Giving it your all

Case Study: Karim Ali

One look at Karim Ali’s résumé tells you he is a health and safety professional with an appetite for life-long learning. He certainly doesn’t do things by halves.

Karim, who is originally from Egypt, has worked in several countries around the Gulf in the onshore and offshore oil and gas sector. He recently moved to the other side of the world to Australia, to work in an entirely new field to enhance his career and life experience. Now based in Sydney, he is Work Health & Safety Business Partner for Endeavour Energy, a company supplying electricity to 2.4 million people in households and businesses in New South Wales.

It’s definitely been interesting times here,” said Karim. “We’ve had severe floods and bushfires to deal with and also the Covid-19 outbreak. As part of my role I’ve been supporting the Incident Response Team, advising on HSE, and central to that has been making sure everyone is on top of their game and looks after themselves and their colleagues.”

Karim’s passion for safety is grounded first and foremost in his beliefs. He is by no means the first health and safety professional with a Muslim upbringing to highlight a specific verse from the Qur’an as his core motivation: “The verse reads ‘whoever saves one (a soul), it is as if he had saved mankind entirely’,” he told us. “It is the prime mover for me to guide others and to be effective in my workplace and perhaps most importantly to continually learn and grow.”

Karim’s NEBOSH journey began in 2012, when he passed the NEBOSH International General Certificate with distinction. He went on to do the same with the NEBOSH Fire and Risk Management and Oil and Gas Certificates, before graduating with his NEBOSH International Diploma in 2016. In truth, they are just some of a long list of professional accolades, which also include a Mechanical Engineering degree, various Lead Auditor certifications and Chartered Membership of IOSH and Professional Membership of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP).

His latest achievement has been having a peer reviewed research article published in Professional Safety, the monthly journal of ASSP. The article, which explores ‘The effectiveness of non-regulatory safety cases in the drilling industry’, followed on from Karim studying for a NEBOSH and Hull University Masters of Research degree in HSE Management.

It was an issue that had been bothering me for years and to have the opportunity to develop my thesis, interview and discuss and learn more about conducting academic research, has been hugely fulfilling. I now have a real thirst for more.”

Karim added: “I think it’s crucial as an HSE professional to keep on learning and stay up to date. I just recently took the NEBOSH HSE Leadership Excellence course, which was a great eye-opener around different leadership styles in the workplace and how best to approach them.

For me, studying with NEBOSH is a no-brainer. The amount of knowledge you accumulate helps massively, including when it comes to the kind of unexpected disasters we’ve had to deal with recently. I’d really like to see it take off more here down-under, because NEBOSH is always there for you at different stages of your health and safety career, with all its different levels from Award through to Masters as you climb the ladder.”