Hi, I'm Dan Mottram, Senior Director, EHS (Environmental, Health & Safety) & Security
The people that work here have got to feel safe. If you’re coming into work every day worrying whether you’re going to get hurt, it stresses you out, you can’t concentrate on your job and you’re less effective. Keeping our employees safe at work allows them to concentrate on doing their job properly, and that in turn allows us to develop & manufacture quality products.
I’m a member of the Site Leadership Team (SLT) at Teva Runcorn with responsibility for overseeing EHS at our manufacturing and research and development functions.
My role as an EHS professional is as a support function; I’m here to provide the business with advice and guidance to help it achieve its objectives. I’m a subject matter expert for all things to do with EHS and that’s how I think I provide benefit to the site. I try to ensure EHS isn’t bureaucratic and isn’t seen as a burden in terms of the site doing what it needs to do.
As well as ensuring colleagues feel safe as they go about their daily tasks, there are other reasons why health and safety is important to everyone at Teva Runcorn. Of course, we’re all decent human beings and we all want to look after each other. But Teva has got many sites around the world and the company chooses to invest where there’s the lowest degree of risk for its investment. Investment is not going to happen if you’re at risk of enforcement action because of your safety performance or because of poor quality compliance.
Runcorn’s excellent health and safety record is one of my proudest achievements in more than 14 years with the company. I can take a little bit of credit for that, but it’s very much a team effort. There are many people who work here and we all contribute to that record.
Before steering my career into health and safety, I was always interested in geography, studying geology and earth sciences at university, a science-based degree with a strong STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) focus.
After graduating, I initially worked for a car hire company managing corporate accounts before then working as a site supervisor for a chemical manufacturer. The chemical industry interested me because of the environmental aspect of my degree. But at that time, the company’s health and safety standards were not particularly good. I started asking questions about what we could do to make things better and it was a case of ‘well, you’ve stuck your hand up – you can do a training course’.
I underwent some EHS training and it developed quite naturally – I did a little bit, and then I did some more and then it was just where my career went. I could see it offered an interesting career pathway, but I could also see the positive impact I could have on the people I worked with.
After three years working in the chemical industry, I wanted a change. In my previous company, health and safety was only part of my role but it was something I was getting more and more interested in. I didn’t feel I was going to be able to develop any more there, so that was part of my decision to move to Teva.
I joined Teva Runcorn in November 2007 as a Health & Safety Officer on an initial 12-month contract to help the site implement an EHS management system. The contract was extended for another year, and when I was asked to take charge of the department on a temporary basis while my manager was on secondment, my role was made permanent.
After a bit longer, my manager had still not returned from his secondment so my position as EHS Manager was made permanent.
The core of my role has remained largely the same, but the scope of it has expanded quite a bit over the last seven years or so. It’s gone from everyday tasks like conducting risks assessments to more high-level strategic planning and defining and implementing processes.
That has tied in with the journey the company has been on and a big change in our EHS culture, moving away from a perception that EHS is my job alone to more of a culture where each department takes responsibility. EHS has to be a team effort and everyone has to buy into it. As well as looking after ourselves, we’ve got to look after our colleagues.
This cultural change has allowed me to take that step back and concentrate more on the processes, the systems, the strategy and the interface with Teva’s global health and safety function as well.
Job satisfaction and the constantly evolving nature of my role, the EHS sector, the Teva Runcorn site, Teva and the pharmaceutical industry more generally have all combined to keep me here for more than a decade.
It’s never boring here. There’s never a day when my calendar goes as planned. Things just happen – it’s such a fast-moving business.
There’s lots of development opportunities too – I get challenged all the time and get involved in things that push me out of my comfort zone.
On a personal level, I like the fact that part of my role benefits people here directly – helping to create a safe environment so colleagues feel safe coming to work. It’s also very rewarding to see some of the processes and systems I’ve introduced at Runcorn have been taken on by Teva as best-practice standards at other sites.
Taking a wider view, Teva as a company has a really positive impact on people’s lives. We produce medicines that improve the lives of patients and give patients around the world access to affordable medicines in places where they might not have been in the past. I take a lot of satisfaction from that.
The future looks very promising. Teva has always invested in us and holds the site in very high regard. It’s exciting. We always feel we can attract any new business and products that Teva want to do.
I’m from Liverpool, so outside of work I’m obviously into my football. (And being from Liverpool, I’m a Blue which is Everton, of course! That’s how it works; if you’re from Liverpool you support Everton!) I have a keen interest in a lot of other sports but football has always been the main one.
I also like the mountains, so I spend a lot of time hiking, mostly in the Lake District and Scotland as well. I’m also very interested in good design, particularly relating to cars and watches but also furniture, buildings, clothes and other things too.