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Exclusive Interview with Nick Bray - Head of HSEQ @ ISS Facilities Management

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10 months ago

by Liam Squires | Director @ Heathgate Search

Exclusive Interview with Nick Bray - Head of HSEQ @ ISS Facilities Management

1. How did you first become interested in the Health and Safety field? 

I was bored in my non HSEQ role at the time so I looked through my local adult learning college for something interesting and different to do. The NEBOSH certificate caught my eye and I’ve never looked back.

2. What has been your career path in the industry so far? 

I got my start in FM about 16 years ago with an entry level role in the landscaping and grounds maintenance industry. It had a wide variety of risk profiles, hazards and people which taught me so much for the first step of my career. From here, I went on to lead a landscaping construction company HSEQ function where I implemented a refreshed management system before moving into 3 more FM companies where I gained experience in areas such as waste and recycling, social housing, engineering, projects and asbestos management. After spending 7 years at Interserve leading some large corporate client accounts, I moved to ISS in 2019 and has been the best career move I have ever made 

3. What are your current responsibilities in your role as an industry leader? 

The most important aspect of leading HSEQ in a large organisation is listening effectively. I have many stakeholders so everyone’s different needs have to be balanced to provide effective leadership and support to the organisation. Only by listening with a curious mind and understanding the issues that the business faces holistically, will I be able to affect real improvement which will enable our placemakers, customers and everyone we interact with to be well and safe

4. What do you consider to be the most important aspects of Health and Safety in the workplace? 

If we are talking about HSEQ within an organisation then you need to understand the business as a whole to achieve positive results. We are not on an island within an organisation and HSEQ professionals need to understand how to interlock with other business functions if they want to succeed. In the FM industry, effectively understanding your customer requirements is the only way to truly provide a quality, safe and well service

5. How do you stay up-to-date on the latest developments and best practices in the industry? 

I aim to attend at least one industry session at least once a year. I am lucky to have a very engaged HSEQ network of inspiring leaders that I have built up throughout my career which helps me stay in the loop and I am part of a global HSEQ family in ISS, not just my peers and colleagues but our fabulous supply chain who are constantly being challenged to design out risk and provide our customers with high quality and innovative products

6. Can you share any notable successes or challenges you've encountered in your career? 

There have been many of course but that’s what gets you out of bed in the morning! Every day that I can spend time with our placemakers, improving their confidence and skills to own their HSEQ risk and providing services that delight our customers is a success in my book

7. How do you see the future of Health and Safety evolving in the coming years, and how do you plan to stay ahead of the curve? 

A really positive development that you can see it starting to change in the industry, is the recognition that the traditional HSEQ Manager role is changing. We need to be so much more rounded as business risk managers than ever before. I constantly challenge my team on recognising development needs on effective communication, enterprise leadership, receptive listening and collaboration on the same level or higher than technical qualifications as they are intrinsically linked but for too long the industry and our membership bodies have been too focussed on competencies that do not allow rounded growth, which makes it difficult for me to find the right talent. 

As HSEQ leaders we need to be better at making sure HSEQ is a core value in organisations and not a priority by explicitly incorporating it in every business function. We also need to drive the well-being agenda by focusing on proactive tools and indicators for our businesses and understanding how well-being influences human factors within workplace behaviours and incidents. 

Something that is not new but needs to be better understood by organisations is psychological safety and how the creation of that positive culture will not only benefit HSEQ performance but business performance as a whole

8. Would you recommend Heathgate Search? 

Absolutely – Liam and the team have always provided me with a first-class service.

Heathgate Search is the leading Health and Safety Recruitment Agency in the UK & Ireland. Follow Heathgate Search on LinkedIn and check out our jobs page to view our latest HSEQ opportunities.

If you are an employer and you need specialist Health and Safety recruitment support, please call 0207 459 4073 or email

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