Safety comes first for HSE officer Niels Leendertse

Is everyone wearing glasses while grinding? Are no workers walking underneath the crane with heavy elements? Are the barriers in place? As HSE officer, Niels Leendertse checks, among other things, that work is carried out safely on the construction site.

Niels works on the Galaxy Tower project in the centre of Utrecht. He is also studying Higher Security Studies as a specialisation. We asked him about his job, studies and future plans.

How did you end up at Ballast Nedam Building Projects?

"After studying Integral Safety Studies, I worked as an occupational health and safety advisor in education for a few years. But that wasn't quite my world. I'm more into engineering and construction. So I decided to apply to Ballast Nedam Building Projects and in August 2020 I started as an HSE officer."

What does an HSE officer do?

"HSE stands for Health, Safety and Environment. So an HSE officer deals with health, safety and the environment. Most attention is paid to safety, but health often plays a role in this as well. Think about working dust-free or working with noise. With the environment, it's about preventing groundwater pollution by hydraulic oil, for example, if a machine line has burst."

What does your working day look like?

"I work on the construction site of the Galaxy Tower in Utrecht. So I sit in the site unit, for example to consult with work planners and supervisors, to make (accident) reports and to check plans for safety. Or I walk around the building site to check that there are no unsafe situations and that all agreements in the VGM plan are being met. Such a plan is required by law for large construction projects such as the Galaxy Tower."

Have you got enough of a challenge in your work?

"Definitely. I find it a beautiful and important task to work with my team to ensure that everyone can return home in the evening healthy and safe. That also suits our new safety campaign 'Take Care' perfectly. Also, at Ballast Nedam I get plenty of opportunities to develop myself. For instance, I've just started a part-time course in Advanced Safety Studies. Ballast Nedam is paying for this and I am expanding my knowledge of safety management, which is of course very useful in my work. So we both benefit."

Do you recommend others to apply at Ballast Nedam?

"Yes, I think Ballast Nedam is a very nice company to work for. If you show initiative and show what you can do and what you want, there are lots of opportunities. For example, I'm currently on a project, but I might want a more coordinating role or to be involved in a project as early as the tender stage later on. All this is possible at Ballast Nedam Building Projects. But first let's finish my studies!"

Are you also interested in working at Ballast Nedam?

At Ballast Nedam, you can develop and become a little better every day. In the Netherlands and abroad. Together with almost 2,000 colleagues, we are committed to a future-proof living environment. Will you join our team to contribute to this?

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