Always acting with honesty, trust, integrity whilst trading ethically.
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Ferns Policies

Health & Safety Policy Statement

Ferns Group accepts its legal responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act, etc. 1974 and associated legislation and Codes of Practice. The Company gives its full commitment to doing everything reasonably practicable to protect the safety, health and the welfare of all its employees and any other persons whose health and safety may be affected by the Company's business. The promotion of health and safety measures is a mutual objective for the Company and for its employees at all levels.

It is the intention that all the Company's affairs and business will be conducted and carried out in a manner which will not cause risk to the health and safety of its employees, the employees of others or members of the public.

The Company recognises that people are a vital resource and priority will be given to the effective prevention of risks and to contingency arrangements. In doing so, the Company seeks and requires the support of all employees in avoiding accidents, ill health and associated cost and disruption.

All employees are reminded of their personal legal responsibilities and are required to take all reasonable care to prevent injury to themselves and to others.

Adequate financial, human and other resources will be made available to ensure the effective implementation of this policy. Procedures will be established to monitor health and safety performance and ensure effective consultation, communication and co-ordination.

It is the policy of the Company to maintain safe systems of work and specifically:

  • Provide and maintain machinery, equipment and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health.
  • Ensure safety and the absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances.
  • Provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of employees.
  • Maintain all places of work under the Company's control, including means of access and egress, in a condition that is safe and without risk to health.
  • Provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risk to health.
  • Ensure suitable and sufficient risk assessments are carried out and controls are in place to eliminate or minimise risks under the relevant statutory provisions.
  • Establish, maintain and develop arrangements for effective consultation with staff on health and safety matters.
  • Comply with statutory requirements as a minimum standard for health, safety and the welfare of employees at work and all others toward whom the Company has statutory obligations.
  • Recognise the link between efficiency, safety and health, and to minimise the costs, losses and disruption which arise from accidents, ill health and dangerous occurrences.
  • Ensure that all contractors employed in connection with the Company's business are competent in respect of necessary health and safety requirements.
  • Ensure that all employees are aware that they are required to work safely, not to start or continue work which is unsafe and to cooperate with all members of staff in all matters which affect their health and safety at work.

In order to achieve the above a systematic health and safety management plan will be implemented by:


Elimination of risks or adequate control in the workplace by the careful selection and design of facilities, equipment and processes in conjunction with effective control measures.


Ensuring that safety requirements are being implemented throughout the Company by all employees.


Safety inspections and audits will be regularly conducted to monitor.


All safety requirements and risk assessments in order to achieve the highest possible standards for health and safety.

The Policy Statement will be brought to the attention of all employees at induction and will be displayed on Company notice boards.

This Policy Statement replaces the previous statement dated: January 2015 and will be reviewed at least annually and revised as often as required, taking into consideration Company reorganisation, work methods and identification of hazards and risks and to the continual improvement of the Company’s approach to health and safety.

Work Safe Policy Statement

Ferns Group acknowledges our responsibility under the Health & Safety at Work Act and associated regulations and recognises our duty of care and undertakes to maintain safe systems affecting the health, safety and welfare of our employees.

We will ensure that no one under our control is exposed to unacceptable levels of health or safety risks at work.

Ferns Group operates a Work Safe Policy (or Right to Refuse to Work Policy) to protect our employees and ensure others not in our employment are not placed at risk.

Every employee of the Ferns Group working on a Ferns managed project(s) has absolute right to decline to carry out work if they feel it is not safe to do so.

Where the operation of a machine, a site condition or a method of working constitutes a danger to the employee of another person the employee may refuse to work. Any situation arising which leads to an individual refusing to work for Health & Safety reasons must be reported to the Project Manager as soon as possible and no employee should continue to work until the working environment is made safe. The employee supervisor should be informed. Escalation for resolving a Refusal to Work is through the Project Manager or the Health & Safety Director and their decision will be final.

The management will respond in a positive and prompt manner when they are made aware of a situation that qualifies as a refusal to work by an employee.

Managers and staff are also encouraged to report any unsafe acts or conditions, which they have witnessed.

