Phillip Loseby is no stranger to incredible views. In his job as a Bridges and Structures Inspector for RSK business Up and Under, he’s used to witnessing sights from perspectives most of us will never even come close to. Phillip’s job requires him to carry out inspections on a variety of structures, including those on the highway and rail network, while suspended in the open air by ropes: not for the faint-hearted!
In what surely must be one of the most exhilarating roles in RSK, Phillip describes how his career came about and what he loves about his job.
“I have had a wide range of previous roles, including managing retail stores and pubs,” explains Phillip.
“Before Up and Under, I worked as a climber/groundsman for a tree firm in Cheshire, and it was while I was in this role that I realised I wanted to get into rope access, as there was an opportunity there to learn new skills and do a variety of work at height.
“When a friend of mine and an employee of Up and Under recommended I enquired about vacancies within the group, I called immediately,” he recalls.
“Now, almost six years later, I have achieved my IRATA level 2, have a wide range of experience of bridge inspection and testing, have progressed my career to the level of project engineer and am working towards my LANTRA Bridge Inspector Certification.”
Spending his days suspended in mid-air is quite different from sitting behind a desk, but Phillip takes it all in his stride and feels just as safe as if his feet were firmly on the ground.
“I believe there are risks associated with every job,” he says. “I appreciate some might view rope access as risky but we have a lot of control measures and equipment in place to bring the risk down to an acceptable level.
“I remember experiencing nerves when I first started working at height but once your experience and knowledge increases, you can focus more on the task that you are there to do and just enjoy it.”
And the most difficult part of Phillip’s job? “Finding a convenient place for your pencil, tape measure and site data while in a harness suspended in the air from ropes!”
The variety of the job and experiencing things others don’t get to do, however, are two of the things Phillip enjoys most about his role. “Having a view of my surroundings that most people will not get to experience is definitely one of the best parts of my job,” he says.
“Also, the people: I have made some great friendships and have met some really interesting people while carrying out inspections and doing rope access.
“The work on-site involves a lot of concentration and the task requires a great deal of focus on your own and your colleagues’ equipment, members of the public, third parties on-site, time constraints and working in a methodical manner, the environment and weather – occasionally with tools and machinery,” he adds.
“Doing all this while recording accurate site data to the specifications set by the client can be daunting,” he admits. “But overall, I love my job – I wouldn’t have it any other way.”