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Larry Ryder

Larry Ryder is the owner and director of Ryder Partnership Ltd which provides health and safety consultancy services to a variety of customers and the company has been in business for 24 years.

HOW IS YOUR JOB IMPACTED BY UNCERTAINTIES IN THE ECONOMY? A little. Some companies will cut back on health and safety spending when times are tougher but we try and provide value for money and understand all businesses have to cut their cloth accordingly.  

WHAT’S YOUR VIEW OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE – AN OPPORTUNITY, THREAT, OR BIT OF BOTH? In the world of health and safety I would say that there has since the start of the Industrial Revolution been advances in technology which have made work life safer. AI is the latest and possibly the most significant. On the positive side, it may assist in getting robots/machines to do hazardous jobs that are currently undertaken by people. On the other hand, it may lead to unforeseen health and safety circumstances . Electric and driverless cars seem to be an interesting challenge in this respect!

YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH IN THE WORKPLACE? I work hard and am a finisher. I like to get things finished on time. This can be difficult when a number of customers think that they are the number one priority . but we do our best.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR JOB? There are a number of challenges being a health and safety consultant. We always have to try and show the business advantages of good health and safety management rather than it being a distress purchase.

Health and safety in its broadest sense is a massive field  which no one can hope to have complete knowledge of. We are asked to advise on everything from mental health issues to gritting procedures, safety of circus acts and farm labourers. Our work is a kaleidoscope of variety.

YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS? Workwise being in business for 24 years, but prior to that and now I think I have brought approximately 25 young people into the profession , many of whom are still in the health and safety field in some capacity today.

PET HATES? In the world of work, companies that do not pay on time . My thought process is that if you go to a supermarket you wouldn’t get very far if you asked the person on the till if you could pay in two or three months time and only then if you chase me for the debt - we spend inordinate amounts of time chasing money.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF SOME WISE ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? From the perspective of running my own business I would advise anyone to think very, very carefully about setting up your own business. You may think you are a good health and safety professional but are you a good businessman? Two completely different things. You need a realistic plan for development and growth, not the cigarette packet I had.

HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? I am not sure that I do - but I like watching sports, I am vice chair of AFC Bridgnorth, a season ticket holder at Wolves, a patron of London Welsh RFC, and love music so listen to and go to concerts lots - anything from Bach to the Buzzcocks.

FAVOURITE THING ABOUT SHROPSHIRE? I was born in Bridgnorth so I am biased but it is a beautiful county, far enough away but near enough as well. Also its probably the least known county in respect of non-Midlands people knowing where we are.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM OF CHOICE? None . I have to be on Whatsapp but that is it!


DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE?  John Brodie (founder of Wolves FC), Marc Bolan,  Vincent Van Gogh, and LS Lowry.

WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR THEM? That question will raise a laugh for anyone that knows me. I am not a cook unless microwaves are allowed!


AND FINALLY . . . WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT 12 MONTHS HAS IN STORE FOR YOU, AND YOUR BUSINESS? As usual it will be tough and hopefully busy or even busier as we look at different things, always trying to move with the times including  AI and the evolution of the health and safety profession.