Ferns Group will not discipline, discharge, suspend or lay off an employee or impose any financial or other penalty on an employee who invokes the Refusal to Work Procedure, further information can be found within the health and Safety Policy.

The Policy will be monitored and maintained by the SHEQ Director of Ferns Group who will ensure it is reviewed at least annually or to reflect changes to relevant UK legislation or guidance. Authority for the implementation and maintenance of the system is cascaded through the management structure.

Environmental Policy Statement

This Environmental Policy Statement recognises Ferns Group needs to operate the business in a manner which reflects good environmental management. The Companies are aware of the environmental impacts of its operations and will balance its business aims with the need to protect the local and global environment.

Our Environmental Policy shall earn the confidence of employees, shareholders, customers and the general public by demonstrating our commitment to comply with all relevant environmental legislation and minimise pollution, resource use and waste, where feasible, through the continuous improvement of performance in all areas of the Company.

The Company has demonstrated a commitment to identify all activities that have the potential to cause an environmental impact, as well as providing adequate resources to help minimise or prevent any negative impact.

In order to achieve this commitment, we will:

  • Identify the environmental impacts of the Group’s operations and establish environmental management procedures that can be incorporated into all business decisions, utilising the concept of BATNEEC
  • Regularly measure and evaluate our environmental performance to identify areas to show continuous improvement.
  • Commit adequate financial and physical resources to ensure the environment is maintained as a priority throughout all parts of the organisation.
  • Delegate the responsibility for environmental matters to the appropriate levels in the Company.
  • Demonstrate control of all our operations and ensure that all are performed with due consideration to the environment.
  • Consistently increase the awareness and provide necessary training to all our employees and customers to ensure environmentally responsible concepts are integrated into their normal working practices.
  • Identify, prevent and mitigate potential accidents that could result in an environmental impact, so that if an accident did occur, the consequences would be minimised.
  • Use, where possible, products that have the minimum environmental impact.
  • Minimise the storage and use of all articles and substances, where appropriate.
  • Reduce the consumption of resources (energy, materials, packaging) where feasible.
  • Minimise waste through a commitment to reuse, recover or recycle, where feasible.

It is our duty, within our scope of influence to ensure that good environmental management is practised on all contracts and projects that we are involved in, and we will seek to influence customers to demonstrate a positive environmental commitment. The Company will communicate the Environmental Policy to all Ferns Group personnel, and it will be freely available to customers and the general public.

The Policy will be monitored and maintained by the HSEQ Director of Ferns Group who will ensure it is reviewed at least annually or to reflect changes to relevant UK legislation or guidance. Authority for the implementation and maintenance of the system is cascaded through the management structure.

The Managing Director accepts direct responsibility for the environmental performance of the Group.

Quality Policy Statement

The Ferns Group Quality Management System complies with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:2015 and as such, this enables us to offer our Clients a proven level of Quality Assurance.

It is our Policy to:

  • Ensure that all Contracts are carried out to the Client’s specification, complying with all current regulations, and with particular emphasis on quality and safety, using experienced operatives to achieve this aim whilst continually striving to provide constant improvements in methods of working.
  • Supply services to our customer’s satisfaction and to ensure that internal operational procedures are suitable for this purpose.

The Management Team are committed to continuous improvements of the Quality Management System. This will be monitored by the Managing Director who holds ultimate responsibility for formulating and implementing the Policy. The Managing Director shall be assisted by the HSEQ Director. This commitment will be conveyed to the rest of the Company at Management Review meetings which will be held at least annually.

The Company includes measures to ensure that it is aware of current and potential future needs and expectations of present, potential customers and interested parties (people in the Company, suppliers and partners, community and the Public affected). Such measures include identifying market opportunities, assessing and improving current weaknesses and competitive advantage, meeting statutory and regulatory requirements, providing adequate resources, etc. Whilst implementing these measures and having identified our competition, we will assess the market to ensure that we add value to our Clients.

All documentation is subject to control by the Managing Director. The basis of this control is to ensure that the latest copies, relevant to the accomplishment of work are available at the time and place of work, to ensure the effective functioning of the Company’s operations, processes and quality management system.

