Keeping people safe: ex-policeman swaps his badge for safety stripes
Darren Egerton is an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Tilbury, Essex. But Darren did not take what would be considered to be a traditional path into the safety industry. He started his career in the Metropolitan Police, serving as a police officer for 13 years. There he led criminal investigations, collated evidence and trained some of the new recruits entering the force.
But he’s since swapped catching criminals for a career in the Health and Safety team at Amazon. Darren joined Amazon 18 months ago as an Associate and was soon presented with the opportunity to take on the role of Health and Safety Coordinator. It became immediately clear to him that many of the skills he had honed in his career as a police officer would be transferable to his new role in the safety team.
Darren says: “You could say that investigative work is still very much a part of my job. A safe working environment is our absolute priority. My role requires a forensic eye for detail, the ability to listen carefully, and respond quickly. Like police officers, we also have to communicate with our community. We instil a safety-first culture, where everyone constantly provides feedback so we can test and refine our processes.”
Darren hasn’t looked back since. He has an NCRQ safety qualification under his belt, has been promoted and is getting stuck into his new role. He says that the foundation of Amazon’s safety programme is the team’s focus on driving continuous improvements.
“To be honest, I absolutely love a safety walk. It is very similar to community engagement on the police beat. Every day, I make a conscious effort to get away from the desk work and ensure I am around the fulfilment centre speaking to colleagues, making observations, listening to feedback and trying to find ways to make improvements, big and small.”
And his career development will not stand still. He is now taking his education to the next level and studying for a diploma in safety. A true Health and Safety hero.
At Amazon, I am still focused on keeping everyone safe, so not much has changed since my days on the force!
You can learn more about Health and Safety at Amazon here.
If you want to come and see what it’s like to work in an Amazon fulfilment centre, you can register for a tour.