The health and safety of our employees, contractors and customers is always a priority for Arcadia Group. Training has been a key feature again this year, which has been delivered according to job and project types. One hundred and fifty individuals covering each area of the business have had refresher training on health and safety.
This year we rolled out a fire risk assessment across BHS stores, followed up with a training day that was attended by a representative from each store and area managers have also received training to ensure they are equipped to assess compliance with the fire risk assessment twice yearly. In addition, we successfully completed a trail of a safety compliance tracker in Burton and this has been rolled out to the other brands.
BHS store teams have also received training in electrical safety in line with their lighting offer in stores. A total of 25 courses were delivered to 290 employees.
We have built on the progress made in recent years by working with a number of other retailers to develop a new safety awareness training package that will be delivered via the latest iteration of our training DVD. Our plan to provide enhanced health and safety awareness guidance for all our office based staff has come to fruition this year with the publication of a new guide. Its launch was accompanied by a questionnaire for employees to ensure they are acquainted with its contents.
A new audit process has been put in place to review safety in our head office buildings where we have also installed dedicated notice boards for safety issues.
Store and website accessibility
We are continually working on reviewing and improving accessibility in our stores and to our websites. Our new corporate website was launched in November 2011.
We strive to comply with the W3C WAI’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and aim for our pages to conform to a minimum of “WAI-A” compliance. Wherever possible, level AA and AAA requirements are also met. This year we conducted a new accessibility audit of our stores via a questionnaire, which provided a view of our property portfolio from a physical perspective. We reviewed those stores that were likely to be visited by people attending the Olympic and Paralympic Games, reflecting the high profile nature of these once-in-a-generation events.
The number of customer concerns relating to accessibility has reduced by almost 50% since 2006. This reflects the success we have had engaging with organisations to deliver on our responsibilities but also reflects the roll out of Arcadia brands into BHS where stores are more easily accessible.