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Get to Know: Our SHEQ Team 5

Meet our trusted SHEQ team. Some of you may be asking yourselves what is SHEQ? Many people may not know, but it plays an important role in a company such as ours, as well as being a career path that makes a real difference.

The waste industry is recognised as being a high risk activity, so having a strong SHEQ team is imperative for a company like Bywaters. The department plays a leading role in cultivating a positive health & safety culture in the company and assessing our operations to ensure we’re operating as safely as possible.

Outside of Health & Safety, SHEQ works to ensure our minimised environmental impact, by identifying new rooms for improvement, as well as ensuring that we comply with all environmental certifications within our highly-regulated industry.

Furthermore, SHEQ is also responsible for our Quality and Energy management systems. The Quality systems are vital in ensuring that Bywaters has excellent and reliable procedures in place to manage our operations. Lastly, the Energy system plays a key role in reducing our resource consumption and can aid us in our net zero journey.

In this article, we speak with Phil Russell (Head of Health & Safety), Chiara Maltese (Head of ISO Compliance), and Stephen Grant (SHEQ Officer) to gain insights into working on their team.

What does SHEQ stand for?

Chiara: SHEQ stands for Safety, Health, Environment and Quality. It also includes Energy as the fourth system that makes up the Integrated Management System (IMS).

What are the core values and mission of SHEQ?

Phil: Our main responsibility is maintaining the Integrated Management System (IMS), which includes all of our ISO standards. This not only ensures its smooth operation but also allows us to continually improve everything we do – something we’re truly passionate about!

To achieve this, we collaborate with all other departments to establish procedures and processes that prioritise safe and environmentally conscious operations. We also conduct periodic audits and inspections of internal activities to ensure that our collective focus on health & safety and environmental responsibility remains strong.

What is a day as Head of ISO Compliance like?

It’s always an exciting day with the SHEQ team. I usually start my day by checking a couple of emails, from then on my activities can vary quite a lot.

On a general day, I may review procedures, prepare some process maps, and have meetings with our trusted partners.

On more exciting days, you can see me doing walkarounds, conducting internal audits or even dealing with external ones!

Moreover, I often meet with other departments, trying to find solutions to potential issues, these can range from environmental to quality to even general compliance matters. My favourite thing is when an environmental challenge is at hand, and I need to help in finding a strategic solution that suits the company, but is also legally compliant and beneficial to all the interested parties.

What is a day as a SHEQ Officer like?

Stephen: My day often starts with a coffee and reviewing the day’s schedule and any upcoming activities or projects that may have health & safety, environment, energy or quality implications.

Obviously, I often communicate with various teams to provide guidance on SHEQ matters, ensuring my teammates have the support they need.

In any given day, we might have a session training to provide, or an internal audit with another department, or even meetings addressing an issue raised in previous audits or inspections.

Other common tasks can include contractor management, researching legislation updates and checks, energy usage monitoring, document review and query resolution. We also will try to have a daily walkaround as well to make sure Bywaters’ facility is following safety procedures.

Then let’s not forget the rest of our amazing team, the Health & Safety side, which consists of the Head of Health & Safety, Phil, and 2 Health & Safety officers, Marco and Harry, whose general day is full of walkarounds, investigations, meetings with operatives and other members of staff, customer site visits, interactions with enforcement agencies. All of this gives them the chance to prepare and review the relevant Health & Safety documents, such as RAMS, Emergency Plans and so on…

What are some key achievements that your team has made?

Chiara: As a team, a large part of our performance is assessed when our IMS is audited. This happens throughout the year on our 4 ISO systems; H&S, Quality, Environment and Energy. Last year we had 7 audits over 12 days, and we passed all of them, reflecting our excellence in these 4 areas!

Our most recent audit was in January this year. This was for our Energy Management System, where we were told we went ‘over and above’ to ensure it all worked seamlessly.

Get to know: Our SHEQ Team 2

Having said this, what are the key plans for SHEQ in 2024?

Chiara: When working in SHEQ, your average given day can be full of surprises! There will be your standard ISO audit for one of our systems, maybe some enforcement body could visit our site, we also often have to consider legislation updates…

Having said this, one of the most important (and exciting) tasks for 2024 will definitely be implementing ISO 14064-1, which focuses on Green House Gas monitoring. We’ll be looking forward to working with the rest of our company to create the methodologies and coordinating the processes behind this accreditation.

Finally, we will have a big recertification audit for our Health & Safety ISO in November so there’ll be a big push for the rest of the year. We’re quite excited for it and we’re confident that we’ll deliver an excellent performance.

How do I become a SHEQ Officer?

Stephen: The most important thing is being willing to learn and experience new things constantly and trying to pick up as much as possible through those situations. A lot of the experience and qualifications for both sides of SHEQ are vocational. In our department, we collectively have 3 NEBOSH certificates in Health & Safety, a couple of NEBOSH in Fire Prevention. We also have around 5-6 NVQs and a Chartered Member of IOSH among us. Moreover, I have a geography degree and Chiara has an environmental engineering master (she started as a SHEQ officer as well).

What do you love about working in SHEQ?

Chiara: The exciting reality of SHEQ is that every day is different, constantly testing your ability to solve problems and adapt. Working in SHEQ offers a diverse range of challenges that demand adaptability and problem-solving skills. But most importantly, we have a great and supportive team that makes working in SHEQ a pleasure.

And finally, what do you love about working at Bywaters?

We love Bywaters and its friendly environment. But mostly, as mentioned above, no two days are ever alike, which helps us in our professional and personal growth!

Get to Know: Our SHEQ Team 4


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