Meet Doreen Pruntsch
What exactly is your job title?
I am a Safety Engineer at Roche in the Biotechnology Center in Penzberg in Upper Bavaria and head the department of Technical Safety. However, I studied something completely different.
What did you study originally?
Actually, I am a chartered engineer in pharmabiotechnology and have acquired a number of additional qualifications since starting at Roche. With these qualifications, I have been active as a safety specialist as well as an expert for explosion protection at Roche since that time.
What are your everyday tasks as a Safety Engineer in a healthcare company like Roche?
The department of Safety Health Environment (SHE), in which I work, has great importance at Roche. Within the company, safety is on equal footing with quality and costs.
Our mission is to protect the people, environment and company from harm every day. To this end, we follow the corporate guidelines from Roche, which apply to all sites globally, and the law. We want to guarantee that the Roche employees leave the company as healthy as they entered it.
Moreover, we ensure that we handle the topic of health and the available resources carefully. In this, sustainability as well as the environment plays a primary and decisive role.
Do you monitor these guidelines in your position?
I work in a very large and diverse department, which includes among other things Biosafety, Environmental Protection, Occupational Safety, but also the fire department as well as Site Security. We, in Technical Safety, are, therefore, just a small building block in the greater SHE environment.
Within the framework of the laws and guidelines, we take care of all of the technical concerns, which we pass on to the site. When the respective department has questions regarding implementation, we advise the department and check whether the regulations are also observed.
You originally studied a completely different discipline. What drew your attention to the area of safety?
Unfortunately, there were not very many courses of study, which dealt exclusively with safety in engineering in the past. Nowadays, the offer for students in this area is much more diverse. For me, people and their health were always in the focus of my work. When I started at Roche ten years ago, I first worked in Test Development for diagnostic tests. A while later I was responsible for the qualification of production systems. During that time, I was recruited internally and have been employed in plant safety ever since. We ask ourselves various questions every day: How are the input materials, which are required for the manufacture of diagnostic products and the active ingredients of medications, treated? What needs to be considered so that our products can safely enter the market? How does the plant have to be constructed and which quality requirements does it have to comply with? Is it safe for man and the environment? This is where we have come full circle. At Roche, we work for the health of people – no matter in which area.
How do you feel about the development opportunities at Roche?
There are always development opportunities at Roche. The employees are very much in the focus of the company. Roche in Penzberg specializes in diagnostics and in pharmaceuticals. With these two core fields we have a site that focuses on research, development and production.
Roche is a global corporation and offers internal as well as external training opportunities and thus also the possibility to get to know other sites.
In Technical Safety, we additionally have the chance to get involved in various in committees and make a contribution. Besides, every year in SHE, we naturally have to gain qualifications, which are prescribed by law.
How do you find the team spirit at Roche?
At Roche, a feedback culture prevails and our interaction is very collegial and open.
Through the matrix system, we often work in teams on projects or topics and each and every one of us is passionate. Every day you can experience that the colleagues want to advance their respective projects and the company.
Worldwide networking, digitization, bilingualism and diversity are lived daily. There are people from 54 different countries working alone here in Penzberg. Roche is a very agile company, in which the employees can contribute their expertise and where they have a say.
So, would you say that you have a lot of independence for making decisions?
Yes, personal responsibility is required. Naturally, through the guidelines of the law and the company, we have a certain framework, within which we have to operate, but Roche relies on our technical expertise and leaves the decision-making up to us.
What is special about Roche and your daily work?
What is special for me is that safety has a very high priority for the company and that it also practiced throughout all levels of management. If that were not the case, I couldn’t work at Roche, since the value of safety is a fundamental value for me.
How important is the topic of work life balance in your profession?
For me personally work life balance is a very important component, which also somehow part of the topic of safety and health. Roche is a very open employer and offers its employees flexible working time models, which include among other things trust-based working time and mobile work. So, we can work from home or other sites without a problem.
What is your personal counterbalance to work?
My personal balance is outdoor activities and Penzberg with mountains, lakes and the proximity to Munich has a qualitative advantage. I work where others go on holiday.
What does Roche mean to you in three words?
Courage. Integrity. Passion.