Mike Howarth

Health and Safety Trainer/Adviser

"I would say that I like to engage with my delegates and foster an integrated discussion through question-and-answer sessions rather than lecture to attendees."

What led you to work for PETA?

I started work in the Royal Navy (RN) spending a few years in general services before being drafted to submarines in 1977. After 15 brilliant years on boats, I left the RN as a Chief Petty Officer in the early 90's. Continuing life at sea as a safety officer on cruise ships I returned to engineering in the Merchant Navy. I left the maritime industry and came ashore starting work as an instructor covering work in confined spaces then, after studying the NEBOSH diplomas in occupational health and safety and environment (HSE) subjects I began a career in health and safety working in ship repair, construction and most recently as a group HSE manager with a Caterpillar dealership in Africa, Russia and the Middle East. I always enjoyed the legal aspects of my job and read English Law with the Open University achieving a First Class Honours.

What is your current role at PETA and what drives you to do what you do?

My current role is as a trainer/adviser for PETA Ltd. The courses that I present relate to health and safety topics from NEBOSH, IOSH and other accredited organisations. In general, I have always been involved in some form of training and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction knowing that I can or have managed to pass on the requisite knowledge to the delegates under my remit.

What knowledge and experience do you draw upon for your role?

I first started in an instructional role in the mid 80's being drafted to the RN submarine school delivering engineering related topics to new recruits to the submarine service. To assist me in this job I attended the Instructional Techniques course in Portsmouth. Later, I undertook the civilian equivalent called PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector). Whilst working in Africa I recognised an absence of HSE training providers and so developed and delivered courses in first aid, accident investigation, safety representatives and fire awareness for our employees.

How do you approach your role on a day-to-day basis? What skills are required?

I like to be prepared for every day's session and I like to get into the office or at a customer's premises to ensure that all visual aids are available and work and that the admin is organised. Classroom preparation is also vital to successful delivery both for the trainer and the delegates and it is not uncommon to be shifting furniture around to facilitate this requirement.

The skills required for this role are a self-organised disposition and the ability to work with the minimum of supervision. Experience in the delivery of course work is an absolute to achieve a completely satisfying delegate experience.

What is your teaching style?

I would say that I like to engage with my delegates and foster an integrated discussion through question-and-answer sessions rather than lecture to attendees.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

I am motivated by the prospect of retiring one day and moving to a small town in France in a house with a huge kitchen where I can indulge in my passion of cooking.

I always believe in giving 110% in everything that I attempt trying to do the best that I can. This includes my professional as well as personal endeavours. What is important to me is a knowledge that what I have set out to achieve whether it be delivering a training course or creating a new culinary dish is that the end user has enjoyed the experience and is complete.