15 January 2021
Sandra OKAH, Quality Control / Client Manager at OPENR
1/ Could you tell us about your academic background and career path so far?
I have a Bachelor's degree in Geology and a Master's degree in Mining and Petroleum Engineering. After a few months as a Geological Engineer in Cameroon, I received an offer to work in Belgium as a Prevention Advisor on a construction site. This was my first experience in the QHSE field. After a year with this company, I decided to move to France and studied for a second Master's degree in Quality, Environment and Safety in Industry and Services at the University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté. As part of my studies, I joined OpenR in 2017 on a work-study contract. I work for the company now as a Quality Control Manager and Client Manager.
2/ Why did you choose this job and what do you do on a daily basis?
While working for a mining company in Cameroon, I quickly realised the importance of QHSE in a company and how important it was to implement and promote a comprehensive and healthy QHSE culture. Mineral prospecting is very much exposed to the three principles of QHSE, particularly health and safety, but we can also see the impact of our activity on the environment. In my opinion, it was important to strike a balance between delivering high quality service while protecting our workers’ safety and reducing our environmental footprint.
My role revolves around the QHSE management system (quality control, HSE receptions, safety instructions, occupational risk assessments, accident analysis, HSE documentation updates, etc.) and customer portfolio management.
3/ Could you name 5 must-have qualities for this job?
Integrity, self-sufficiency, versatility, good organisation skills and, of course, good interpersonal skills.
4/ What are your hobbies and interests?
I am passionate about travelling, yoga and photography. At least once a year, I travel to a place I have never been to. Travelling takes me to amazing places and people, and my camera helps me bring back these memories with me.
5/ What do you like the most about your job?
In my job, versatility and commitment. When you are part of a small and growing business, it is a big advantage. I like having the opportunity to work on a wide variety of topics and be actively involved in the company's QSE policy.
In a broader sense, being part of a team / company which works for a good cause - "green" energy - is extremely rewarding.
6/ How do you implement HSE procedures into OPENR’s operations?
Three steps are necessary to implement a HSE procedure within OPENR.
A preliminary analysis / study is carried out, taking into account any particular context (regulations, activity, environment, etc.). The next step is to draft a project. The project is presented to the whole team with a 5-day consultation period over which team members can provide feedback and ask questions. The procedure is updated if necessary, approved in a final version and circulated to all employees. With all the national and international regulatory changes, a real challenge for us is to keep the documentation up to date and ensure that information is communicated within the company to everyone involved.
7/ Any anecdote or major fact you would like to share about your job?
The first time I climbed to the top of a wind turbine was amazing. I felt like I was on top of the world and the view was incredible!
Thank you Sandra for this great job testimonial!