We want to ensure the safety and well-being of our customers, our colleagues and all our visitors. We have a Group Health and Safety manager who ensures that the appropriate policies and procedures are in place, and regularly reports to the Group Board and the Executive Board.

Executive responsibility:

Chief Executive

Link to business goals:

2 3 4

Keeping Our House in Order

The Board is responsible for the creation and implementation of our Health and Safety policy and procedures, which include an effective system of ‘upward’ and ‘downward’ communication, appropriate standards for monitoring performance and ensuring that sufficient resources are available to support this activity.

Health and safety is a standard agenda item at every Board and Executive Board meeting and each of these receive a monthly report and a formal annual presentation from the Group’s Health and Safety Manager with accident/risk analysis, review of previous objectives and agreement of new objectives for the next year.

In our stores, each store manager is responsible for ensuring the implementation of Health and Safety policy and procedures in his or her store, supported by the area manager and the Group Health and Safety Manager. At our Stoke distribution centres we have a dedicated Health and Safety Adviser. Risk assessments are in place at all Company sites and updated as required.

We have an in-house Health and Safety audit, which monitors compliance to policy and procedures and is reviewed annually to ensure that it meets best practice industry standards and to address any specific risks identified. Our stores and distribution centres complete an online self-audit monthly and area managers audit each of their stores at least once a year. This is backed up by our in-house operational audit team and followed up by the Health and Safety Manager. Regular review meetings are held between the Group’s Health and Safety Manager and senior management from operational functions. 

We have a proactive approach to safety, and colleagues are encouraged to report all potential hazards and risks. We have an ongoing programme of education and training, including DVDs and interactive computer based learning, and we ensure colleague involvement through the Colleague Council.

2016/17 Achievements

  • Health and safety processes at Worldstores premises brought in line with Dunelm standards. New procedures implemented for new distribution fleet
  • Store fixture and furniture safety reviewed following widely publicised “Top Shop” customer accident
  • Programme started to eliminate forklift truck usage in store warehouses
  • Strengthened procedures relating to contractors working in stores, with a focus on working at height and roof working
  • Continued review of the current Health and Safety processes with specific focus on areas of highest risk such as the new Stoke warehouse, and where needed, provide further training materials and support
  • Provided Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) “Managing Safety” training to Area People Managers and Shift Managers at our Stoke and Workroom operations
  • Implemented a simplified and focused induction DVD and validation quiz for all store colleagues

What's Next for 2017/18

  • Launch ‘’Clean As You Go’’ policy in all stores to help mitigate the risk of trips, slips and falls
  • Support and strengthen distribution Health and Safety procedures within the Home Delivery Network management framework.
  • Launch half day Health and Safety training course for new managers and store premises key holders
  • Continue to focus on safety within our distribution network which now includes the addition of four Worldstores sites
  • Continue to provide Health and Safety training and development to senior management throughout the business
  • A new trailer fleet for Stoke DC will be operational in January 2018 which will allow additional forklift trucks to be removed from stores