Omega-consultant Erik Westerlund (50) is passionate about the HSE field and emphasizes that having conversations with employees in their everyday setting is crucial for a good working environment.
Erik Westerlund started his assignment at site in Lysebotn in 2017. He keeps a steady focus on HSE at work, but also at home where e recently started renovating a house in Haugesund.
«It is all about talking to people, creating awareness and change in work culture. I prefer to talk with people and not to people, and it is in this way that we can find solutions and create change.”
Erik Westerlund is now working on assignment for Norwegian Contractor NCC as HSE Engineer on site for an upgrade project of substations for Statnett taking place in Lysebotn. His interest for HSE started long ago, but it was not before 2007 that he started working within the field. For sixteen years, Westerlund was CEO for their family company, which was a dry cleaning business.
«Already at this time, I had a focus on HSE due to chemicals, noise and work conditions,” he explains.
After a while, his time in the family business reached a point where he had to chose between investing or finding something else to do.
«I chose to do something else and started a job at Kårstø in connection with an upgrade project there.”
During these years he took courses and subjects at the vocational school AOF Haugaland, and received a more formal education within HSE. Westerlund also utilizes his HSE knowledge at home, and likes to spend his free time fishing or cruising with his boat, preparing food in the kitchen or undertaking home carpentry projects. This year his adventures at sea has been paused due to a newly acquired renovation object in Haugesund.
«Our children have now moved out, and my wife and I decided to buy a house to have a common project going forward. However, some projects take more over than others,” he laughs. “It reached a critical phase where we on vacation in Dubai were thinking more about getting back home to make progress on the house, than enjoy our time there.” He also adds that he has now successfully secured home carpentry work for all the coming weekends and holidays this year.
During the weekdays he commutes to Lysebotn and travels back home to Haugesund on Thursdays. He enjoys his time at site and emphasizes that having a good working environment is important. Especially since they all work closely and are somewhat cut off from the rest of the world during the winters because the site is at the innermost point of the Lysebotn fjord.
«There are a lot of exciting things to do at work and it is incredibly rewarding to see visible results of the work one is putting down. It is especially good to see that others start to work in the same manner or change the way they work taking safety more into consideration.”
Since he left the family business, he has taken part in many projects, and have worked at Kårstø, in Kværner, on the Nyhamna project for Shell, and offshore at the Gina Krog and Ekofisk platforms. In 2017 he started in Omega and on assignment for NCC.
«If there’s one thing I have learned through these projects, it is that we all need some recognition in our everyday work, and that might apply especially to us men. It is important that someone sees us and the work that we put down,” he reflects over his time as a consultant thus far.