Compliance with the requirements of the Quality Management System is the responsibility of all employees.

Throughout all processes, the Company will monitor its procedures through audits and inspections, to ensure that the Company continues to support customer needs and expectations. Where non-compliance is identified, we will implement appropriate corrective, preventative and improvement actions through our Non-conformance Procedure.

The Company will conduct Management Reviews of the Policy at least annually to ensure it remains relevant and effective with respect to the Company’s procedures and services.

Equality & Diversity policy

The Ferns Group is committed to the equal treatment of all employees and applicants and requires all employees, of whatever grade or authority, to abide by and adhere to the requirements of the Codes of Practice issued by the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality. All employees are expected to abide by the requirements of the Race Relations Act (as amended), Sex Discrimination Act 1975, and Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Specifically, discrimination is prohibited in:

  • Treating any individual on grounds of sex, colour, marital status, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or membership or non-membership of a trade union, less favourably than others.
  • Expecting an individual solely on the grounds stated above to comply with requirement(s) for any reason whatsoever related to their employment, which are different to the requirements for others.
  • Imposing on an individual, requirements, which are in effect more onerous on that individual than they are on others. For example, this would include applying a condition (which is not warranted by the requirements of the position) which makes it more difficult for employees of a particular race or sex to comply than others not of that race or sex.
  • Any other act, or omission, which disadvantages an employee or applicant against another, or others, purely on the above grounds. Thus, in all disciplinary matters, as well as consideration for training, promotion etc. it is essential that merit, experience, skills and temperament are considered as objectively as possible.
  • Victimisation of an employee. Harassment of an employee (which for the purpose of this policy is regarded as discrimination).
  • Ferns, recognises that slavery and human trafficking remains a hidden blight on our global society. The aim of the Company is to identify by alerting staff to the risks, however small, in our business and in the wider supply chain. Staff are expected and encouraged to report concerns to management, where they are expected to act upon them. The Company will not knowingly support or deal with any business in slavery or human trafficking. We have a zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking. We expect all of those in our supply chain and contractors comply with our values. This statement is in accordance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Company commits to the immediate investigation of any claims of discrimination on the above grounds and will take appropriate action to ensure immediate resolution and ceasing of inappropriate behaviour. Company disciplinary procedures will be invoked as necessary.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and its associated regulations (The Disability Discrimination (Employment) Regulations 1996 and The Disability Discrimination (Meaning of Disability) Regulations 1996 introduced measures aimed at ending discrimination against disabled people.

The Company will not discriminate against any person with disabilities, however should an individual’s disability pose a threat to the health, safety and welfare or themselves or others certain tasks and responsibilities may not be included in this individual’s job role. In the event that any employee feels that he or she has suffered discrimination in anyway, a full investigation will be conducted.

Until a hearing is arranged, complainants should keep the matter confidential, other possibly than arranging for details of witnesses to be given to the HR Manager.

Corporate & Social Responsibility policy

Ferns Group undertakes to act responsibly, ethically and with integrity in its interactions with all stakeholders whether they be, staff, customers, suppliers, neighbors’, the general public or the environment as a whole.

To this end:

  • The Company has a separate Environmental Policy Statement clarifying its commitment to negating its impact on the environment.
  • The Company carries out regular risk assessments to guarantee the well-being of staff and visitors, in accordance with Health and Safety legislation.
  • The Company commits to having a fully trained workforce and has its own in house training centre which ensures that all employees are fully trained to the Company standards and are also competent to carry out their duties safely.
  • The Company actively manages its reputation, and drives best practice, through the application of Ethical Sales and Purchasing.
  • Due to the nature of our business having to use fossilized materials the Company actively promotes, maximizes and measures the reuse of excavated recycled backfill in all their operations with the current rate standing at 98%.
  • The Company is an Equal Opportunities Employer which promotes diversity and does not differentiate on grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or physical ability.
  • The Company actively contributes to social and environmental initiatives in the local community by donating time and resources. In 2012 we have assisted in Demelza House which is a residential hospice for terminally ill children by carrying out the removal of the existing playground and installing the groundwork’s for the new.
  • The Company commits to being open and transparent in the interests of promoting best practice.
  • The Company is proud to have been awarded Gold for Considerate Contractor from the City of London.
  • To reduce our carbon footprint we have installed into all our vehicles the most advanced driving management system which allows us to monitor driving habits and patterns. This system also allows us to minimize vehicle movements thereby reducing fuel usage. We ensure that our vehicles are driven and safely and legally by constantly measuring and monitoring the driving standard and behaviour of each driver. In doing this we can be confident that our drivers are not endangering themselves or the community in which we operate.
  • We have invested in video conferencing facilities to reduce vehicle movements and carbon emissions

