The Group is committed to achieving the best practicable standard of health and safety for its colleagues, customers and visitors to trading locations.

It considers health and safety to be an important element in the overall management of the businesses and is an agenda item for all meetings of the Grafton Group plc Board and at review meetings of Business Units. Effective health and safety management is driven by Directors and senior management. Management across the businesses continued to demonstrate their commitment, involvement and leadership through active monitoring of performance, challenging unacceptable standards and promoting effective safety management as a priority. The contribution of all colleagues across the Group is critical to preventing accidents and protecting staff, customers and visitors to Group locations.

There was a continued focus during 2016 on ensuring that the Group’s health and safety specialists work closely with management teams to promote responsibility for health and safety and implement improved practices. Each of the Group’s businesses have put in place agreed annual Health and Safety improvement plans which will allow for the measurement of future performance against agreed improvement objectives. A Group Health and Safety Policy has also been put in place which sets out the key responsibilities for health and safety management and enforcement across the group. Every employee is expected to fulfil their responsibilities as effectively as possible and to raise any concerns about safety within our business.

There was continuing activity across the Group’s businesses to improve the quality, clarity and standard of safety management systems and procedures and to drive effective implementation of change. The ongoing objective is to ensure that all colleagues are aware of the Group’s health and safety standards and understand their roles in observing these standards.

The Group’s training programmes develop knowledge, understanding, capability and commitment among colleagues. Programmes of practical and specialist training continued with the objective of ensuring that colleagues have the requisite skills and competence to operate in areas that give rise to particular health and safety considerations. The introduction of a new manual handling training programme in late 2015 yielded a 25 per cent reduction in manual-handling related lost time incidents in the UK merchanting business.

There was a move to a more coordinated strategy for health and safety management across the whole of the Group with the aim of facilitating the transfer of best practice and the development of common standards. A feature of this strategy was the development of more effective communication and enabling key safety information and messages to be delivered in a clear, coordinated and structured way. The Group has also invested in a tailored electronic health and safety management system which will provide a platform for performance monitoring, audit management and dissemination of relevant information to drive further improvements.

Lost Time Accident Frequency Rate (LTAFR) increased slightly to 1.55 lost time incidents per 100,000 hours worked (2015: 1.50).

View Our Health and Safety Policy