Meet Haydn Harris MCIPHE MWMSoc

The company director and legionella consultant is wary of poor workmanship but not jumping out of aeroplanes…

What do you love about your job?

The variety. I get to go to buildings where people have never been since they were built. Having such a wide breadth of knowledge from plumbing to electrics has kept me interested.

How did you get into the industry?

I left school early. I was 15 and wanted to start work. I began in a factory making shoes then applied for every job in the newspaper and a place in London wanted an apprentice engineer. Then I worked my way up.

How did you get into your current role?

It’s a new business; we started in September last year. I worked for Oakleaf for 14 years and started their legionella service. It was a natural progression to start my own business. I’m quite an outgoing person and like to progress and not stay in one area.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned?

We all know that in the plumbing industry we’ve got the rogue traders who always do a bad job. The HVAC industry is the same. A company – no matter how good they profess to be – is still capable of doing bad work. Suppliers need to be able to prove their worth. There are experts who are doing woeful work – and it’s measurable.

What are the benefits of a CIPHE membership?

It’s a broad group of plumbers and more. The CIPHE is pushing for high standards and that’s a good thing. They bring the heating and plumbing industries together. A lot of things can be saved by good plumbing. Anyone that’s ever worked for me, I’ve always put forward for membership.

Would you do it all over again?

I would because it’s provided me with a varied career. I’ve had the opportunity to work up from the bottom to become a leading consultant. If I would do anything differently I would look at getting a professional qualification earlier in my career.

Tell us something people don’t know about you

I did skydiving for five years. It’s ironic given my job is about safety and risk. I’m sure some of those aircraft were never completely good. The wings wobbled. Sometimes we were glad to get out of them… The lack of funding has caught up with me now – it’s not cheap. I’m more of a family man these days.

Have you got a standout moment?

Being on an RAF base one day and three levels under Heathrow airport on another. But really it’s investigating when someone has caught legionella and establishing the source and preventing anyone else from being sick.

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