You're viewing an updated version of this site - your feedback will help us to improve it.

Success stories

Workplace-Worksafe Ltd

Workplace Worksafe

Recognised as one of the UK’s Top 100 female entrepreneurs during the Covid-19 pandemic, Rhian Parry from Ruthin has been able to grow her specialist H&S business year on year.

Introduction to business

Founded by Rhian Parry, Workplace-Worksafe Ltd is a leading supplier of workplace PPE (personal protective equipment), branded workwear and corporate wear, as well as a site-specific procurement service and items for blue-chip companies. With more than 250,000 products on offer, Workplace-Worksafe is the UK’s biggest independent distributor of Mascot workwear, amongst a wide range of other brands, and serves the construction and engineering sectors across the UK and Europe, as well as individuals and the public sector.

Alongside Workplace-Worksafe, Rhian also runs a successful business, Windfarm Workwear, providing specialist products for the wind energy sector.

Since engaging with the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service in 2017, the business has worked with a specialist tendering adviser and has been able to:

  • Expand by creating 4 new positions and  safeguarding two existing roles.
  • Secure £200,000 worth of new contracts with private sector clients as well as public sector frameworks.

Here is more about Rhian’s business journey and the challenges she has faced on the way:

Why did you set up your own business?

I set up Workplace-Worksafe in 2005. I love finding solutions to challenges, and I am pretty good at it. In the Health and Safety sector, no two customer requirements are the same: you may have the same problem but different challenges and constraints. The great thing about my job is I get to learn new things every day about the challenges our customers face.

Back in 2005, I had been in the industry for five years and recognised there was a gap for a business that excelled at customer service and could find the right Health & Safety product for the customer.

Setting up the business wasn’t a huge investment: with a £200 computer, a fax machine and my dining room table, I was able to set up the company and start making calls to businesses throughout the UK who quickly turned into loyal customers.  

I have now been in the industry for over 20 years! I am NBOSH qualified and I am a member of IOSH. The company is a registered Safety Supplier with the British Safety Industry Federation and a member of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association.

What challenges did you face?

When you start a business, there are always challenges. If there were a business start-up manual, which gave you an insight into all the potential pitfalls that SME business owners face, it would be a best-seller. Early on, I learned that most companies face similar challenges: cash flow management, direction, employees and customers. 

As an entrepreneur, you will face many challenges; the key is to learn from failure and know that a different approach or direction may be needed the next time.

Being recognised in the Top 100 Inspiring Women in Business was a huge honour for my team and me, as I am one of the few women who run a Health & Safety company in the UK. The industry is predominantly male-dominated.

However, I do believe that if you want to succeed, there will be times when you feel uncomfortable, and you may feel out of your depth, but you must push yourself to do things you don’t find easy. I am really shy, so knocking on doors or making calls is hard, but I still do it – the results can sometimes be amazing. 

The good news is the number of women in professional engineering roles has almost doubled since I started the business, and there are more and more women entering the sector and really making a difference.

As someone who designs and invents products for wind farms, I had no contacts within a really specialist industry at the beginning that could help me find partners or companies who could work with me to bring my ideas to market and more importantly, help me protect my intellectual capital and design rights. With help from Business Wales, I now know where to go and how to do these important things myself.

Another thing I have learnt as I’ve grown the business is about making mistakes. I have made some big mistakes and some little mistakes along the way: the trick is having the ability and resilience to get back up and keep going – that is key to running a successful company.

Business Wales support

Rhian approached Business Wales in 2017 for growth support and help with submitting tenders. She worked with a specialist tendering adviser, Guto Carrod, who helped the business develop the skills and knowledge required for successful bid writing.

With Guto’s help and guidance, Workplace-Worksafe were able to win slots on successful contracts for PPE and workwear, but also secure places on public-sector frameworks, increase turnover, create new and safeguard existing jobs.


  • Expand by creating 4 new  positions and safeguarding two existing roles.
  • Secure £200,000 worth of new contracts with private sector clients as well as public sector frameworks.

“The contribution that Business Wales and Guto have brought to my business has been invaluable. I have been able to ask for advice and help on different projects and tenders. With Guto’s help, we have won large tenders, and we will continue to ask for help on the next ones. Guto has truly been an invaluable asset to us when completing the tenders or when we need any other advice.”

Future plans and ambitions

Our plans for the future are growth and additional jobs for the area. We are working on a few things, as I believe you have to keep evolving as a business and diversify over time to keep your customers happy as well as adapt to the changing marketplace.
 2021 will be an exciting time for our business. Our plans include:

  • The International expansion of our Windfarm Worksafe business. We recently took on two people: an International Business Manager and a Marketing Manager to help us grow and move into new offshore markets with our windfarm product ranges.
  •  A potential new and exciting social enterprise venture, helping adults from different backgrounds into the work community, for example, adults with neurodiversity and veterans, amongst others.
  • And lastly, we are looking to identify and possibly buy another company, which can complement our team and future growth plans. 

Having 2 weeks off would be nice, as well! ?

If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.

Business Wales Helpline

03000 6 03000

Lines are open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg.
We welcome calls in Welsh.