A work placement with Ai Group’s work health and safety (WHS) team in Melbourne has left a final-year university student certain he wants to pursue a career in this field. 

Former chef Christopher Roman said his two weeks with National Manager WHS Consulting Services Trinette Jaeschke and her team surpassed his expectations and allowed him to observe and take part in a variety of situations and experiences including:   

  • an onsite WHS Gap Analysis of a member company in the chemical manufacturing industry that included a workplace inspection and a safety management system review; 
  • an incident investigation for an Ai Group member that had a WHS incident; 
  • onsite visits to assist with resolving day-to-day WHS issues;  
  • shadowing WHS consultants on the road and in the office to observe their roles; 
  • developing a toolbox talk on managing psychosocial hazards and  
  • attending WHS webinars delivered for Ai Group members. 

Mr Roman was required to complete 75 hours of practical work experience as part of his Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety course with Edith Cowan University, WA.   

“It’s been a really good opportunity,” he said.  

“I didn’t think I’d get to experience all that I did.” 

Mr Roman became interested in WHS while working as a chef for 20 years. 

“I’ve worked with some employers that were really bad — just shameful on the WHS front,” he said. 

“I’ve experienced situations that I’d never want to experience again which made me realise the importance of workplace safety. 

“All workplaces need to be safer, not just those in hospitality.” 

Mr Roman said he appreciated the guidance of Ai Group WHS Consultants Kirsty Mungly and Christina Sobieralski (pictured L-R with Chris), whose interest in his future made him think deeply about his career aspirations. 

He hopes to combine his interests in WHS and environmental health when he completes his studies at the end of the year.  

“From what I can gather, there's a lot of work out there in this field; it’s just a matter of deciding on where I want to take it,” Mr Roman said. 

Interested in completing a work placement with Ai Group’s WHS Team? We offer a limited number of opportunities per year, to ensure students have a worthwhile experience. Reach out to Trinette Jaeschke for more information. 

Wendy Larter

Wendy Larter is Communications Manager at the Australian Industry Group. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a reporter, features writer, contributor and sub-editor for newspapers and magazines including The Courier-Mail in Brisbane and Metro, the News of the World, The Times and Elle in the UK.