Health & Safety Policy

Statement of Intent

Our aim is to attain the highest possible standards in Health and Safety (“H&S”). We will do this by continually seeking to improve our management systems so that they meet our values and expectations. We are committed to providing the financial and physical resources to ensure our aims are achieved.

General Objectives

The objectives of our H&S Policy Statement are:

  • To prevent accidents and ill health resulting from our activities;
  • To identify, minimise, mitigate and control risks through risk assessment;
  • To maintain a safe place of work, including safe equipment and safe working practices;
  • To ensure that hazardous substances are stored, handled, transported and delivered safely;
  • To consult and provide sufficient information, training and supervision to enable all colleagues to operate safely and contribute positively to their own and others’ H&S at work;
  • To aim for a reduction in lost time incidents and near misses and ensure that all incidents are thoroughly investigated;
  • To show progressive improvements in our annual audits;
  • To ensure that suitable arrangements are in place within each business to effectively monitor and manage H&S and report on performance;
  • To comply with relevant H&S legislation and meet our statutory duties;
  • To adopt best practice in H&S systems and processes as appropriate

This Statement is reinforced by the existence of a detailed H&S Policy for each individual business, which contains clear documents regarding the policies, risk assessments, standards, procedures, responsibilities and duties required to effectively manage H&S. The policies are reviewed on an annual basis, benchmarked against best practice and updated accordingly.

Board Responsibilities

The overall responsibility and accountability for the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees and others who may be affected by the activities of WCF, including, but not restricted to, visitors, members of the public and contractors, vests with the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director. They are supported in the achievement of this by the H&S Manager and Estates and Facilities Manager. These H&S responsibilities are delegated on a day-to-day basis within the individual business units to the General Managers. Transport Managers and Operations Managers. Formal reporting structure are in place at board level to monitor H&S performance monthly, including the number of incidents, lost time hours and the cost of any incidents. We benchmark our performance where possible.

Business Responsibilities

Each General Manager is responsible for ensuring that an appropriate H&S Policy is developed and implemented for their specific sites and areas of activity, and that adequate resource is assigned to H&S at a business level, as well as ensuring that any critical audit recommendations are implemented at the earliest opportunity.

All work areas, activities and processes are subject to a systematic programme of risk assessment. These are effectively communicated to colleagues and others to whom they might apply. Written safe systems of work are produced to communicate safety instructions and training is given as appropriate.

Alongside the group roles of H&S Manager and Estates & Facilities Manager, the General Managers of the business units, alongside their Transport and Operations Managers, continually review and monitor the effectiveness of their systems and make necessary arrangements through training, supervision, audit and inspection to monitor compliance and take remedial action to address any shortcomings discovered as a result of this process. Reporting of safety observations is encouraged as a proactive approach to improving these systems alongside feedback through the H&S committees and Fuels transport forums. We have also introduced a H&S App to help increase engagement and provide additional audit tools. Qualified third parties support us where appropriate.

The General Managers are responsible for taking the appropriate disciplinary action against any employee who has a disregard for the H&S Policy.

Accidents, incidents, near misses and H&S activity are investigated thoroughly and reported to the Board monthly. The H&S Manager attends board meetings annually and has a free agenda at such meeting.

Employee Responsibilities

All colleagues are required to actively co-operate with the H&S Policy by working with due regard to the safety of themselves and others. If they observe any practice that in their view does not conform to H&S standards or are instructed to carry out a work activity that they feel poses danger to their own H&S, they should report this immediately to their Line Manager. No employee should knowingly take any action that could endanger the safety of themselves or their colleagues. The successful implementation of this policy requires commitment from all colleagues.

WCF expects and encourages similar support from contractors, members of the public and other visitors to its facilities. 

Contact Us

Any questions, comments or requests regarding this health & safety policy are welcomed and should be sent via our Contact Us page or by post to WCF Pet & Equestrian, Old Jam Works, Station Road, Wigton, Cumbria, CA7 9AX.

Jo L. Ritzema

Managing Director

Phil Murray

Deputy Managing Director

Updated: February 2023

Date of next review: February 2024

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