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Who Am I?

I’m Damon Peterson, a consultant/trainer who started with OFI in 1997.

My Professional Background

My interest in osteopathy came about as a result of suffering chronic back pain – the result of a motorcycle accident when I was in my late teens. Osteopathic treatment not only helped with the back injury but also sparked a deeper interest in holistic approaches to well-being. Working as an osteopath also made me realise that one can’t treat patients without also addressing some of the occupational stresses (physical and mental) that can inform the patient’s condition and overall well-being.

A Day in My Life as a Trainer for OFI would see me...

One of the fascinating things about our training is that no given week is the same. It often involves a combination of both classroom and on-site training. Recently, I spent one week devoted to training NHS blood and transplant staff who work in mobile blood donation services. The job involves a variety of manual handling demands, including loading/unloading cages on and off vehicles, setting up and manually operating donation chairs in the venue and addressing any patient handling issues that may arise. However, the week after, I was with the BBC in Belfast, working with experienced cameramen/women and looking at preventative approaches to reducing potential back and upper limb stresses and strains. The week after this was different again!

The best thing about my job is...

What I love most is the interaction and communication with the individuals/groups of people I work with. I am always curious about what people do for work and how they do it. Not only is it a privilege to see how people earn a living, but it is also fascinating to see the impressive range of work-related skills and expertise that people develop as part of their job. I think of training is a two-way thing; I learn a lot myself, and often come away feeling enriched by the contact I have had.

My most rewarding moment at OFI:

Having worked for several years in a large residential/nursing care charity, one of the most rewarding moments I had was when I was told by the H&S advisor that, for the first time, there were no reportable manual handling injuries that year. The culture of safe handling that we had all helped create continued to provide quantifiable results both for the carers and for the people cared for.

Outside of OFI...

I walk in the hills, travel when I can, and enjoy spending time with family and friends. I have a long-standing interest in meditation and can always be found with a book in my hand.

My approach and commitment to your company’s training needs:

My approach to training is to understand the demands and context of a job, to tailor training to individuals who do the job, be receptive to attitudes that work for or against best practice, and provide the ‘why’ not just the how, to help change attitudes and create positively reinforcing workplace cultures.