Nathan Lourdes talks about his professional development with ISG in Malaysia

2 October 2019

Nathan Lourdes talks about his professional development with ISG in Malaysia - MAIN - ISG

We sit down with Nathan Lourdes, a member of #TeamISG in Malaysia, who shares how the business has contributed to his professional development, enabling him to carry out his role better.

Share a little bit about your background
I have over eight years of experience in the field of health, safety and environment (HSE), and in 2015, I joined ISG as a safety officer and was part of the project team delivering the refurbishment of Le Meridien Hotel located in KL Sentral, spanning 26 floors, seven types of rooms and 419 keys. Throughout the project timeline, I was under the guidance of many experienced ISG staff who helped develop my understanding of delivering construction projects with safety as the top priority for the business.

How have you progressed in your role since joining ISG?
I enrolled myself for a competency exam under the Malaysia Department of Occupational Safety and Health, effectively being a Green Book holder – a mark of a competent Safety and Health Officer (SHO). I then began to work on other major projects including Kuala Lumpur Sports City and ExxonMobil KL Phase 2.

My involvement with tender interviews began to increase significantly, and I started contributing in terms of health, safety and environment (HSE). I have recently been entrusted to deliver the more challenging projects for ISG and this trust has helped my confidence in knowing the company believes in my capabilities.

How has ISG been supporting your career growth?
ISG has been providing opportunities for its employees to grow professionally, and the senior management identifies ways in which each individual can progress in their career. In my case, I was given the chance to take up the International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety with NEBOSH, a leading global organisation providing health, safety and environmental qualifications.

As a holder of this accredited qualification, it provides me with a sound understanding of workplace health and safety. As such, I am now equipped with the knowledge to reduce incidents, absence costs and loss of reputation from health and safety issues.

What are some of the recent projects you have worked on?
I am currently working on a 10-floor office project in KL for a major banking client and am leading a team of 3 full-time HSE Staff ensuring the standards are in place to deliver our works safely.

I have also recently worked on the NCR project, where we delivered a fast-track office fit out spanning 34,000 sq ft across two floors for a leading enterprise technology provider.

What are some of the challenges you have faced as part of your role?
As part of my role, some of the challenges I have faced include getting the workforce to adopt a culture of health and safety within the workplace. Recently, ISG has launched the ‘Choose safe. Choose health.’ programme, harnessing the responsibility of each individual in making choices to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Managing change is always a tough part of the job. ISG in Malaysia recently introduced mobile working platforms on-site with intent to gradually reduce the use of ladders - which possesses a high risk of falling from heights. We are training all of our staff and supply chain on the safe use of this new equipment and to date, we have over 25 units in operation across our projects in Malaysia. This initiative has greatly improved our sites and reduces the risk of anyone getting hurt. Too many sites across Malaysia still operate with obsolete A-Frame scaffolds with little or no protection for the workers. Luckily we do not condone this and are continually investing in new ways to make our works safer for everyone.

What do you enjoy about working in ISG?
ISG has been making great milestones in improving the work-life balance of its employees which is important for us all to know the company is aware of the pressures of site working. The industry can improve and we are on a journey together to make it better bit by bit.

Apart from that, I work with a great team who is proactive and supportive of each individual.