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How it all began

29th October 2015

We’re celebrating Simian’s 10th Birthday so it seems like an opportune moment to reflect and take a look back at how it all began.


Simian Risk was founded by Simon Hughes and Ian Fyall back in 2005. Simon and Ian, (Simon and Ian – Simian – see what we did there?) hatched the idea after Simon realised how much demand there was for professional health and safety advice for the scaffolding sector. He was working as Health and Safety Manager for a large scaffolding contractor but found himself fielding questions from former colleagues and contractors at other companies who valued his knowledge and expertise.

People were looking for straight forward advice and answers to questions from someone they had confidence in, so they idea was born. It wasn’t long before the two had set the company up, had a logo designed and were running the business from Simon’s spare room and his sister’s basement!

Six months later Simian took up residence in our first office in Warrington. In addition to health and safety consultancy, training became a growing part of the business and in 2007 Simian Skill was established to differentiate the two operational sides of the business.

We appointed staff, Linda and John Ward were our first employees and since then the team hasn’t stopped growing. In 2010 Dave Randles who had worked with us on a freelance basis since the business was formed, came on board as a Shareholder and Safety Director and Dave Abraham was appointed as Training Director.

Our growth hasn’t been restricted to the UK and since our first overseas contract in Angola back in 2008 Simian International, led by Ian Fyall, has taken the Simian Risk vision global. We now boast bases in the UAE, and contracts as far afield as Nigeria, Australia and the oil fields in Iraq, as well as work on groundbreaking projects such as the Shell Prelude in South Korea.

As a business staff at Simian have been involved in so much to be proud of, from writing guidance such as SG4 and SG6 to involvement raising health and safety standards for scaffolders the world over. We have helped countless clients from all sectors and these include scaffolding businesses, construction companies, power generation businesses (fossil fuels and renewables), manufacturing clients, shipbuilders, oil refineries and other consultancies, in fact the list goes on and on!

Reflecting on the past 10 years, Simon Hughes said, “We’ve built a very successful business with the assistance of a team of talented and very dedicated staff who are committed to providing the very best levels of service and support across the training and consultancy sides of our operation and across all four corners of the globe.

Challenges have been thrown our way due to the recent economic downturn, but we’re now starting to see signs of recovery and I’m excited to be leading the business into the challenges and opportunities of the next 10 years”.