Health & Safety Policy

Statement of Intent

The Trust is committed to protect its employees and others, be they members of the general public or clients. It is committed to the integration of health and safety into all areas of its activity, to achieving zero harm and to implementing a process of continual improvement to its health and safety policy. It willingly accepts this legal and moral health and safety duty.

Although the Trust is involved in generally accepted low risk activities, it recognises that employees may face hazardous situations and has prepared a set of guidelines that cover the main identified risks. However, it is aware that unforeseen hazards or hazardous circumstances may occur during fieldwork, and the emphasis is on risk assessment and not proceeding until the Employee is reasonably satisfied that it is safe so to do. The priority is the principle of prevention at source.


The Trust’s organisational structure for health and safety is set out in a separate chart. The Chair has overall senior executive responsibility for health and safety, and has delegated that responsibility on a day-to-day basis to the Director of the Trust. Both individuals have direct access to the Board so that any health and safety issues can be raised and resolved at the highest level.
In addition, the Trust can call on the services of an independent professional health and safety adviser who is familiar with river trusts’ activities.

Arrangements for health and safety

All Employees and contracted volunteers, including work experience and students must be given the health and safety guidelines as basic health and safety induction training. Others must be given specific health and safety briefing prior to work commencing.

All persons working on behalf of the Trust, including home-based employees, must exercise an ordinary duty of care at all times and are encouraged to raise health and safety issues, including dangerous occurrences or near misses, whenever they occur. Persons undertaking fieldwork are likely to be project managing or undertaking tasks assessed to be of relatively low risk. If any person under the control of the Trust is likely to come into contact with hazardous substances or face operational risks, and the person does not already have the requisite qualification or competency, specific training must be provided. Where relevant, the Trust must provide all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), including first aid kits. However, PPE is considered supplementary protection and not as a substitute for safe working methods.

Major river improvement work will generally be sub-contracted and direct supervision of sub-contractors is not feasible. Sub-contractors must furnish the Trust with all relevant risk assessments and generally encouraged to adopt a safety-first approach and culture. Sub-contractor must never be pressurised to compromise health & safety for operational or financial gains.

The Accident Book is held at the Registered Office. Any entry in the Accident Book will automatically result in an investigation by the Trust and appropriate action taken to prevent recurrence.