Share Your Story: Ike Aigbogun
We are celebrating one of the many safety superheroes who protect employees and keep workplaces safe, Ike Aigbogun!
Safety involves carefully drafted policies, precise protocols, and mountains of protective gear. But above all, safety is about people.
That's why we have chosen to profile one of the many safety superheroes who do their part to keep workers safe, ensure the safety of the public, and protect the environment.
Meet Ike Aigbogun
Ike Aigbogun is the Founder & Chief Cruncher of Flocrunch.
Ike is a highly regarded safety professional, founder, PhD researcher and public speaker.
Ike's goal is to help safety professionals gain and use digital and data skills to transform their work. That’s why she led the development of Flocrunch – a means for health and safety managers to say goodbye to the clipboard and manage safety better with tech.
When she's not working, Ike spends time on her PhD research, caring for her 14 months old boy-girl twins and bingeing on cartoons and true crime documentaries.
Ike's Thoughts on Safety (and a Few Other Things)
Safeopedia: What's your safety origin story?
Ike: I was supposed to become a medical doctor. But somewhere along the line during hospital visits when completing my first degree, I knew working in a hospital wasn’t for me. I was and still am very squeamish.
I had just graduated from Uni in 2008 when I stumbled into an HSE inspector job. I didn’t get selected for an interview; however, I found I was interested in the subject and rather than apply to study medicine, I applied for a Master's in Occupational Health and Safety Management. During the time I was doing my Master’s, I got a volunteer Health & Safety job with London Hazards Centre. I volunteered for around 18 months and was offered a paid role within same organization. Since then, I have freelanced and blogged, worked as a consultant, and acted as a safety advisor, manager, and senior manager in different sectors, including architecture, hospitality, and retail. I also ran a school safety program in Nigeria for about six years called Safe Schools.
Presently, I am building Flocrunch. It started off as a software, had challenges with developers and funds, parked it, and now recently launched a consultancy to help safety teams with digital transformation. My plan is for the work we do at the consultancy to inform the software and changes we aim to make. The idea for Flocrunch came from over 13 years working in health and safety and having to endure manual and paper-based processes which are often repetitive, time consuming, and dare I say, frustrating even in large organizations. It is amazing how everything else is digital but safety. I wanted to change this and help safety leaders and teams gain the right digital skills for the ever-changing world of work and support them to go digital without the headache and pain. Knowing and practicing safety and having a keen interest and experience with tech seems like the perfect way to help safety teams. Without that safety knowledge, it can be challenging. It is exactly the problem I have had with developers. Flocrunch also aims to take away that challenge and be the safety gap many desperately need to cover.
Safeopedia: What do you do when you're off work?
Ike: I have one-year-old twins. They have taken over my life and world, in ways I love and wouldn’t trade for what my life was before them. We watch lots of Word Party on Netflix. On my own, I binge on true crime.
I’m also studying for a PhD in Technology Enhanced Learning. Once the twins are in bed or at nursery, I dedicate some time to my studies. I’m presently at the stage where I’m working on my thesis, so it isn’t full on.
One of my favorite things is learning about new digital tools and trying them out. I am presently exploring Power Platform.
In bed, I write a lot on my notes app. I have thousands of notes on everything and anything I am involved in or crosses my mind.
Safeopedia: Looking into your crystal ball, what do you predict will be the next big thing in safety?
The next big thing is surely the use of technology - if it isn’t already. Sadly, safety teams are getting reduced across various companies because tech has simplified and made safety more accessible. Teams now travel less, costs are reducing, communication and collaboration between the safety team and other departments and people on the field has and can improve greatly with tech. So why not? Businesses do not see safety as “first,” so we need to stop deceiving ourselves that our department is the most important. What more do you bring to the table? Those who are reluctant to embrace and use tech will eventually become redundant and struggle to keep their jobs or get new ones. I’m seeing this happen - the tech and data people at work are the safest during a restructuring.
We can prepare for this advancement. In addition to having safety knowledge and expertise, know how to use tech to make your work more efficient and productive. This is going to be the difference between staying at a job and hopping around. This is one of the reasons we advocate for and train safety professionals to have digital skills. You will no longer need to wait on IT to move or make an impact. With the right digital skills, you can digitize whatever you need to, collect data without your Word template or pen and paper, analyze the data in real time, and use this newfound information to improve your processes, improve culture, create training, look good, etc.
So yes, tech is the next big thing. The time to get ready? Yesterday.
Want to hear more from Ike? Check out her recent appearance in our Share Your Story series!
Where You Can Find Ike
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/theprofessorike
- Twitter: @HSEWise
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@theprofessorike
Written by Tamara Parris
Tamara Parris is the VP of Community and Business Development at Safeopedia, and owner of EHS Professionals Group on LinkedIn. Her passion is working with other EHS Professionals to collaborate in thought leadership, networking and connecting our industry peers to resources that will increase profitability and safety practices within their workplaces. Tamara has been in the Health and Safety field for over 20 years, her industry experiences include the Construction sector, CCTV and Security, and Commercial Retail industries.