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Case Study

Performance Psychology for Safety and Health Professionals Mitch Paris, Harwich Haven Authority Case Study

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Delegate: Mitch Paris, Grad IOSH

Role and Company: Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Manager at Harwich Haven Authority

Course: Performance Psychology for Safety and Health Professionals

Mitch chose to study Performance Psychology because he’s interested in how we influence and empower people to improve. This is his story.


"My journey in health and safety started in the 1970s. At the time, I was a Plant Foreman with responsibility for resurfacing airfields for the USAF and MOD. Back then, I had responsibilities for everything to do with health and safety. In the 70’s and 80’s it was an afterthought – but I was genuinely interested in it from the start.

There were three specific events that sealed my passion for learning more, and consistently finding ways to improve. The first event was the death of my nephew who was killed in a workplace accident at Britain’s largest container port. The second involved a work colleague who was in a serious accident at work. Although he survived, his injuries were life changing. The third event was to do with my son. He didn’t show up for work one day, so the search was on. Turned out he had a dermoid cyst burst inside his head. At hospital, being prepared for surgery, I remember his consultant reeling off the risks with this type of operation – it was like a tsunami of bad news.

As devastating as all these events were, I had a buffer between me and the people affected by the first two tragedies, however slight – but with my son there was no buffer. I was directly affected. That was the moment when I decided I was going to get properly qualified in health and safety.

There are some very powerful teachings in this program. When I listen to podcasts about Nasa or Formula One, it’s always around empowering people to do stuff. Decision making is from the ground up. Take Lewis Hamilton as an example. He’s a great driver and the stats prove it. But in every interview, you will always hear him say, ‘there’s still more to do, we’ve got to keep on improving’. It’s about mindset, and it’s the same with health and safety. That’s what makes this course so good – the learning is phenomenal.

I’m that impressed with the program, I sent the link to my HR Director. I’ve being doing courses for decades and this is in the top two to three. It’s a fantastic learning journey.

Darren is the only safety professional in the world who specialises in performance psychology. He’s sitting in his chair at home talking to you on video, just telling you how it is. You can’t help but buy into him – even his little hesitations add to his authenticity. If he told me the world was going to end tomorrow, I’d believe him!

I paid for the program myself, but I know my company would have sponsored me had I asked. This is the course to spend your money on. It’s so informative. It felt like a eureka moment.