Meet a HSE People Champion – Louis Pienaar

HSE People is proud to be working with a team of Champions to raise the profile of the HSE industry and to support our members. Today we speak with Louis Pienaar, Health & Safety manager for the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards.

What is your job title, where do you work and what do you do?

I am a serving soldier, and my current role is the Health & Safety manager for the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. We are based in Windsor and my role involves ensuring that all military health & safety policy are followed an implemented, working towards inspiring people and create a safety culture that, people will not see as just another tick box exercise.

How did you get started in HSE?

I have been in the military for 22 years now, most of my career was spent working in the Mechanical Transport (MT) Platoon. I have always been working in safety, from familiarising people onto military vehicles (road vehicles and armoured vehicles) and teaching them to drive safely off-road, teaching them the safe transport of dangerous goods, managing the Mechanical Transport Fuel Installation (MTFI), and managing safety within the work transport environment. Having been working to keeping people safe for so long it just feels natural and something that I would like to keep doing. There is nothing that feels better knowing that everyone goes home safely at the end of the working day.

Why did you want to become an HSE People Champion?

I see this as an opportunity to gain experience, putting myself out there and pushing the limits of where I feel comfortable. I know this sound like I am doing this for very selfish reasons, but I am also hoping to encourage people into taking opportunities. I have seen may posts form people saying “even if you don’t have something to say just say something”

 Vanessa Bohns also wrote “You have more influence than you think” and I am hoping to use some of that influence to inspire people and promote, health, safety, and wellbeing within the workplace.

Who or what inspires you?

I have been incredibly lucky to have built a network on LinkedIn and surrounded myself with people that is inspirational, helpful and the sort of people you look up to us mentors. It will be lengthy list if I must name them all,

 but there are two people that really stand out to me, and they are:

Bob Chapman CEO of Barry Wehmiller “Your manager at work is more Important to your health than your family doctor”

He also authored the book “Everybody Matters” terrific book, inspirational and, if we all start treating each at work, that everybody really matters, it will not only just benefit the health, safety, and wellbeing culture within the organisation, but also the society we live in.

Hugh Maxwell (International HSE/Risk Professional, Mentor, Coach and Safety influencer. IIRSM Mentor of the Year 2022. SHP & HSE People Top Health and Safety Influencer 2021) – He is always willing to help and always have a kind word to say about other people.

What are you excited about for 2023?

I am in the last 22 months of a 24-year career serving in the Army, this year is going to be very exiting as start my transitioning from being in the military to becoming a civilian. I have been working hard on preparing myself and looking forward to the next chapter in my story.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Empathy – Working in safety profession being able emphasise with people, understanding the highs and lows they go through will give you that ability to really understand their feelings and, why they do the things they do and, sometimes make mistakes.

Describe yourself in three words.

Dedicated, enthusiastic with a cheerful outlook.

Thank you so much Louis, really great answers!