About Trees – Kent Tree Surgeons

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Equality Policy

Introduction – Our Equality Policy

At About Trees Ltd., we recognise and celebrate the diversity of the communities we serve and understand the vital importance of inclusivity and equality in all aspects of our work. Our commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion is rooted in our belief that a diverse workforce, treated equitably and included in decision-making, fosters innovation, creativity, and a deeper understanding of our clients’ needs. This policy outlines our comprehensive approach to ensuring a welcoming, fair, and inclusive environment for all employees, clients, and partners.

Policy Statement

About Trees Ltd. is steadfast in its commitment to promoting diversity, ensuring equality, and fostering an inclusive culture for all employees and applicants without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. We are dedicated to creating a workplace where everyone’s rights are respected and where any form of discrimination, harassment, or exclusion is actively opposed.

Objectives

Promote an Organisational Culture that Embraces Diversity and Equality**: Cultivate an environment where individual differences are valued, and all employees are treated equitably and with respect.

Ensure Equal Opportunities in Employment**: Guarantee fairness in recruitment, career progression, training, and rewards for all employees, addressing and eliminating any barriers to equality.

Inclusivity and Equality in Service Delivery**: Ensure our services are accessible, equitable, and accommodating to all clients, reflecting the diversity of the community we serve.

Supplier Diversity and Equality**: Commit to supporting diversity and equality among our suppliers and contractors, recognising the value of diverse and equitable perspectives in enhancing our business.

Implementation

Recruitment, Selection, and Promotion**: Adopt inclusive, transparent procedures designed to promote diversity and equality. Job advertisements will welcome applications from all, and selection criteria will be based solely on skills and competencies relevant to the role.

Training and Development**: Provide comprehensive diversity, equality, and inclusion training to all employees, fostering an understanding, respect, and appreciation for diversity and equality within the workplace.

Workplace Adjustments**: Make reasonable adjustments to ensure our workplace is inclusive, accessible, and equitable for employees with disabilities or other needs.

Complaints and Grievances Procedure**: Implement a clear, accessible process for employees to raise concerns or complaints about discrimination, bullying, harassment, or any equality issues. All complaints will be treated with the utmost seriousness and investigated promptly and thoroughly.

Monitoring and Review

The effectiveness of this policy will be monitored continuously, with an annual review to assess its impact and effectiveness. Employee, client, and partner feedback will be integral to informing ongoing improvements.

Responsibility

Every member of About Trees Ltd. is responsible for contributing to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. The Directors hold overall responsibility for implementing this policy, with managers ensuring its application within their teams.

This policy has the full endorsement of the senior management of About Trees Ltd. and has been developed in alignment with best practices, including those outlined in the “Diversity and Inclusion: Strategy and Policy Guidance Advice.”

Conclusion

At About Trees Ltd., we believe that our strength is in the diversity and equality of our workforce. By adhering to the principles outlined in this policy, we commit to creating an environment where everyone is treated equitably, with respect, and where every individual has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

To read our other Policies including Working At Height, Wildlife and Ecology, Health and Safety and Insurance, please click here.

About Trees Ltd. Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Policy

Date: March 2024

Working at Height

This policy is designed to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees engaged in tree work at height. It applies to all tree surgery operations carried out by About Trees Ltd.

- Adhere to the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and other relevant HSE guidelines.

- Stay updated with any changes in legislation or best practices in arboriculture and tree surgery.

- Conduct thorough risk assessments for every project, as recommended by both HSE and the Arboricultural Association’s Code of Practice.

- Implement a systematic approach to identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks associated with working at height.

- Ensure all staff are adequately trained and competent in line with HSE requirements, including specific training for working at height.

- Provide regular training updates and refresher courses to maintain high safety standards.

- Comply with HSE guidance on the selection, use, and maintenance of equipment for working at height, including personal protective equipment (PPE).

- Regularly inspect and maintain all equipment used for tree work at height.

 

- Develop and implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) for various tree work activities, including those highlighted in the Industry Code of Practice.

- Review and update SOPs regularly to incorporate new techniques and safety guidelines.

- Establish and regularly update emergency response plans, including aerial rescue protocols.

- Ensure easy access to first aid equipment and trained personnel on every site.

- Prioritise physical and mental health by providing support for work-related stress and physical strain associated with tree work at height.

- Integrate environmental considerations into operational planning, ensuring minimal ecological impact and compliance with environmental laws.

- Implement a robust incident reporting system and conduct thorough investigations into any incidents to identify root causes and prevent recurrence.

- Maintain high standards of quality in all tree work at height.

- Engage with customers to provide transparent information about operational procedures and safety measures.

- Regularly review the effectiveness of the working at height policy and practices.

- Encourage feedback from employees to continuously improve safety standards.

Wildlife and Ecology

About Trees Ltd is committed to sustainable Arboricultural practices, environmental responsibility, and the protection of wildlife and ecology in all our tree care operations. This policy reflects our dedication to these principles, aligning with current directives and best practices in the United Kingdom.

This policy applies to all tree care operations carried out by About Trees Ltd within the United Kingdom.

About Trees Ltd is dedicated to preventing harm to wildlife and the environment as a result of our tree care activities. We will proactively safeguard European protected species, bats, nesting birds, and other local wildlife.

