Colleague Spotlight

Scott Crichton, Health & Safety Consultant

Scott Crichton

Scott's background

From the military to the financial industry, Scott has enjoyed a rich and thriving career. Having joined Ellis Whittam in 2016 as a Health & Safety Consultant, he has since supported a diverse portfolio of clients, ranging from large manufacturing clients to town councils and even his local school.

Having moved into a more technical position in 2020, he now provides an extra layer of expertise, whilst remaining very much hands-on as a consultant and mentor for his own clients. Scott is also a Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, a member of the Occupational Safety and Health Register, and a Graduate member of the Institution of Fire Engineers.

Scott's qualifications

Postgraduate Certificate in Safety and Risk Management

NEBOSH Certificates in Occupational Health and Safety, Construction Health and Safety, Fire Safety and Risk Management, and Management of Health and Wellbeing at Work.

HABC Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety in Catering

Level 3 Award in Education and Training

BA Degree in Business and Management

An interview with Scott

Tell us more about your background?

Pardon the pun, but like most of us, I fell into health and safety almost by accident; an opportunity came up during the role I was in at the time, and the rest is history. I never sat at school with a plan to become a man with a clipboard, but here I am. Life has a funny way of taking you in unexpected directions, but I couldn’t be more proud of the career I’ve forged. Since then I’ve enjoyed a range of roles and experiences, including a position with an NHS ambulance trust in the South West of England. This was a role that helped me to hone and refine my expertise, and being a health and safety consultancy role, it led me directly into my position at Ellis Whittam. I have now been in this role for three and a half years. Though I consider myself to be a bit of an all-rounder, I would say that education, fire safety and town councils are my specialities, and I have dealt with numerous clients within each of these areas.

What does your role at Ellis Whittam entail?

Though no two days are ever truly the same (especially with the rapid change we are dealing with right now), I typically spend much of my days out on site with clients conducting General Risk Assessments and making other observations. I manage a diverse portfolio of clients from small contractors to large Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) and everything in between – doctors’ practices, pharmacies, hair salons and engineering workshops to name just a few. I like to think of myself as a problem solver, and I think that is something that defines the way I work. I work tirelessly to find the perfect outcome for my clients that meets their legal duty. I like to build strong working relationships and almost become part of an organisation’s internal team when I am undertaking a project.

Which aspect of the role do you enjoy the most, and which do you find most challenging?

Much like employment law or human resources, health and safety can be a total minefield for employers. Not only are regulations always changing, but so too are expectations. It can be a real challenge to tackle the ever-growing confusion as to what is and isn’t required of employers in order to adhere to guidelines and keep people safe in the eyes of the law; but this is something I take great pleasure in. Currently, I would say the most challenging aspect of the role is managing COVID-19 and the ever-changing guidance, conditions and circumstances that come with it. It has never been more difficult to run a safe, responsible and successful business, and this is manifesting at every turn.

What advice would you give to employers?

Employees expect a certain standard in 2020 and COVID-19 has demonstrated this. Employees are well aware of what their employers ought to do for them and are often quick to highlight (through representatives or their solicitors) the reality of what’s in place and what’s missing. Employees now have at their fingertips a wealth of information as to what the regulations are and what should be provided, and this power has never existed in quite the same way before. This presents a whole new dynamic and set of challenges for organisations to deal with. Therefore, my advice to employers is that health and safety in today’s world must be taken seriously, and that any individual who wishes to run a successful organisation ought to tune into the benefits of good health and safety compliance.

Why do you think health and safety sometimes gets a bad rap?

The attitude of ‘do as I say’, as opposed to ‘here is the reason why and here is what you can do to prevent this risk’, I have often found, is why health and safety tends to be looked down upon. On the flip side, when people truly understand the risk and see that a safer alternative has been provided, they tend to buy into the conversation.

What have you done recently that has made you proud?

We, like every other business in 2020, have been forced to pivot in the way we run our organisation and the service we prove. One of the ways we have done this is by launching our new Coronavirus Advice Hub. We have packed this full of information and guidance to support our clients, and we have received incredible feedback on the quality of it. We have even been told that we are ahead of local authorities and other providers in terms of the information we are offering, which is great to hear as we’ve all put a lot of time and effort into producing these resources and keeping them updated. I’ve been quite close to the process of curating and launching this Hub, and that is something I am very proud of.

How would you describe Ellis Whittam’s support, and what makes it unique?

Our support is second to none. Our consultants are on hand to support you with managing compliance on anything from random questions to regulatory visits. What’s more, our Coronavirus Advice Hub has added to this support in 2020, providing our clients and other business owners with everything they need to cultivate a COVID-safe workplace at their fingertips. We also like to take a personal and intimate approach with our clients. We enter into a relationship with your organisation and almost become an internal team member, meaning that we are right there with you on your journey to health and safety compliance.

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