In the spotlight with Mark Creighton
14 July 2021
This month we put Mark Creighton in the spotlight to find out how the former professional footballer found himself in the field of health and safety.
How did you get into the health and safety industry?
I joined Peninsula after moving back to North Wales and tweeting to my followers on social media that I was looking for a new opportunity and to throw some ideas at me. I was called immediately by an ex colleague of mine who is a director at Peninsula. He persuaded me to listen to what Peninsula offered their clients from Employment Law to H&S compliance and I was sold immediately as I saw the value it would add to my own business needs.
You were a professional footballer before joining Peninsula. Can you give us an overview of your career?
I turned professional at the age of 23 and signed for Kidderminster Harriers on a one year deal, leaving behind part-time football and working on building sites. I hit the ground running and within three months had signed a brand new two year deal with the club and was made captain. From then I was fairly successful in becoming a well-known figure in lower league football and Chris Wilder bought me and took me to Oxford United. The following season was a hug success for the club as we regained our rightful spot in the football league and most fans would say one of the most important victories in the clubs history took place at Wembley to secure that promotion. I later moved on to Wrexham where Dean Saunders was manager and had another very successful spell at the club. This unfortunately ended through injury in 2012 and that was me done.
What was the highlight of your football career?
The biggest game I played in was the promotion final at Wembley for Oxford United. This day was the pinnacle for me however I had many memorable moments. I played in the first game at the brand new Wembley Stadium as well as some giant killing games in the FA Cup over the years.
What do you enjoy most about your job at Peninsula?
I enjoy the challenge that everyday/meeting brings. I am a problem solver for SME business owners, so I take great pride and satisfaction in supporting them through their many challenges they face on a daily basis. One of those being the complexities of health and safety in the work place.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the health and safety industry in UK?
The biggest challenge for business owners is to get the business compliant and keep it that way. Many businesses owners do not create their businesses to become experts in this field, however law says they need to be or at least have access to competent people within the organisation or external. Most SME’s don’t have the budget to employ a health and safety trained expert within their organisation and certainly don’t have the time themselves to train and upskill themselves. Law doesn’t accept this as an excuse to not do it or do it half heartedly so this is were a major issue can develop.
How do you think these challenges can be overcome?
This can be overcome by having options to outsource this level of expertise so the burden can be eased somewhat while also giving peace of mind to owners that they are doing all they can to remain compliant and keep their employees, clients, visitors etc safe.
What sets Peninsula apart from its competitors?
We are the market leaders in what we do. The reason behind this is simple, we invest in the quality and standard of our experts who can implement safe working practices for all of our many clients, from practical visits, 24/7 advice and support and our award winning software management system. We go above and beyond to make sure our clients have all the support they require.
What are you most memorable successes at Peninsula?
Everyday is memorable and it’s due to the fact that I am making a big difference to business owners lives. Make no bones about it, health and safety is an extremely difficult area of business for pretty much all business owners to navigate. By relieving some of that pressure I am doing my bit which makes me feel good. I am a business owner too so I know how hard it can be to spin all of the plates at once.
What’s your vision for the future of the business?
My vision for the business is simple. We need to continue to be the market leaders but also strive for further improvements to benefit our clients as and where we can. As said before we continuously invest in our services and that will never stop.
What health and safety issues are you most passionate about?
For me I feel mental health is key. High risk industries such as farming, construction, manufacturing etc are simple in terms of identifying risks and measures to minimise injury, however mental health is the silent assassin. Health and Safety has two parts to it and most still only focus on the word Safety and the word Health can get left behind. We have a fantastic EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) at Peninsula which is in place to support us through not only work related challenges but also day to day issues that life throws at us. Healthy/Happy employees is crucial.
How can we entice more young talent to work in the health and safety sector?
I think there is a stigma that health and safety is not cool or is boring. It’s really not when you dig into what is involved. We just need to keep making people aware of the importance of getting this right, as lets face it, health and safety is not going away and It will certainly continue to get more complex as the years and new challenges arrive, Covid-19 being a great example of that. Young people will be the key to our country being the leaders in this field and will be responsible for keeping the next generations of employees safe in the work place for years to come.
Mark Creighton is a consultant for Peninsula UK. For more information, visit www.peninsulagrouplimited.com