Food Safety Week: Operating in high risk environments

Name: Chris Dark, CMIOSH, MCIEH

Job title: Health, Safety and Environment Director

Company: Sodexo UK & Ireland

Chris has almost 25 years’ experience in health and safety. His role is to oversee the HSEQ for Sodexo’s operation in the UK and Ireland, ensuring that Sodexo’s employees, contractors, clients (and employees) and consumers are safe is Chris’ absolute priority. 

Sodexo in high risk environments; from oil & gas, to pharmaceuticals manufacturing, prisons and hospitals. Its 34,000 employees deliver safety critical services, including, full facilities management in hospitals, full operation of prisons, as well as the delivery of specialised services including: waste management, security, fleet management and grounds maintenance.

Given the breadth of Sodexo’s activities, risk management is a core skill, necessary to prioritise support for and guidance to operations, whilst developing a cohesive strategy to drive continual improvement in HSEQ and providing assurance to the Statutory Directors and Sodexo Group. 

Chris and his 20-strong HSEQ team play a vital role in helping to embed the importance of health, safety and wellbeing into the company’s culture.   

Chris began his career with Birmingham City Council’s specialist environmental protection unit, working with businesses in England’s largest local authority. He then switched to the consultancy side before joining Sodexo in 2003.

Chris knows that keeping people safe isn’t about just about prevention, it is also about enabling employees to confidently perform their job which  in turn leads to greater productivity and employee engagement as well as better quality services provided for the company’s customers and clients.

Training is crucial but so is compliance, Sodexo’s team of health and safety executives work closely with all of our business segments to provide the expertise and support needed to ensure compliance with all the required procedures.

As a business providing a wide range of services with differing levels of complexity and technical requirements health and safety has to be embedded into the day to day business, this is not something new for Sodexo, it has always been a priority and through its commitment to training and the increased awareness through communication initiatives, health and safety is now part of the company’s culture.

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