your line manager as you progress through the Safety Case career pathway and build up your areas of responsibility. If you have the desire to progress even further still there are opportunities at Safety Case Manager level or elsewhere within the capability.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking of applying?
If you are someone with a keen eye for detail, enjoys problem solving and critical thinking this could be the ideal role for you. It can be a complicated profession at times, and you won’t know everything there is to know straight away, but there’s a great support network in place to help you develop into the role. I don’t think there are many other jobs that offer so much opportunity to learn about new subjects, it still my favourite part of the role to this day, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and work with some really interesting people and make a big difference to some key projects and deliverables across the site.
Interested in joining our Safety Case team? – Head over to our Search and Apply page to learn more.