For the last four years, Jan McDonald has been working in a fly-in-fly-out site administrator role at remote mining sites in Western Australia.
“Everything we did – catering, housekeeping, maintenance – was underpinned by strict safety principles and procedures. Sometimes my employer was a fourth level sub-contractor, meaning we worked under four safety systems including our own.”
Jan was overwhelmed at first but began to appreciate the reasons and positive impacts these safety programmes had on everyone on site. So much so that she decided to move back to New Zealand and help others make similar positive impacts on their work environments. She enrolled in SIT’s Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) and is now self-employed, assisting local businesses to design, implement, maintain and audit their safety systems.
“I tried distance learning many years ago but didn’t have the discipline to get the most out of it,” she says. But this time, Jan is relishing the freedom of studying at her own pace, in her own home but with ready access to tutors when she needs it. “I study part time – it fits perfectly with my work and home commitments. It’s a matter of making the time and being strict with yourself. The sense of achievement when I pass a paper makes the late nights worth it!”
“When I read the course outline for the Diploma in OSH I saw it could benefit me greatly, because although I have years of experience implementing, auditing, maintaining and monitoring safety systems in Australia I didn’t gain any formal qualifications. This was the best way to formally qualify my work experience, and ensure that as a Health and Safety Consultant I am providing my customers with both practical and professional assistance.”