Getting to know the HSE People Panel: Part Two – Scott Crichton

What did you want to grow up to be when you were a child?

I had a few options when I was younger, I considered airport fire fighter, forensic scientist, police officer and the Royal Air Force which I later joined.  I knew I didn’t want to work in the same building for 40+ years and I didn’t want a 9-5 office job.  I wanted variety and I enjoy travelling.  So I have landed on my feet.

How do you think the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted on people’s perception of health and safety?

I believe that COVID has been really good for our profession.  I think that we have all realised now that H&S has and is moving from a frowned upon stereotypical ‘elf n safety’ view to being seen much more seriously by all.  COVID I believe has raised everyone’s awareness of the value of practitioners and that we are actually here to keep people safe and healthy, not to tick boxes or ban everything in sight.

Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?

Tom Hardy or Stephen Graham, I love most of the roles that they have played.

What is your greatest career strength?

I would suggest this is my ability to win others over and make what can be a complicated subject, understandable and as enjoyable as legislation can be.  I try my best to reflect upon my style of engaging with others and was told recently after an H&S audit that it didn’t feel that an H&S audit in the way I approached this.  H&S audits shouldn’t have to be daunting and certainly as an auditor conducting these, we do not have to be feared.

What is your favourite tipple (alcoholic/non-alcoholic drink)?

Well I have periods of fasting from alcohol for personal health reasons, however if I am drinking alcohol it’s usually cider or red wine.  Non-alcoholic it’s usually green tea or water.

Where do you see the industry going in the future?

I can’t see our industry changing like others in terms of automation.  However, I can see that H&S is on the verge of a big shift with a younger generation and new fresh ways of working, engaging, building trust and empathy.  I think H&S particularly after COVID will start to be seen as advantageous and part of an organisations culture and management systems, not a hindrance or burden.

What is the worst part of your job?

I would suggest that as a consultant, the worst part is although I see clients often, as I am not based in their workplace on a day to day basis, it can be difficult to build relationships and embed systems and practices on their behalf.  However, I do try and I try to use a variety of skills and techniques in which to gain trust.

Do you reply to work emails over the weekend and/or holidays?

At times, if I am honest, I do, but it really depends on workload and personal plans.  I try my best not to and keep work and home life separate, however it depends on if this helps me going forward so I don’t have a backlog – I don’t like the feeling of having outstanding work.  I never feel pressurised to though, which is a good thing.  I am trying this year to have a smarter and stricter approach to not doing this though.

Thank you so much Scott, we’ve really enjoyed getting to know you a little better.

Scott has previously been a NEBOSH examiner for certificate level qualifications, is the Chair of Governors at an infant school and is separately an Associate Governor of a Community Federation comprising of two primary schools.

Scott is keen to network, mentor and share his ideas with other professionals.

Specialisms: Education (including Multi-Academy Trusts and Independent schools) & Town & Parish Councils.

If you would like to ask Scott a question about HSE in the public sector, or if you would like to pose a question to another member of the HSE People Panel get in touch –