My engineering background and experience of human factors has shown me that you cannot fully understand risks unless you understand the technical and softer factors. I maintain my interest in managing risks in major hazard industries through my membership of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF). I talk at and attend conferences and courses and carry out my own research, which I document on my blog and Twitter
I am a member of the editorial panel for the Loss Prevention Bulletin and regularly write articles for the publication. I was a key contributor to the author guidelines and am involved in ongoing discussions about how to increase the reach and impact of the publication.
I regularly review papers for the Ergonomics and Human Factors conference organised annually by the CIEHF.
I live in Llandudno, North Wales.
I am married to Kathy. We have two boys, Matthew and Patrick.
I did not do so much sport in the past, but always participated in activities, keeping myself fit and healthy. Living in North Wales does mean I have lots of great opportunities on my door step.
Windsurfing is the sport I enjoy the most. But I never do as much as I would like because it is so dependent on weather, tides and having at least half a day free!
I started doing triathlons in 2013 with the Gog Trithalon Club. In 2018 I completed Ironman Wales, which will go down as one of my greatest personal achievements. Also, I completed the Snowdonia Marathon seven weeks later, which was truly brutal.
I have a mountain bike, but it doesn't get a lot of use. Also, I usually get out surfing a couple of times per year, but I am very much a beginner surfer (swimmer may be a better description).
You can probably tell that I developed this website myself. I know the presentation is pretty basic but I hope the content makes up for it. I used Joomla for this site, an open source content management system that seems to provide a good balance of power, flexibility and ease of use.
A site I developed a while ago and try to keep up to date is SimpleSensibleSafety. It provides a simple reference for anyone interested in the basics of health and safety, giving links to free resources. Also, it gives some examples of the opposite, in the form of seriously silly safety stories.
I have developed a website for wife's art classes - Pencilpot.co.uk. I used Wordpress for this one. It works in a similar way to Joomla, is a bit simpler in some ways, but can produce some great looking webpages.
I have developed another Wordpress webpage to promote a sponsored open water swim on Llyn Tegid (Lake Bala) on behalf of the charity Diabetes UK and another promoting our local community of Craig y Don. I helped my friends at SC Soccer Coaching by setting up a webpage for their business, which they now maintain themselves. Also, I have developed the Gog Triathlon Club website,
Andy's first taste of work was, like most people, bar and other casual work whilst a student. His introduction to industry was through a year long placement working at an oil refinery. After completing his Chemical Engineering degree, he worked as a University Research Associate whilst studying for his PhD.
On completion of his PhD, Andy worked for two consultancy companies. He then chose to go self-employed, first as a Sole Trader, creating AB Risks Limited in 2008
AB Risk Limited
2009 - present
Having developed a track record working as a sole trader and demonstrated a viable consultancy business Andy started trading as AB Risk Limited at the beginning of 2009.
Although he does not see this change of trading status making a great difference to how he works, Andy hopes that clients will be reassured that he really means business.
2005 - 2009
In January 2005 Andy realised that he enjoyed the technical aspects of consultancy, but sometimes felt frustrated by the constraints placed on him when working for a consultancy company. He decided to leave paid employment and try his luck as a self-employed consultant.
This proved to be a successful move. He was fortunate in the early months to be able to continue support existing clients by working as an associate consultant with his previous employer. Over time he was able to generate significant amounts of new business, working either directly with them or as an associate with a number of consultancy companies.
Being self-employed has given Andy the freedom to address the specific needs of his clients in a flexible and effective manner. Also, he is able to keep his knowledge up to date, researching new issues and developments as they emerge.
Principal Consultant - Entec UK
2002 - 2005
Andy worked within the risk and safety group at Entec . He was responsible for project delivery and management, product and business development and staff management. Whilst working for Entec Andy was heavily involved in providing human factors consultancy, particularly through applying the HSE/Entec 'Staffing Assessment Methodology.' However, he was also involved in a wide range of projects that called on his engineering background and industrial knowledge rather than purely human factors.
Whilst working for Entec Andy's clients included ExxonMobil, Centrica, Petrofac, Kemira, Akzo Nobel, Lucite, Northumbrian Water, Tractebel, Huntsman, ConocoPhilips, Greater Manchester Waste Authority, National Health Service, Energy Institute and Health and Safety Executive
Senior Consultant - Human Reliability Associates
1996 - 2003
Human Reliability Associates (HRA) is a small consultancy based in the North West of England. Whilst working there Andy's main responsibility was for a major project at Shell's Stanlow refinery and petrochemical complex. This involved the implementation of a fundamental change to the way operating procedures were developed through high levels of workforce involvement and task analysis, and backed up by rigorous training and competence programmes. The project has been credited with major improvements to the site's safety and profitability. Andy was also involved in assisting Shell in rewriting site safety rules and the permit to work system.
Also, whilst working with HRA, Andy's other clients included the Health and Safety Executive, Esso/Exxon, Transco, Croda and Acordis
Research Associate - Edinburgh University
1992 - 1996
Andy was employed by the Chemical Engineering Department of Edinburgh University to research human factors and safety in the process industry. This was whilst he was studying for his PhD. He established and maintained links with industry to ensure his research was realistic and practical, in additiona to attending numerous courses and conferences. He had a number papers published on subjects including human factors, safety and accident reporting.
Student Engineer - Amoco
1987 - 1988
As part of his Chemical Engineering degree, Andy spent 13 months working at Amoco's Milford Haven Refinery. His duties were as expected for a junior engineer, including routine monitoring and reporting, and some minor project work. During this time he completed his degree thesis related to catalytic cracking units, using a great deal of information and expertise from the site.
Offshore Survival (BOSIET)
Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training Course including EBS Training (OPITO Approved). Also, Minimum Industry Safety Training Standard (MIST)
Completed at Fleetwood Training Centre
The standard course for anyone working offshore. Included helicopter emergency, fire fighting, basic first aid and use of rebreathers.
NEBOSH General Certificate
National Examination Board of Occupational Safety and Health - General Certificate
Andy self-studied for this qualification using his general experience of health and safety; and researching key topics on the internet and publications. He blogged his notes, which have since evolved into a website and ebook .
PhD - Human factors in the process industry
Edinburgh University - Chemical Engineering Department
Thesis titled 'Sources of Data for use in human factors studies in the process industry.'
Based on extensive analysis of literature, industrial visits and data analysis, the content of the thesis included
- Human factors
- Risk management
- Accident reporting
- Near miss reporting
- Incident analysis
- Log books as a source of data
BSc- Chemical Engineering
Chemical Engineering - Upper Second (2:1)