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A day in the life of Mark Davies

18 June 2018

Each issue HSM puts the spotlight on worker health and safety by speaking to a member of the British Safety Council about the challenges and rewards of working in this field. This time we talk to Mark Davies

Can you tell us about yourself and where you work?

I am the owner of an 18-year-old corporate wellbeing consultancy called 7Futures, which designs and delivers mental and physical wellbeing interventions and programmes for organisations of all sizes and in all sectors. We work all over the UK but are Midlands based.

What motivates you to get out of bed on a work day?
Providing security and safety for my family and the goal of delivering the best wellbeing interventions irrespective of budget.

What does a typical day entail for you?
Either delivering resilience training on site at client locations, designing a new programme or researching the latest developments in wellbeing

What is your favourite, or most important, piece of work equipment?
here are two: my Apple MacBook Air and Spire breathing technology. The thought of losing my MacBook is horrifying.

What route did you take to working in the field of worker safety and health protection?
It happened completely by chance...although I had worked in workplace wellbeing for 15 years it was a chance phone call to say that Network Rail wanted to hold a one-day health and wellbeing event, which opened up a whole new world of opportunity. Essentially, following the delivery of that event it became clear that many traditional health and safety specialists/managers were increasingly looking over the fence into the world of wellbeing to see if and how it could help play its part in improving safety at work. The last three years has seen an explosion in the interest from the health and safety sector almost to the point where we work with no-one else.

What advice would you give a person thinking of working in the area of health and safety at work?
Develop a specialism in wellbeing and mental health. It is only going to grow in importance. But the world of wellbeing needs help to embed its products and services into organisational culture and processes. This is mucg the same challenge that faced health and safety many years ago. For example, lessons can be learned from the development of health and safety into an important and recognisable professional service and role.

When did you last laugh in work? What made you laugh?
I have to name drop I'm sorry. Last week, I took part in an Armed Forces mental health and wellbeing conference at Sandhurst. Prince Harry attended and it was my responsibility to debrief him on the project we have designed. Part of my work involves training people to remain calm under pressure, building resilience, staying emotionally regulated. Just minutes before he was due to join our team our minds all started to go blank and none of us could remember what we had planned to say. As I was going first the sense of panic was building. Fortunately, someone laughed at the state we were in and that saved the day. So, nothing clever just the release that comes from laughter

What is the best part of working in your field?
Receiving emails saying we have saved someone's life (insisting they go to their GP) or changed it for the better.

What do you see as the biggest challenges to health and safety at work currently?
Without doubt it’s fatigue, which is like an epidemic and dangerous for mental health and workplace safety. I have a concern that just as someone can be pre-diabetic they can be pre-mentally ill as a result of fatigue.