Head of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) – Rail Infrastructure

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The Client

A multi-billion global business and provider of end-to-end transportation solutions. Our client is truly a household name within the UK and global rail market. Having worked closely on a number of previous assignments Collingwood was engaged on a business critical assignment within a major UK business unit. 


The Business Challenge

Due to global restructuring across the group, plus a number of internal and operational changes within the UK operations, an opportunity was created within a rail infrastructure vertical which was essential for the successful delivery of current and future project commitments. 


The Role

Our client was looking to identify an experienced Health and Safety Executive to lead and develop the EHS vertical within a core business stream operating in the rail infrastructure environment. 

It was essential that suitable individuals could lead, manage and develop the current EHS team in place across numerous UK project locations, as well as having impact and influence on the overall strategic direction of the EHS vertical across the UK business. 


Our Solution

Following an in-depth briefing with the client, a detailed understanding of the role and responsibilities was developed helping us outline the needs of the role across the short, medium and longer term. This, along with a clear picture of the preferred characteristics and experiences of individuals, enabled us to enter the market, already knowing what suitable individuals needed to possess to be able to succeed in such a role.

Candidates were targeted who along with all the relevant qualifications and experience, were able to deliver management and strategic solutions embraced by both project teams and at a senior management level. This mix of internal liaison experience was essential to the success of this role and a key factor in developing a shortlist of suitable individuals.

Following initial approaches to over 50 health and safety professionals with experience operating within the UK rail market, Collingwood arranged a more formal face to face explorations with 9 individuals who we felt most closely match the requirements of the role. Of these individuals, 4 were formally submitted to the General Manager and Human Resources Director at their offices along with full reports as to why we felt they would be successful in such a position. During this conversation, 2 individuals were selected for formal face to face interviews with our client at their UK headquarters in London. 


The Result

Following formal interviews with our client, both candidates were confirmed to have the experience and personality traits deemed suitable for the role and a decision was made to commence to a formal offer of employment for the preferred candidate. Collingwood presented the offer to the individual and confirmed acceptance and start date with our client. This assignment went from initial commencement to the selected candidate starting employment with our client in a period of 18 weeks. 


About the author
Doug Mackay
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Having started his career in Executive Search in 1998, Doug set up Collingwood in 2005 alongside his wife, Claire Mackay.

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Doug Mcckay

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