Anti-Bribery Policy


Bribery is the accepting of gifts, money, hospitality or other favours in return for providing something of value to the briber. The purpose of this policy is to set out the rules that must be followed in this organisation to ensure that no bribery occurs.

The following behaviour is unacceptable, and must not occur in this organisation:

  • Accepting any financial or other reward from any person in return for providing some favour.
  • Requesting a financial or other reward from any person in return for providing some favour.
  • Offering any financial or other reward from any person in return for providing some favour.

Business Gifts

From time to time, customers, suppliers or other persons might offer a gift to an employee. This could be a small item, or something of considerable value. All gifts, however small, must be reported to the Managing Director and recorded. If a gift is offered and then refused because of its value, this must be reported to the Managing Director.


From time to time, customers, suppliers or other persons might invite an employee to a hospitality event. All such invitations must be reported to the Managing Director. Permission must be given by the Managing Director before an employee accepts any invitation.

Offering Gifts & Hospitality

It is this organisation’s custom to offer small gifts (eg pens, diaries) to customers, suppliers and other persons. If a gift is authorised by the Managing Director, the employee is entitled to give it to the appropriate individuals. A record must be kept of all gifts.

This organisation occasionally runs hospitality events, primarily aimed at thanking customers and suppliers for their custom and loyalty. An employee must not organise any additional hospitality event without seeking authority from the Managing Director.

Responsibilities of Managers

Managers are responsible for keeping a record of all gifts and hospitality that are offered and/or received by employees working in their area of responsibility.

If managers are concerned about any actions, they should contact the Managing Director immediately for advice.

Managers are also responsible for ensuring that all their employees are aware of this policy, and fully understand the rules in relation to the acceptance of gifts and hospitality.


The Managing Director must authorise all expense claims from their employees. Managers are expected to check and sign all expense claims from their employees against receipts.

Any items of expenditure that give rise to concern should be fully investigated.

Attempts to Bribe

Any employee who is concerned that he or she is potentially being bribed should report this matter to his or her Manager immediately.

Donations to Organisations

The organisation makes regular donations to charity. These are managed by Ian Fern, Managing Director. No employee should make donations to a charity without approval of the Managing Director.

No donations should be made to charities, political parties or other organisations with the intention of gaining a business advantage.

Disciplinary Actions

Any employee found to have offered or accepted a bribe will face disciplinary action under the Terms and Conditions of Employment, which could include summary dismissal for gross misconduct.

Raising Concerns

If an employee is concerned or suspects that acts of bribery are occurring within the organisation, they should inform the Managing Director who will deal with it in a confidential manner.


Bribery Act 2012. Any other legislation.


This Policy will be reviewed on at least an annual basis.

Sustainability Policy

Ferns Group, in its vision to be recognised as a leading Reinstatement Company, is committed to protecting and enhancing local and global environments and ensuring that activities are carried out in a sustainable way.

Therefore Ferns Group will become a member of the Supply Chain Sustainability School.

To meet this aim, we will endeavour to:

  • Make ourselves aware of all new environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Comply with all environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Minimise energy use and its associated CO2 emissions.
  • Maximise the use of renewable energy sources where possible.
  • Minimise the generation of waste.
  • Maximise the re-use of materials and products.
  • Maximise the use of recycled materials and products.
  • Minimise raw material consumption.
  • Maximise the use of material from renewable sources.
  • Minimise polluting emissions to air, land and water.
  • Minimise the use of polluting forms of transport.
  • Assess the environmental impacts of all working practices and product manufacture.
  • Assess the whole life environmental performance of all purchases.
  • Maximise the use of local products and local workforce.
  • Minimise the use of water.
  • Ensure that design and construction is undertaken in a manner compatible with sustainable development.

