Career Story: Nathan Harney


I joined Bureau Veritas straight from the military in 2016, after ten years of service working with mechanical plants as a vehicle mechanic and inspector.

After attending a CTP job fair specifically for military leavers, I visited Bureau Veritas' stand. I was able to discuss potential opportunities that matched my skillset and qualifications and make a successful application. Since joining BV, this is my story. Bureau Veritas actively seek applications from ex-military personnel and are gold award winners for the Ministry of Defence.

The recruitment scheme was brilliant.

The recruitment team were more than helpful, ensuring I was prepared for interviews and knowledge tests prior to the day and were more than happy to answer any questions I had. As a result, I was successful in my application and joined Bureau Veritas as an engineer surveyor for cranes.

On a daily basis I work with mobile plant, tele-handlers, excavators, Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP) and lifting accessories and equipment. I inspect defects affecting safety; for example, on inspecting a MEWP, the main areas I need to look out for are emergency lowering, tilt sensors and safety of the operator inside the basket or platform. The structure of the types of equipment is also very important; any cracks in welds, loose or missing bolts could eventually put the operator in immediate danger, these are all categorised as defects affecting safety and should be addressed immediately before further use.

If a piece of lifting equipment has not had a thorough examination under Lifting Operations Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), insurance companies may not pay out for any accidents that may occur. Consequently, hire businesses require companies such as Bureau Veritas to inspect equipment, especially as impartiality can be a major issue in court proceedings.

My key responsibilities include; scheduling an efficient work plan, punctuality on site, self-organisation and having all the equipment and ensuring I have the appropriate PPE with me at all times.

My role is very customer facing in comparison to my role within the military therefore we must ensure we provide professional customer service by being approachable, friendly and effective with our communication. Building customer relations is one of the main skills I’ve learned and developed working for Bureau Veritas.

Aptitude is important in such a job, the variety of sites and clients means constantly thinking on your feet and ensuring client satisfaction, whilst staying as efficient and professional as possible.

Due to the nature of the equipment I inspect, our clients often want the job completed as quickly as possible. This can be challenging if the inspection doesn’t provide a positive outcome, revealing defects that must be addressed before the equipment is safe for use.

After undertaking an in-depth Health and Safety course during my last 12 months in the army, I was able to understand why regulations and legislation is becoming stricter to ensure work place safety and I'm more than happy to bring my knowledge and tenacity to learn on the job to the Testing, Inspection and Certification industry.

I have recommended Bureau Veritas to friends that are also leaving the military, as I feel I have landed on my feet since having a professional job since leaving the army.

Many skills can be conveyed from one job, to another.

The variation of work is one of the many things I enjoy working for Bureau Veritas and I hope many more mechanical engineers from the forces can do the same and strike lucky in finding a job they enjoy too.

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