Before commencing tree care work on any site where there is a potential risk to protected species or local wildlife, we will conduct comprehensive wildlife assessments.

Our tree care methods will be meticulously planned and executed to minimise environmental risks to the lowest practicable level, incorporating current best practices.

About Trees Ltd is committed to fostering a working culture that encourages responsible conservation practices among our tree care professionals and partners.

When specific environmental interface issues are identified before, during, or after our tree care operations, we will actively seek guidance from qualified ecologists or other specialists.

Our company is dedicated to adhering to not only legal requirements but also industry best practices related to wildlife and ecology protection in the UK.

To fulfil our commitment to wildlife and ecology protection, About Trees Ltd sets the following objectives:

- Strictly adhere to all relevant wildlife and ecological legislation, guidance, and best practices in the UK.

- Remain proactive in staying updated on and implementing current directives related to wildlife and ecology protection.

- Continually promote a working culture that champions responsible conservation practices in the Arboricultural industry.

- Contribute to the responsible management of local ecology.

- Identify and safeguard wildlife populations in areas where tree care operations are conducted.

We will provide ongoing training and education to our employees on wildlife and ecological best practices in the field. We actively encourage our clients to participate in our efforts to protect local wildlife and ecology during tree care operations.

This policy will be communicated to all individuals working for or on behalf of About Trees Ltd, ensuring broad awareness and adherence to our commitment to wildlife and ecology protection. We will regularly review and update this policy to remain aligned with the latest directives and best practices.

Health and Safety Policy

Tree surgery often means working at heights with ropes and chainsaws, this can be a very dangerous job; we take this extremely seriously and have measures in place to reduce these risks as much as possible.

All of about…trees staff are fully trained and qualified in the arboricultural sector, on any given contract we will have at least one member of ground-staff who can perform an aerial rescue in case the climber gets in to trouble. A rescue kit is carried at all times.

We will carry out a thorough Risk assessment prior to works commencing and have method statements detailing how we will approach the job in hand.

Personal Protective Equipment (P.P.E.) is issued to all staff; this includes chainsaw protective boots, trousers, and helmets with ear defenders and eye protection.

An ethos of methodical practice is encouraged.

About Trees Ltd - Health and Safety Policy

Date: JAN 2024

About Trees Ltd is committed to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of its employees, contractors, clients, and the public. We recognise that Arboricultural work involves inherent risks and hazards, and we are dedicated to implementing the latest health and safety directives and guidelines, including PUWER and LOLER, to mitigate these risks. This Health and Safety Policy outlines our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of health and safety in all our activities.

About Trees Ltd will adhere to all relevant health and safety legislation, including but not limited to:

- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

- Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.

- Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).

- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

We will also stay updated on any new legislation and guidance from authoritative bodies, such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Arboricultural Association, Arboriculture and Forestry Advisory Group (AFAG), and Forestry Industry Safety Accord (FISA), and incorporate them into our practices.

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3.1. Management Commitment

The management of About Trees Ltd is committed to providing leadership, resources, and support for the implementation of this Health and Safety Policy. They will ensure that adequate resources are available to meet our health and safety objectives.

3.2. Employees and Contractors

All employees and contractors are responsible for their health and safety, as well as the safety of others affected by their work. They must comply with the company's health and safety procedures, including PUWER and LOLER compliance, report hazards, and actively participate in training programs.

About Trees Ltd will identify, assess, and manage risks associated with our activities, including equipment-related risks in compliance with PUWER and LOLER. This includes conducting regular risk assessments and implementing control measures to eliminate or reduce risks. Risk assessments will be reviewed and updated as necessary.

We will ensure that all employees and contractors have the necessary skills and competence to perform their tasks safely, especially when it comes to using equipment covered by PUWER and LOLER. Training will be provided, and records of training and qualifications will be maintained.

Safe working procedures will be established for all activities, considering guidance from HSE, AFAG, FISA, and the Arboricultural Association, including specific procedures related to the use and maintenance of equipment in compliance with PUWER and LOLER. These procedures will be communicated to all employees and contractors.

Appropriate PPE, including equipment-specific PPE, will be provided and maintained for all tasks where necessary. Employees and contractors will be required to wear PPE as specified in our procedures and guidelines.

All incidents, accidents, near misses, and potential hazards must be reported immediately to management. We will investigate incidents thoroughly to identify root causes and implement corrective actions.

About Trees Ltd will have emergency procedures in place for responding to accidents, fires, and other emergencies. Employees and contractors will be familiar with these procedures.

We are committed to continuous improvement in health and safety performance, including PUWER and LOLER compliance. We will regularly review our policies, procedures, and practices to identify areas for improvement.

This Health and Safety Policy will be communicated to all employees, contractors, clients, and relevant stakeholders. It will be displayed prominently on our premises and website.

This policy will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary to reflect changes in legislation, industry standards, and best practices.

Authorised by Management

Wayne Elwell (Director)

JAN 2024

Insurance

At about…trees we are a professional, insured tree surgeons Kent. This means we take our responsibilities seriously, we carry full Arboricultural public liability insurance of £5million, employers liability of £10milliion (certificates available upon request). We are members of both the Arboricultural Association and the International Society of Arboriculture, and we follow all the relevant British Standards guidelines and follow advice from industry bodies such as AFAG/FISA and LANTRA.
Our Policies