To further the aims of this policy we will

  • Provide adequate environmental training for all staff. Assess the environmental performance of suppliers.
  • Review our environmental policy and its action plans periodically with a view to continuous improvement.
  • Develop a set of environmental targets and action plans.
  • Maintain certification our Environmental Management System in accordance with the principles of ISO 14001:2015.

All personnel will be familiar with the requirements of this Sustainability Policy and abide with the contents of the Business System Manual.

This Sustainability Policy is reviewed annually in order to ensure its continuing suitability.

Stress Policy


Ferns Group is committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of its employees. The organisation recognises that workplace stress is a health and safety issue and acknowledges the importance of identifying and reducing workplace stressors. Ferns Group places high value on maintaining a healthy and safe environment for all employees and seeks to minimise the causes of stress in the workplace. Ferns Group recognises that reducing stress in the workplace can help improve staff morale and commitment, lower absenteeism, reduce cost and improve staff recruitment and retention. Ferns line managers and individual employee all have a role to play in reducing stress. Ferns are committed to identifying sources of stress in the workplace and taking action to reduce harmful stress. Whilst this policy primarily focuses on work-related stress arising in the workplace, it is recognised that stress may be influenced by a variety of factors and that no single cause may be identified. Ferns will make every effort to support staff in managing stress irrespective of its source.

Aim of Policy.

The aim of this policy is to: Protect the health, safety and welfare of Ferns employees, Identify and reduce workplace stressors. Take measures to reduce and control work-related stress. Reduce stress related sickness absence. Encourage a culture where managers and employees take responsibility in recognising work-related stress and promote stress management to maintain a healthy workplace. Definition of Stress. Whilst there is no specific legislation on stress, the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require all employees to be protected from risk and harm and for employers to assess the risks of workplace hazards. The Health and Safety Executive define stress as, ‘The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them at work.’ Work-related stress develops because a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them. It is not in itself an illness, but physical or mental illness may manifest if not tackled. Recognising the signs of Stress. Stress can show itself in different ways and being aware of some of the symptoms of stress will help employees and employers to find a solution more quickly. Below are a list stress indicators to help staff and managers recognise the signs of stress.

Work Performance.

Declining/inconsistent performance; uncharacteristic errors; loss of control over work; loss of motivation/commitment; indecision; lapses in memory; increased time at work; lack planning; regression crying; arguments; undue sensitivity; irritability/moodiness; over-reaction to problems; personality clashes; immature behaviour; anger; negative thoughts; increased anxiety; panic; mood swings; tearful withdrawal arriving late to work; leaving work early; extended lunches; absenteeism; resigned attitude; reduced social contact, aggressive behaviour malicious gossip; criticism of others; vandalism; shouting; bullying; harassment; temper outbursts; physical signs sweating; tiredness/lethargy; upset stomach; tension headaches; hand tremor; rapid weight gain/loss; constantly feeling cold; headaches; tightness of chest/chest pains; nausea; aching and tense muscles/neck backache; raised blood pressure; sleep disturbance other behaviours out of character behaviour; difficulty relaxing; increased consumption of alcohol; increased smoking; lack of interest in appearance/hygiene; accidents at home/work; unnecessary risk taking. Examples of signs of stress in a team. Poor performance increased workplace disputes within team Increase in sickness absence Increase in staff turnover Increase in number of grievances/complaints. Management Standards for work-related stress. The Health & Safety Executive have identified management standards that cover six areas of work design that if not properly managed are associated with poor health and well-being, lower productivity and increased sickness absence: Demands, Control, Role, Support, Relationships, Change. Roles & Responsibilities. Ferns Group is responsible for ensuring effective management arrangements are in place to minimise and manage organisational stress and maintain a positive and supportive working environment for all of their employees.

