Five minutes with...

Tim Holtam

Tim Holtam

Time 701 days ago Comments 0 comments

Tim Holtam is Sodexo’s head of services at Wythenshawe Hospital in Greater Manchester. He picked up a Star Award in November 2017 for his team’s commitment to safety. Tim tells us more about their success.

How have you changed the safety culture at the hospital?

The culture has changed dramatically from when I first moved to the site back in 2010. The most important thing has been to get people to realise that health and safety is not the responsibility of a supervisor or a manager, but the responsibility of everyone.

How does it work in practice?

People are now empowered to speak up if they see a colleague doing something unsafe. This stops the unsafe act and in theory prevents a potential accident. All managers undertake site safety walks and are allocated areas that don’t normally fall within their remit, giving a fresh perspective with every safety walk. We always make sure a member of the frontline team joins the manager on the walk too – if anyone knows where the real hazards are it’s the people doing the job on a daily basis.  

What are the key challenges?

Giving people the confidence to speak up if they see an unsafe act. Telling your line manager that they can’t enter your work area as they aren’t wearing the correct PPE could be daunting, but reminding employees that they are protecting their colleagues helps break down perceived barriers.

What results have you seen?

Last year we saw a 44% reduction in accidents and zero RIDDOR incidents, which I am sure most will agree was a fantastic result! It gave me great satisfaction to know that after each day’s work even more people went home in the same condition they started. We also achieved recognition from RoSPA, receiving our 4th Gold award, and from the British Safety council gaining our 4th Merit award.

Why are you so passionate about safety? My earlier days with Sodexo were spent in a commercial laundry. This was a massive factory with some very dangerous machines and I once witnessed a member of staff wearing a loose sleeved casual top nearly get dragged into the machine. Fortunately I was close enough to hit the emergency stop – however things could have been a lot worse. After the incident I wondered why no one had told the individual to remove the top – and one person’s response was ‘it’s not my job, the supervisor should have told her’. Since then I have tried to instill that health and safety is everyone’s responsibility and that we should all look out for each other regardless of experience, grade or job title.

Were you surprised to win a Star Award?

I was completely blown away! It was an absolute shock to have won such a meaningful award. Sodexo is a company that has the health and safety of its employees and customers at the top of its priorities so to receive the national award recognising my contribution towards such an important cause was amazing.

What did you make of the night?

It was spectacular and we all had a great night. Eight members of my team travelled from Wythenshawe down to London for the awards including 2017’s Service Excellence ‘Porter of the Year’ winner Nick Freeman. I was also joined by a group of amazing colleagues who supported the clinical teams during the night of the Manchester Arena attack. Some of these people saw the news on the TV and simply dropped everything, jumped in their car and arrived at the hospital offering their help. This team received a Special Team Effort award, which was richly deserved.


Share this story About sharing

Send to Kindle


Christmas Countdown – stay safe this festive period

Christmas Countdown – stay safe this festive period

Personal safety whilst celebrating is of the upmost importance to ensure your night is one to remember for the right reasons, and not the wrong ones.

International Day of People with Disabilities 2019

International Day of People with Disabilities 2019

Each year, on 3 December, Sodexo recognises the United Nations (UN) International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPwD). This year, we asked one of our colleagues to present our theme - find out more here.

Festive supermarket sweep

Festive supermarket sweep

Last weekend, more than 30 Sodexo colleagues volunteered their time to support Stop Hunger at Tesco supermarkets up and down the UK, helping to collect food for The Trussell Trust and FareShare.

Christmas Countdown – 30 days

Christmas Countdown – 30 days

Find out the opening times of key central support functions over the festive period.

The competition’s heating up!

The competition’s heating up!

After being pushed to their culinary limits, 10 Sodexo chefs have been announced as finalists of the 2020 Sodexo Chef of the Year competition being held at London’s ExCel in March next year.

Are you up for the challenge?

Are you up for the challenge?

Tim is about to set off on a journey of a lifetime, and you can join him! There are two Sodexo places up for grabs on the special 30th anniversary Springboard Trek to Nicaragua.

Marine Conservation Society beach cleans

Reversing the plastic tide

In the beginning of October 2019, 52 Sodexo colleagues joined the Marine Conservation Society on four beach cleans with the aim to create real change and reverse the plastic tide affecting British coastlines

Black History Month 2019

Black History Month

Join the Origins employee network in celebrating Black History Month 2019 by attending one of hundreds of events across the nation.

Wellbeing Matters

World Mental Health Day 2019

World Mental Health Day is recognised by the World Health Organisation on 10 October each year. The theme for 2019, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is suicide prevention. Read how Sodexo is committed to your quality of life.