He has survived everything from malfunctioning parachutes to operational tours in Iraq – it’s not surprising Mark Williams (aka Will) is a stickler for safety. During more than three decades in the military (including 22 years with the Royal Air Force Regiment and nine in the New Zealand Defence Force) Will quickly discovered the importance of health and safety protocols. And now, as a Regional Trainer Manager for Safety ‘n Action, he’s using his expertise to transform New Zealand’s health and safety culture.
“During my time in the military - especially the eight years I spent operating as a military parachute jump instructor in the NZDF - I developed a very hearty respect for safety. And it’s fair to say nothing quite sharpens the mind like a stint in Iraq,” says Will.
So, in 2016, when he decided to embark on life as a civvie, becoming a trainer for New Zealand’s leading provider of health and safety training seemed like a natural progression.
“I’d been an instructor on everything from weapons to parachutes, you name it, so the transition was actually pretty seamless. Training is something I’ve always enjoyed.”
And although delivering training 10,000 feet up is probably a tad more adrenalin-fuelled than your average classroom environment, Will couldn’t be happier.
“It’s so rewarding when you get to the end of a two-day training course and someone who didn’t want to be there when they first arrived, comes up to you and says ‘wow, thank you, I wasn’t expecting that!’. As I always say, every day is a school day – even if you are really experienced and you’ve been out there doing your thing for a long time, come along to Safety ‘n Action for some training. You’ll always walk away with a gem or two, and you might learn something that could actually save your life.”