Practical, pragmatic and never afraid to speak up

John Pond isn't afraid to speak up when he thinks something isn't right. He says it helps him sleep at night.

John has always worked in hazardous industries - oil, gas and utilities. He joined Esso Petroleum in 1974. After a while he became part of their safety services department. Here, John advised senior managers on health and safety issues and provided training.

By the mid 1990s he was responsible for Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) at Kuwait Petroleum (GB). He put together systems and policies and was emergency co-ordinator for the UK group. Later, John moved to the Netherlands to develop a SHE management system for Kuwait Petroleum International. He implemented the system across 10 countries.

More recently John has been Chief Health and Safety Officer at EDF Energy. Following EDF's buyout of British Energy he's been working to integrate health and safety processes and policies.

John says he's pragmatic. He takes a no-nonsense practical approach to safety. He doesn't beat around the bush. If he spots a danger he makes sure people at the top know about it and what needs to be done.

John is very aware that people's lives and livelihoods depend on his approach. Health and safety failures can have serious consequences. That's why he always speaks up. He says he has to do the right thing, even if it doesn't always go down well with those around him.

It was this idea of doing the right thing that led John to gain his NEBOSH qualifications. He believes you can't be a health and safety professional without a NEBOSH Certificate, a NEBOSH Diploma and Chartered Membership of IOSH. John has all three.

He says others may disagree. He accepts the Diploma is challenging. But he thinks it's the right way. So that's why he's done it that way.

John is planning to retire soon. He wants to spend more time at his second home in the South of France and behind the wheel of his classic MG car.

But he won't be giving up health and safety entirely. As well as doing some consultancy work, he'll be acting as a NEBOSH examiner. John recently developed a new qualification with NEBOSH - the Oil and Gas Operational Safety Certificate. He thinks it's only right to put something back into the system too.

John Pond