3 min read
22 Nov 2021

Stephen George + Partners (SGP) welcomes Health and Safety Specialist

By Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis has been appointed as SGP’s new Health & Safety Manager, responsible for the delivery of services to our clients under the CDM Regulations, and for developing in-house occupational health and safety support for SGP staff. Richard is Deputy Chair on the Yorkshire Regional Committee for the Association of Project Safety (APS) and has worked for many years in various principal designer and CDM advisory roles and will bring a wealth of experience to SGP.

Richard: “Health and safety has the reputation as a dull, box-ticking process but that’s only when it’s done wrong. Done properly, health and safety training develops an awareness of the importance of a safe and supportive workplace in every colleague, bolstered by the knowledge and techniques to deliver that level of care. It’s more than preventing accidents, a safe workspace is the baseline for developing an active, positive, and engaged workforce – whether in the office or on site.”

Richard will also be involved in occupational health and safety for SGP staff, including raising awareness of mental health issues and developing a support network across all the practice’s offices.

Continues Richard: “Geoff Ward (partner responsible for health and safety at SGP) has done a great deal of work on raising awareness of the importance of health and safety in building design and I’m excited to be taking that work forward, including becoming the lead for our internal Health and Safety Support Group which we intend to develop and expand over the coming months.”

Richard will also focus on supporting SGP’s designers with the new RIBA health and life safety competency test that will be mandatory for RIBA members from 2022.  Following the Grenfell tragedy and subsequent reviews of the building safety regulatory regime, RIBA’s module addresses the need to raise and maintain general levels of professional competence in relation to design and construction safety.

Explains Richard: “The RIBA mandatory competence requirement in health and life safety has been developed to help ensure RIBA Chartered Architects are safe when visiting sites and that they are competent to design buildings that are safe to construct, inhabit, use and maintain. Part of my role is to develop SGP’s knowledge base for health and safety in design, helping colleagues with the demands of the new RIBA core competency tests, by making sure we give the right training, at the right time, in the right formats. That training will be developed and given to all the practice’s designers.”

Geoff concludes: “Now more than ever, the spotlight is on the construction industry and the architectural profession, and the importance of health and safety to design as a social and professional obligation is clear. In Richard, we identified an individual who understands designers and one who is motivated by the positive difference we can all make to the lives of people that construct, use or maintain the buildings we design. In making this appointment we are showing how SGP is taking the continuing development of our health and safety culture to the next level.”

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