Introducing Tim Barley

Introducing Tim Barley

17 Jun 2020

In the second of our new series, with the aim of introducing you to some of our key colleagues at Space Engineering Services, we would like to introduce you to our Head of Health, Safety, Environment & Quality (HSEQ), Tim Barley.


What led you to your career?

I was originally an apprentice engineer and progressed into project management, completing my NEBOSH whilst working in projects.

I was always drawn towards a career in health and safety management as I’d had some bad experiences when I was on the tools.  Back then, I was young and didn’t feel empowered to say no when asked to work in dangerous environments, which could have turned out badly for me.

I want to make a difference within organisations and ensure we all go home safely, as I was lucky.

How long have you been with the business?

Two years, but this is my second spell with the company as I had previously worked here as an H&S Advisor.  I had worked for two large organisations in an HSEQ leadership role before re-joining Space Engineering Services.  I wanted to move back here as I feel that I can make a significant difference for the people that I enjoy working with.

How would you describe yourself?

In the past, I’ve been described as thoughtful, direct, quick-witted, genuine and level-headed.  I’m happy to go with those.

What would you do differently if you had the chance?

To be honest, I don’t think like that.  I don’t agonise over the ‘if only’ provided by hindsight.  I take time to reflect and learn, as I understand the importance of making time for yourself, protecting your diary and that time thinking is time seldom wasted.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the industry?

The biggest challenge within health, safety and environmental (HSE) is one of leadership.  I believe the industry is taking a compliance-based approach to HSE and that we need a step-change to ensure we are setting best-practice and being proactive.  This includes research into working hours, health impacts and most importantly the industry needs to start discussing Mental Health.

What does a typical day look like?

I’m usually office-based and don’t get onsite as much as I would like to. Like most, I have a long to-do-list, which I like to reduce ensuring that I make a difference most days within the business.

What do you think the future of the business looks like?

We need to consider a more flexible lifestyle and how we can maximise output.  The emerging generations of workers are demanding different things from life and working sixty hours a week doesn’t align with their values and beliefs.  If the industry is going to attract and retain quality talent, we need to look at the best ways of providing a balance and looking after our people.  This includes being more attuned to mental health, safety, well-being and sustainability. Most of all we need to train our people and not just technically.  We need to look at leadership and management training, ensuring that we are creating the right culture within the industry and our organisations.  I would like to see an industry framework for management competency, to ensure we are considering personal development to be equally as important as technical training.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy?

Walking the dog and travelling.  I also volunteer with the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and deliver mental health awareness training accredited by Young Minds.

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