As an organisation that works on projects of all sizes across the globe, White Light ensures that health and safety plays an integral part in its service delivery. In order to maintain the company’s focus on creating the safest working conditions for its employees, freelancers and clients, White Light has recently appointed Chris Nicholls as Health & Safety and Workforce Development Director.
As a member of the RoSPA, CHASS and NICEIC, WL has always put health and safety at the forefront of its work. The company also offers its staff a range of training, such as BS7909 and Manual Handling. Chris’ role will see the company continue to place an emphasis on maintaining its high standard of health and safety as well as seek ways in which it can embrace any new legislation. Chris comments: “The point of health and safety is not to get in the way. If anything, when a task adheres to the correct health and safety policy, it is completed much more efficiently. As a company, it is our obligation to ensure every single person we employ, whether this is full-time, part-time or freelance, is given the correct training and made aware of the correct health and safety practice. We also want this to be accessible and spoken in a language that’s clear and understandable – without too many acronyms!”.
Chris’ appointment came after the WL board decided that the issue of health and safety was so important that it required a permanent position. Chris explains: “As a company, we don’t want health and safety to simply be an add on. Instead we want to ensure it becomes an issue that people don’t have to labour over – it should simply be ingrained within them and an integral part of their role”.
Chris first joined WL in 2007 and took over as Operations Director in 2011, during which time he oversaw the growth of the company’s successful apprentice scheme. However, it’s his experience prior to WL that he believes will be extremely helpful for his new role. He comments: “We could have brought someone in externally but this role felt like a natural progression for me personally. I have over 35 years’ experience working in the industry. This ranges from being a lighting designer, stage manager, company manager, production manager and production electrician. What this means is that I am aware of people’s individual tasks as I have experienced them first-hand”.
Chris’ role will focus particularly on promoting, developing and enforcing health and safety within the company. He will also be making at least one site visit per week to the many projects WL is working on, as well as conduct internal audits to ensure all WL staff are complying to strict health and safety regulations. Chris adds: “It isn’t going to be me walking around holding a clipboard, discretely making notes in the corner. Rather, I’ll be there as a resource to help anyone who needs it and ensure we maintain our incredibly high standards.
He concludes: “Ultimately, as we are growing all the time, we need to ensure that all of our team have a clear understanding of good health and safety practise; whether they’re rigging in the warehouse, delivering an event in Westminster Abbey or on-site in Russia for the World Cup broadcast. It’s about making sure that those who work for us not only adopt the friendly, knowledgeable and dependable attitudes that have been our staple for the past 45 years, but they also share our recognition of the importance of good health and safety practice”.