Health & Safety

In recognition of our approach to health and safety, we have achieved accreditations from the following safety organisations:

CHAS Safe Contractor Contractor Plus - Approved Contractor

We know that in engaging any Company to work at your scheme, you need to know they will do so with the highest standards of health and safety. We take safety very importantly and to illustrate this, here are some examples of how we operate:

  • Our work is supported by appropriate risk assessments and method statements
  • Our team is trained and refreshed via a 3 year rolling training plan in a range of safety related activities
  • All of our vehicles and equipment are routinely serviced and replaced on a regular basis
  • High quality and British Standards Personal Protective Equipment is worn for each task type
  • We have an active health surveillance programme in place for our team
  • We operate a 'near miss' reporting process which encourages our team to report any issues that could have resulted in an accident
  • When working on a customer's scheme, they are trained to mindful of the potential risks on site.

We applaud any member of our team who does not proceed with a task because they believe it is unsafe to do.

Better safe than sorry

Here at Winterscapes we passionately believe in keeping everyone safe and well - our employees, our customers and members of the Public. But how many times have you heard that said quite glibly by others? Well we put our passion into practice and make sure that we operate as safely as possible. Some people understandably believe that gardening is an everyday activity that we all do and therefore we shouldn't demand safety standards any higher than we might use at home. Well if you're a Company engaging a contractor to undertake gardening work, you must satisfy yourself that they are a Company that works safely - after all, if they don't the consequences could be unimaginable. Whilst any contractor can present you with an insurance certificate that shows they're covered if an accident should happen, surely that is the LAST thing you're interested in and not the first? You need to know that they take safety seriously.

When you're thinking about engaging the services of a Company to undertake your gardening or landscaping services, make sure you ask them to show you examples of the following which shows they have approaches to working safely that have been well considered and thought through.

Health, Safety & Environmental Policy. If they have 5 or more employees, by law, they must have a current Health and Safety Policy, clearly signed and owned by a Senior Manager in that organisation.

Site Hazard checklists - any site owner should take their own safety responsibilities seriously and if any contractor plans to undertake work on your site, you should make them aware of any possible hazards - especially those that may be hidden from view. If you knew for example, that you had some buried electrical cables just inches from the surface, you'd want to let the gardeners know.

Risk Assessments - Once the contractor has the site hazard information, they should then be able to complete a set of risk assessments for your scheme.

Method Statements - A site specific Method Statement should then be compiled by your contractor and proposed to your designated site owner for their review. The contractor should sign this document as well as the client. The Method Statement is the prime document that should be referred to by both parties to ensure compliance with it.

Method Statement Review - If the site changes it's layout, new hazards have been introduced, new equipment or methods developed or it's simply been some time since the Method Statement was produced, there should be a review undertaken between the Contractor and the Client.

COSHH Assessments - It is likely that your contractor will use herbicides and pesticides and therefore it is a legal requirement, where the chemicals are hazardous (however minimal), that the contractor should have undertaken COSHH assessments and produced method statements for their use. Similarly, those applying the chemicals should be holders of PA1/PA6 certificates.


Winterscapes Health & Safety literature

Please view below a selction of forms and checklists that we use to ensure proper compliance with Health & Safety regulations.

Click on an image to view it larger

Safety comes as Standard with Winterscapes.

Other Safety Questions you should be asking of your gardening services contractor:

  • How many accidents have they had in the last 3 years and how many of these were reportable to the HSE (RIDDOR reportable)?
  • What level of Personal Protective Equipment do they provide for their employees and do they ensure it is used? You'd be surprised at the numbers of gardeners who fail tow ear steel toe capped shoes or boots or in Summer, wear shorts. Consider what an industrial lawnmower or strimmer might do to someone's skin, if not appropriately protected
  • Do they maintain a service and repair register for all the equipment they intend to use on your site (a requirement of PUWER regulations)
  • If they use ladders, towers or platforms, do you maintain the required registers and are your staff erecting the scaffolding qualified to do so? e.g PAMAS
  • How do they engage on safety matters with their employees e.g Tool Box Talks?
  • Do they operate a 'Near miss' reporting system from which they can learn safety lessons?

We're proud to be CHAS accredited (The Contractors Health And Safety Assessment Scheme).

It is a non-commercial scheme available to suppliers (those who provide goods and services) and to organisations (buyers) looking for suitably competent suppliers
Please visit the CHAS website, for more information www.chas.gov.uk

CHAS Safe Contractor Contractor Plus - Approved Contractor