Case Study: Siegfried Klughammer, International General Certificate

Case Study By Rhiannon Davies

A photograph of Siegfried Klughammer. He's wearing a suit and is pictured from the shoulders up. Siegfried Klughammer is the Quality, Health, Safety, and Environmental Manager for Heidelberg Materials, and is based at a cement production factory in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He’s recently achieved his NEBOSH International General Certificate qualification with ACT, after choosing to study an e-learning course. We caught up with Siegfried to talk about what inspired him to become involved in health and safety, and his journey toward attaining his new qualification.

Congratulations on achieving your General Certificate! Can you tell us a little about what your role at Heidelberg involves?
My responsibilities are extensive. I oversee the development, implementation, and management of the company’s Quality, Health and Safety, and Environmental Management Systems. This involves conducting risk assessments, ensuring compliance with local and international regulations, and continuously improving our processes to enhance safety and environmental performance. I also train and educate our employees on health, safety, and environmental best practices, conduct audits and inspections, and lead incident investigations to prevent future occurrences.

“Growing up in Liberia, I experienced first-hand a deadly civil war crisis for 10 years, and second-hand the importance of water supply and infrastructure companies”

How did you become involved in health and safety?
My journey into the field of health and safety began as a result of my passion for solving problems and my commitment to the well-being of people and the environment. Growing up in Liberia, I experienced first-hand a deadly civil war crisis for 10 years and second-hand the importance of water supply and infrastructure companies, thanks to my father’s work. I’ve had three narrow escapes – I was electrocuted from a 400-kWh high electrical voltage panel source while working at a water dam construction site. Secondly, I fell from the top of two 40ft containers on to solid concrete. I broke one rib and lost control of my muscle system for three hours – all the other workers had left for lunch. Thirdly, I had a car accident. My vehicle lost control when one of the front wheels jumped out of position, and the car flipped over when entering a roundabout, thanks to God for his grace and protection that day. This sparked my interest in ensuring the safety and health of workers in such critical industries.

What made you choose the NEBOSH International General Certificate?
I chose the NEBOSH International General Certificate because it is globally recognized and covers a wide range of health and safety topics relevant to my role. The certificate’s international focus aligns with the diverse nature of the work industry, making it an ideal choice for enhancing my knowledge and skills. Mostly, a recommendation from my Health and Safety Directors in Africa who are Chileya Ephraim, Troy Felts, Clamp Nigel, and Johansen Jorn.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during your studies and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I faced during my NEBOSH studies was managing my time effectively. Given my demanding role and responsibilities, finding time to study and prepare for exams was a significant challenge. However, I overcame this by creating a disciplined study schedule and seeking support from my wife and kids, who understood the importance of this certification for my career. I had started and submitted my NEBOSH exams for five years and had many failures. I was told by my company that I would get fired from my job if I had another failure, but I never gave up – thank you to Johansen Jorn for his support. The company had paid for my exams and at last decided to stop, so I saved my own money to pay for the exam. I am proud to challenge life, overcome troubles, and gain a pass.
I will not stop but plan to take NEBOSH Diploma course.

How did you find taking the Open Book Exam/ (Scenario Based Assessment)?
Taking the Scenario-Based Assessment was a unique experience. It required careful analysis and application of my knowledge to real-world scenarios, which I found both challenging and rewarding. It encouraged me to think critically and apply my health and safety expertise practically. I was successful after my first failure in the Open Book exam. Thanks to the Almighty God that I was successful at that second resit.

How do you plan to use your NEBOSH knowledge into your day-to-day responsibilities within your role?
Firstly, incorporating my NEBOSH knowledge into my day-to-day responsibilities is paramount. I plan to use the insights gained to further enhance our factory’s safety protocols, conduct more effective risk assessments, and drive continuous improvement in our environmental practices.
NEBOSH has equipped me with the tools to make informed decisions that prioritise the safety and well-being of our employees and the environment. Secondly, I shall open my Health and Safety consulting company in 2024, by the Almighty God’s grace, to save more lives.

“NEBOSH has equipped me with the tools to make informed decisions that prioritise the safety and well- being of our employees and the environment.”

What advice would you give others considering starting a NEBOSH qualification?
To those considering starting a NEBOSH qualification, I would advise dedicating time and effort to your studies, seeking support when needed, and staying committed to your goal. The knowledge and skills you gain will not only benefit your career but also contribute to a safer and healthier workplace.

Do you have any final thoughts to share on your journey?
In conclusion, my NEBOSH journey has been a valuable experience that has enriched my understanding of health and safety. It has empowered me to make a positive impact in my role and fulfil my commitment by conducting workplace inspections to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all present and future workers at the factory.
There are more challenges to close the gap of third parties’ fatality on the road, caused by unsafe human behaviour. I am excited to continue my journey and contribute to a safer, healthier future. There is more room for learning to save lives.



Find Out More

Click here to find out more the NEBOSH International General Certificate e-learning course and register for your free trial.

The Complete NEBOSH Guide: What You Need To Know

NEBOSH Open Book Exams: What Can I Expect? 

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