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Where Are You Now?

Howard Stafstrom

BA Marketing 2009

MSc Environment Health and Safety Management 2015

Position and company: Health and Safety Manager at The Port of Tyne
Howard Stafstrom is Health and Safety Manager at The Port of Tyne in South Shields. This is one of the one of UK’s most innovative and efficient deep-sea ports handling cargoes across five continents.
As part of his role, Howard manages a team of people looking after the port’s wide range of health and safety risks across Bulks, Containers, Warehousing, Ferry, and Cruise operations. Howard describes himself as a people’s person and enjoys working with his colleagues on site. His main priority is for everyone to return home safely at the end of the day.

He said: “My mam is an extremely caring person and I like to think I take after her and apply that to the workplace. I do genuinely care about everyone going home safe at the end of each day.”

Originally from South Shields, Howard is proud to work at one of his hometown's biggest institutions.

Although his undergraduate degree has little to do with what he does now, Howard believes he still learned a lot from the experiences of attending university at 18. It was Howard’s brother who suggested him to pursue a career in Environment Health and Safety when Howard was unsure about where his path would lead.

Asked what attracted him to the University of Sunderland, he replied: “It was one of the only places in the UK to offer a HSE course at that level at the time, and I had already had good experiences with my undergrad at the University.”

Howard remembers fondly his lecturers who all had a positive influence on him. He said: “I had some great lecturers but probably my biggest influence was Dr Sarah Pickup who was just studying her PhD at the time. She showed great enthusiasm in general as well as teaching my favourite module, behavioural safety.”

Howard’s advice to recent graduates entering the job market is not to give up. He said: “The first job will be the hardest job to get – don’t worry if you struggle, it only gets easier.”

Talking about his plans, Howard said: “I intend to continue working and growing in my role. I hope to continue to progress up the career ladder into more senior positions.”

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