Mental Health Statement

Mental wellbeing in the workplace is relevant to all employees and everyone can contribute to the improvement of metal health at work. Addressing workplace wellbeing can help strengthen the positive factors of employment, reduce risk factors related to mental ill health and improve overall general health.

Ferns are committed to,

  • Ensuring the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of Physical, Mental and Social Wellbeing.
  • Dealing sympathetically with staff suffering from mental health problems due to circumstances outside the workplace, and who consequently find it difficult to do their job properly.
  • Promoting a culture of open conversation so we talk about our wellbeing and mental Health having our co-workers in mind and make support available when employees may be struggling.
  • Encouraging staff to consult our Occupational Health Nurse or their own doctor, with issues relating to any mental health concerns.
  • Seeking a confidential counselling provider for staff who may be affected by Mental Health issues caused by either work or external factors.
  • Treating all matters relating to individual employees and their mental Health issues in the strictest confidence and share on a ‘’need to know’’ basis only with consent from the individual concerned.
  • Monitoring the levels of sickness absence as a result of Mental Health issues.
  • Monitoring the workloads to ensure that employees are not overloaded.
  • Monitoring the working hours and overtime to ensure that employees are not over worked.
  • Facilitate and support all employees wishing to develop and progress within the company business.

Employees have a responsibility to:

  • Seek help and support by raising any concerns regarding their own mental or physical health to the Occupational Health Nurse, company Mental Health Ambassador, Safety Department or Line Manager.
  • Accept opportunities for Counselling when recommended.
  • Demonstrate commitment in attending services offered to all either by the company of own doctor.

Stress Policy

Fuel, Emissions and Air Quality Policy



Defined as all particulate matter up to 75 µm in diameter (according to BS6069) and comprising both suspended and deposited dust.


Defined as a mass fraction of airborne particles with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 microns or less it is comprised of course particles (2.5-10 pm in diameter).


“Environment” means the sum of all living and non-living things that surround an organism or group of organisms. The EC treaty indicates that the scope of the environment extends to human beings, natural resources, land use, town and country planning, waste and water. This includes just about all the areas of environment, flora and fauna and climate.

Environmental Impact

An environmental impact is any element of an organisation’s activities, products or services that can interact with the environment.

Competent Person

This is a person with sufficient skills, knowledge, experience, training and other qualities of the specific tasks to be undertaken. A person who understands the risks which the work will entail, and with sufficient experience and ability to enable them to carry out their duties in relation to the project, to recognise their limitations, and to take appropriate action in order to prevent harm to those carrying out construction work, or those affected by the work.

Employee Responsibilities

Senior Manager to the Contract (SM)

You will:

  • Ensure all Ferns employees under your area of responsibility read and understand this procedure.
  • Ensure that all Ferns employees under your area of responsibility adhere to this procedure.
  • Provide the necessary competent resources within your area of responsibility to implement this procedure.
  • Ensure any external resource that is employed by Ferns is assessed as per Ferns existing processes.
  • Ensure any external resource employed works to the standards detailed within this procedure.
  • Ensure that reviews of adherence to this procedure forms part of internal Ferns audit programme.
  • Ensure action plans are developed to address any failings in adherence to this procedure.
  • Notify the Management Appointee of any improvement requirements to this procedure.

Line Management

You will:

  • Ensure that you read and understand this procedure.
  • Ensure all internal and external relevant persons receive a copy of this procedure.
  • Ensure all Ferns employees under your area of responsibility read and understand this procedure.
  • Ensure that all Ferns employees under your area of responsibility adhere to this procedure.
  • Provide the necessary competent resources within your area of responsibility to implement this procedure.
  • Ensure any external resource that is employed by Ferns is assessed as per Ferns existing processes.
  • Ensure any external resource employed works to the standards detailed within this procedure.
  • Ensure any ongoing area of concern is reported to the Senior Manager of the contract for resolution prior to continuing any activity.
  • Ensure that where assistance is required that you request in writing such assistance from the Senior Ferns Manager to the contract.
  • Ensure audits and inspections are carried out to monitor compliance with this procedure.
  • Notify the Management Appointee of any improvement requirements to this procedure.

