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Paul – Health & Safety Manager

 

How did you get into Health & Safety?

Originally I wanted to be a Dentist and even spent a long time training and studying to enter the profession, but when it came to it I just knew it wasn’t the profession for me. Randomly, I then got food poisoning and the person who came out to investigate the situation was great and we talked a lot about Health and Safety, and it just really sparked my interest. After going back to study, and a stint in the public sector, I found myself drawn to Virgin Holidays and have been here now for 15 years.

What does your role involve?

I manage a team of Health & Safety professionals who assess all the product we sell to our customers. From Cruise ships and hotels, flights to excursions, my team ensures that the product we are selling is a safe environment for our customers. We conduct investigations into accidents, and conduct physical audits, giving feedback to suppliers and if necessary revisit. As part of my role I also design and deliver training to suppliers about improving standards. Anything to make things safer for our customers.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Initially I thought this role would have a short wingspan but I can genuinely say I am never bored and even at times of crisis and emergency where it can be stressful with long days and nights, I love knowing I’ve contributed to ensuring the safety of our customers. I have a great team and everyone here just pulls together for the same goal.

What’s been your Virgin Holidays highlight?

There have been so many great memories but I definitely have a couple of highlights. I had the joy of being recognised, winning ‘Star of the year’ for with work that I led when Hurricane Irma happened. The Star of the Year dinner is held at Richard’s home in Oxford, alongside the stars from the other Virgin brands. Its an incredible event and one I feel humble to have been invited to. I was also went to India as part of the ‘Red Hot 100’ in the business. We went to some of the places where the money raised through our corporate charity WE is spent, it was great to get insight in how we have helped those communities.

What’s the culture like at Virgin Holidays?

A small family that has grown over time, a team who genuinely want to do right by each other, and our customers. It’s a place to have fun and connect with people, but there are equally times where you will compromise your personal time for the greater good. Here at Virgin Holidays you can just be yourself at work which is something I really value.

What would your advice be to anyone thinking of joining Virgin Holidays?

Learn the language of travel, there are so many acronyms and words that to someone new it can seem a bit daunting- but you’ll be fluent before you know it. Work hard and have a great load of fun.

Top travel tip

If you have the opportunity to travel anywhere head to South Africa, its a beautiful country, the national parks, the food (and the wine) are incredible.

 

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