Born and bred Cantabrian Aaron Cassie knows a thing or two about keeping people safe. When he’s not helping bolster workplace health and safety, you’ll find him at the coalface of some of the Garden City’s most critical emergencies. By day he’s Safety ‘n Action’s Regional Trainer Manager for Christchurch, and by night, a volunteer firefighter/brigade controller with 17 years on the frontline.
“It’s nice to be there for people in their time of need, and do your bit for the community,” says Aaron, who despite spending the first 18 years of his career “swinging around in trees” as an arborist, has definitely found his calling at Safety ‘n Action.
“I’ve been here for close to 11 years, it’s a pretty awesome organisation to be part of. In our own small way, we make a difference to the health and safety culture of New Zealand businesses, and I feel proud to be a part of that.”
While in the early days programmes were predominantly safety focussed, Aaron says there’s also a growing emphasis on “psychological first aid”.
“Christchurch has had the earthquakes, a terror attack, and now Covid – it’s been horrendous for a lot of people. We work with organisations to try and nip things like stress, fatigue and distraction in the bud before they become a problem.”
He liaises with local businesses, trains trainers, and delivers highly engaging health and safety programmes across the South Island (and also on occasion, in the North Island, Stewart Island, and even South Australia). With over a decade of teaching experience and a wealth of industry expertise (including a five-year stint with Fulton Hogan), businesses looking to transform their health and safety culture couldn’t be in better hands.
“Our philosophy is about making training relevant, practical and fun. We don’t do death by powerpoint! All our trainers have lots of life experience, they share stories and make their classes interesting. There’s nothing more rewarding than when a learner comes up to you at the end of a course and says ‘Thanks, I got so much out of that’.”