My Stantec Story: Chris Sutton, championing health and safety
March 08, 2022
March 08, 2022
Chris, senior director HSSE operations global, speaks about how building relationships is key to keeping people safe at work
In the My Stantec Story series, our designers, engineers, marketers, project managers, and leaders come together to share how their career journeys at Stantec have shaped their lives and moved them closer to their goals.
I work with and support the Global, Health, Safety, Security, and Environment (HSSE) teams and work closely with country leads and their management teams to ensure we in HSSE provide the support, guidance, and advice which enables them to keep their people safe and healthy—and in line with their regional requirements and our Stantec values.
The people interactions are by far the most enjoyable part. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with some fantastic people firstly in the HSSE team in the UK, now globally and also with the operational and technical teams.
I think we have a really open and honest culture—it’s no coincidence that one of our values is “we do what is right!” I think it’s important we follow this with our people and clients. From a HSSE perspective, I think we have come a long way in our understanding and maturity of making health and safety part of our everyday thinking.
I’ve learned so much in my time in Stantec—mainly around leadership and people management. Not only in the training courses and sessions but by working with some great mentors and guides. It never ceases to amaze me just how many very clever people we have in our business across lots of diverse subjects. I’ve been very fortunate to work with and be able to learn from so many people.
At the start of our Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL) contract in AMP 6 I chaired the HSSE Forum for 12 months for our client and their partners. It was an exciting time in which we shaped the HSSE approach for NWL’s partners. Our Crossrail-based model won regional and national Constructing Excellence awards in health and safety. Plus, a few years ago I worked on a number of frameworks that helped me build close working relationships with our client’s HSSE teams. Those experiences have really stood out for me.
I think the main thing is to listen to what your client wants, whether that’s an internal or external client—listen and spend time really understanding what the issues are. Then build a relationship to enable honest discussions on what’s being requested and what can be delivered. But relationships are key for me, it also makes the job more enjoyable if you get along with who you are working with or for!
I’m working towards the integration of the HSSE management system across global operations which is an interesting project and a great opportunity to build my network as the business expands. I’m still relatively new to my global operations role, so my ambition is to learn more about and help support HSSE in global operations and work with the team to ensure we continue to support the business and keep our people safe and healthy.
I like to watch my local football team Doncaster Rovers, I play a little golf and occasionally, go to the theatre, concerts, or movies, and I also like gardening.
I would encourage others to join Stantec as it’s an organisation that has strong values and tries to operate by them. I think Stantec provides real career opportunities across diverse, technical and operation activities—but mainly the people are great to work with and learn from and make the work enjoyable every day. From a HSSE point of view, health and safety has provided me with interesting enjoyable experiences, some challenges and has never been dull. And as I said before—I’m biased but the HSSE team are the best!
At Stantec, we do what is right and we put people first, and for Chris that means building professional relationships and championing Stantec’s dedication to health and safety. If you want to find a role at Stantec that fits your needs and aspirations, visit Stantec.jobs to look at our available positions.