Scott Crichton, Health & Safety Consultant
From the military to the financial industry, Scott has enjoyed a rich and thriving career. Having joined WorkNest 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.
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
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 WorkNest. 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 WorkNest 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 provide. One of the ways we’ve done this is by launching our new Coronavirus Advice Hub, which is packed full of information and guidance to support our clients. We’ve received incredible feedback on the quality of it and have even been told that we’re 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 WorkNest’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.
Who you’ll be working with
Executive Director, Privacy International
WorkNest supports our 280 staff members with Employment Law and Health & Safety and has provided quality management training too.”
Head of Service Delivery, Catalyst Choice
We get a great deal of comfort and satisfaction knowing that we have support as and when we need it, in a decisive and responsive way.”
Group HR Director, Culina Group
We moved our legal support to WorkNest (formerly Law at Work) having previously used a time and line law firm. It was important, though, that an all-inclusive fee structure did not come at the expense of quality. Thankfully we’ve been delighted with the service we’ve received from WorkNest.”
What we recognised in WorkNest is the background that they have. They are able to supply knowledge and experience in a number of disciplines, which enables us to develop our business in a way that’s safe, to do it on time and with a quality to it.”
Director of Human Resources and Health & Safety,
Bluestone National Park Resort
Chief Executive, The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT)
As the company started to get larger, we knew we had to protect our employees and our contractors both onsite and in the offices. WorkNest is exactly what we needed to move the company forward.”
Operations Director, Beaverfit
Pineapple have worked with the team at WorkNest (formerly Law at Work) since 2003, and we have built a trusted partnership together. We particularly like WorkNest’s concise and practical advice concerning employment law/HR issues and also appreciate their totally supportive approach in all areas of health and safety.”
Pineapple Dance Studios
I’ve taken WorkNest into every organisation that I’ve worked with. I’ve introduced them to many teams and many colleagues and referred them with absolute pleasure because I genuinely trust in the service that we get.”
People Director, The Works