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Josh Emanuel, Work Health & Safety Officer

Work Health and Safety Officer

Josh Emanuel


I work for Taronga Conservation Society Australia in Sydney at Taronga Zoo in the Work Health and Safety team. Our team is responsible for ensuring the overall safety of staff, contractors, volunteers and guests that visit our Zoo every day of the year.

Why did you join the Taronga and what is your role?

I am a Work Health and Safety Officer. I joined Taronga to be a part of a great organisation that is committed to the conservation of wildlife all over the world. The wildlife projects that they run throughout the world are fantastic and the staff reach a wide audience in our community from little kids to international visitors. To be a part of this great cause is a wonderful thing. It is also one of the best office locations in the world!

What is the best part of your job?

Being able to contribute in a different way towards the conservation efforts that we have here at Taronga by helping keep people safe at the Zoo.

Would you recommend your job to others?

Yes I would, it is a unique workplace with very passionate people.

What makes a good Work Health and Safety Officer?

Being flexible and being able to think on your feet. In this workplace there are things that don’t come up in a normal workplace so you need to be able to think outside of the box like helping to develop safe ways to fit a feed basket high up in the giraffe exhibit.

What skills do you need to do your job?

Great communication skills, WHS background, patience, analytical thinking and to be willing to complete plenty of paperwork.

Describe an average day:

It starts with checking emails to make sure no urgent issues have happened overnight. Then going through the return to work files to ensure they are up to date. Incident investigation and workplace assessments are also a common task that needs to be completed as well as risk assessments throughout the Zoo. One moment you could be sitting in front of your desk doing reports and the next you could be doing a risk assessment on an upcoming Pygmy Hippopotamus transfer from another zoo.

Helping staff be safer at work is also a key role through the use of Tool Box talks, specific training or general conversations as you move throughout the Zoo during the day.

What are your goals and ambitions?

To be able to learn in greater detail about the WHS and injury management fields to be able to provide greater assistance to my workmates.

What career path does a WHS Officer offer?

WHS is a growing industry and one that has recently expanded at Taronga. There is the chance to specialise in different industries and to move up the rank structure as time goes on.

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