The health and safety of our employees, contractors and customers remains a priority. We constantly investigate and review risk and respond appropriately. We are pleased to report that the number of reported accidents is down again this year, continuing an established trend. Accident numbers have reduced by 2% over the year. We have a group made up of representatives across the business that meets regularly to review such incidents. Historically our training activities have focused on our Visual Merchandising teams, due to the inherent risks in the use of ladders and the constant relocation of display equipment in their day-to-day roles.
This year we have extended this to include enhanced training for maintenance staff and those employed in an events-based role across brands and head office. Following on from national initiatives driven by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) around slips and trips, we have responded with a range of activities including new cleaning regimes and equipment to respond to spillages and adverse weather. We trialled these new approaches in selected stores and have been rolled out to all Outfit stores and larger TOPSHOP stores.
Our health and safety team has extended its influence to our international store openings this year. We have delivered training locally and launched a health and safety diary to ensure appropriate checks and long-term compliance. All information is captured via a tablet, providing us with a clear picture on the compliance of our wholly owned overseas stores.
We continue to review our health and safety smart manual with risk assessments updated to make them easier for staff to understand and complete. As outlined last year, we continue to introduce our new fire safety manual. This project is on-going. We are in the second year of a medium-term rolling improvement plan for health and safety. Themes are focused according to business needs, building a robust but fluid approach in this arena.
Store and website accessibility
All our Brand websites have been designed and constructed to the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) AA rating. This means that our sites can be navigated using the tab button and by pre-defined access keys.
Customer concerns shared with our Customer Care Team about accessibility issues continue their downward trend and we now deal with just a handful each year.
Most concerns are focused on maintenance or seasonal issues such as additional stock on the shop floor over the Christmas period.
We believe there are multiple drivers for this on-going reduction: we have improved access in many of our stores, exited ones where access continues to be an issue and opened new stores where access forms part of the planning process. In addition, online shopping offers an alternative channel to those customers with accessibility challenges.