Tony Reynolds joined the military at the age of 19 years, now employed as a trainer by RoSPA we interviewed him to find out why he decided to begin a career in Health & Safety.
What was your role in the forces?
I specialised in communications prior to joining, and so joined the Royal Corps of Signals as a Radio Telegraphist moving around the world as required.
How long did you serve in the forces?
I served for 22 years, finishing as a senior rank within a unit in Scotland.
What made you want to develop a career in Health & Safety?
Health and Safety was a big part of being a soldier. Before I left I attended a college to complete a Higher National Certificate in Management. During the course there was a session on Health & Safety which I found extremely interesting.
I wanted to find out much more about Health & Safety and decided to take the NEBOSH National Certificate for my resettlement course. I remember seeing the instructors at the front of the class and thinking to myself “I wish I could do that.”
Leaving the forces I understood I would have to start at the bottom and work up until I had sufficient experience. I was an instructor in the forces and therefore pushed for a training role. I began working with the National Lottery, giving Health & Safety advice where I could and then moved to United Artists as a technical trainer. After a few years I felt much more confident and looked for a Health & Safety position elsewhere.
An opening came up with RoSPA Scotland, which was exactly what I wanted and I have now been working with RoSPA for 20 years.
What advice would you give to someone in the forces thinking about a career in Health & Safety?
I would say to ex-service personnel, do not underestimate yourselves, you have many skills that can transfer to the civil workplace. You have worked with Health & Safety on a daily basis and you can carry that forward, helping to look after your new colleagues. Any Health & Safety course will be of benefit to you and future employers so take advantage!