The Risk Management Services (RMS) team at NFU Mutual is the largest Risk Management Consultancy in the UK. Our RMS colleagues in Health and Safety share why they think it’s such an interesting area to work. As they explain, it’s about the difference they feel they’re making to our customers, the variety and diversity of the businesses they work with and the strength of the team itself.

Making a difference for our customers
Health and safety is all about identifying and minimising risk and preventing injuries, so it’s not surprising that our team feel a strong sense of purpose in the work they do.

For James Tibbetts, there’s a single driver behind all the work he does. “We're looking to reduce the risk of injury and ultimately save lives, whether that’s those working on farms, or in the many other businesses we’re connected with. I absolutely love meeting people and getting to know how their businesses operate and being able to bring something to reduce risk for them.”

And as James explains, it’s the strength of the relationships he builds that really embeds the impact of our work. “If we just go out and deliver health and safety advice and walk away without having a relationship with the client, it isn't giving them value for money, reducing the risk or creating a safer environment. By working together, we encourage clients along their journey of providing a safe working environment for their staff.”

Andrew Scargill can see the benefit for both the clients and NFU Mutual too. “If we can help the client reduce their risk and therefore reduce incidents and loss, then it's a financial benefit to NFU Mutual and the client. We're helping our insurance colleagues manage risk better, which promotes NFU Mutual as a business. And obviously hopefully, potentially reduces the risk of a financial claim.”

Tim Fowkes also feels the role allows him to see the difference he’s making, as he explains. “I really like the going in and helping people part of my role. This might involve doing a full audit of what a customer has in place for health and safety or looking at on-site hazard spots, where we identify physical things that could cause accidents and incidents. I was a health and safety manager in an earlier role, so I like to help people in similar roles and support them to put their case to their directors for why more needs to be contributed towards health and safety. It’s always good to see how these outcomes develop.”

The variety the role brings
One of the things everyone in the RMS team agrees on is that both Loss Control and Health and Safety offer a surprising amount of variety. While many are working with our traditional farming customer base, there’s a lot more to our business, and it’s the variety of sectors and the places it takes the team to, which is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the role.

Tim Fowkes explains why there’s more to our customer base than many might think. “People sometimes assume NFU Mutual just supports farming but that really isn't the case. We insure so many different clients now; holiday parks, hotels, leisure facilities, nurseries – the variety of businesses we support brings a huge amount of interest to the role.”

Yorkshire based Andrew Scargill describes the variety as “absolutely fantastic” and the number one aspect of his role. “Every single day you're in a different environment, you're looking at different types of risks, and it's just so enjoyable. This week I’ve visited a fantastic farm doing woodland regeneration, a joinery business and a food manufacturing site. I’ve also visited lots of beautiful places that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to visit without working for NFU Mutual. I don't think I would ever have gone to the Shetland Islands or the Outer Hebrides had it not been that my clients were there – but I’m glad they were!”

James Tibbetts enjoys learning about the businesses he works with. “I can go from visiting a 13th century brickyard to a modern farming business using hydroponics within a space of a few days. Getting to know the people and understanding the history of those businesses is fascinating. Whether they're the descendants of stone-age lime miners or manufacturing bricks for Hampton Court Palace, we really get to see everything that's going on. It's brilliant.”

What makes the Mutual a great place to work?
The team have talked about how their work impacts their customers and the variety the role brings. We wanted to know if there’s one thing in particular that makes NFU Mutual a great place to work - or whether it’s a mix of different factors that all come together?

For James Tibbetts, it’s the support of his team, especially having joined at the start of the pandemic. “For me, without doubt, it’s our people. Due to the pandemic, we haven’t been able to meet face to face, but my colleagues are always available on the end of the phone. There's a wealth of knowledge within the team so we can draw on each other’s experiences. It’s a big team but we’re all here to help each other. I have a farming background, so my colleagues call on my knowledge base. I don’t have the health and safety knowledge some of my colleagues have, so I can call on their knowledge base. We work really well together as a team.”

Along with the team support, Tim Fowkes enjoys the autonomy, support and tools that help him with the role. “It's a really great place to work in terms of the autonomy you’re given, which is excellent. You’re free to manage your workload but the team is always there when you need them. The role is really interesting, and I’ve been provided with all the IT kit I need to do my role.” For Andrew Scargill it’s a mix of things. “It's the variety of our work, the amazing places I've visited and the work-life balance. I'm talking to you now from my office, which is at the bottom of my garden. I don't do a commute anymore and this flexibility works really well for me. I can be at my desk at 6.45 am, but out on my bike at 5 pm.”

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