Ferns Surfacing Employees

You will:

  • Read and understand this procedure.
  • Always Adhere to this procedure.
  • Consult with your Line Manager if you do not fully understand any part of this procedure.
  • Inform your Line Manager if you do not feel competent to adhere to this procedure.
  • Ensure you report any failing in adherence to this procedure to your Line Manager.

Procedure Requirements

Employee Competence

he Senior Manager to the contract shall ensure all employees undertake a company induction that details the requirements of this procedure.

The Senior Manager to the contract shall ensure that training matrices and training plans are developed for their area of responsibility that takes account of the requirements of this procedure.

The Senior Manager to the contract shall ensure that a programme of toolbox talks, and Environmental awareness training is developed for the contract and that the requirements of this procedure are detailed within the programme.

For external appointments: - The Senior Manager to the contract shall ensure all appointments are assessed via existing Ferns contractor assessment processes.

Line Managers shall ensure that all those whom are required to undertake work activities have received a company induction and are trained where required on the management of air quality.

SHEQ Managers and Line Managers shall by way of site audit and inspection monitor compliance with this procedure.
Air Quality Preamble

As part of the Government's air quality strategy, local authorities have a responsibility to review and assess air quality within their boroughs and work towards achieving air quality targets.

Line Managers should be aware that air pollution emissions from work activities can have an impact on local air quality. Local authorities regulate these activities and work processes and ensure that pollution emissions are prevented or reduced. The main statutory provision is the Clean Air Act 1993. The Act controls emissions of smoke, dust and grit from certain buildings and developments. Under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990, emissions of dust, fumes and other effluvia from construction sites can be identified as statutory nuisance. Sources and Impacts of Air Pollution from Construction and Demolition Sites on the Environment

Line Managers should be aware that there are a number of sources of dust and emissions from construction activities that can release a range of particles i.e. dust and particulate matter (PM10). Particulate matter includes a wide range of sizes and types of particles and will vary from time to time.

Most dust particles are too big to be inhaled, but can cause eye, nose and throat irritation and lead to deposition on cars, windows and property. PM10 is more of a concern to human health as they can enter the lungs, causing breathing and respiratory problems. Detrimental health impacts of particulate matter are not confined to the construction site. Particles can travel further than course dust and can affect the health of people living and working in the surrounding areas of the site.

Line managers should be aware that dust and particulate matter emissions arise from several different sources. Not only do construction activities need to be considered, but emissions from on-road vehicles e.g. grab vehicles associated with the construction site and on-site machinery (off road emissions). Using low sulphur tax-exempt diesel on site where possible will automatically reduce emissions of particles by about 30 per cent from the exhaust. Additional use of exhaust filtration measures will reduce remaining particulate emissions by a further 85 per cent. Control of Impacts of air Quality

Line managers should follow a hierarchy of how to control the emissions of dust and other emissions to reduce human exposure and improve air quality;

  1. Prevention
  2. Suppression
  3. Containment

Line Managers should be aware that the potential for a demolition site or construction site to impact at sensitive receptors is dependent on a number of factors, including the following:

  • Location of site
  • Proximity of sensitive receptors
  • Whether demolition will take place
  • Extent of intended excavation
  • Nature, location and size of stockpiles and length of time they are to be on-site
  • Occurrence and scale of dust generating activities-including cutting, grinding and sawing
  • Necessity for on-site concrete crusher or cement batcher
  • Number and types of vehicles and plant required on-site
  • Potential for dirt or mud to be made airborne through vehicle movements and weather conditions.

Line managers should pay particular attention to the following in reducing the impacts of their contract’s activities on air quality and pollution

Site Planning

  • Erect barriers to site boundary
  • No bonfires
  • Plan site layout-machinery and dust causing activities should be located away from sensitive receptors.

Construction Traffic

  • All vehicles to switch off engines (No idling of vehicles)
  • Effective vehicle cleaning and wheel-washing on leaving site
  • No site run off of water or mud
  • All non-road mobile machinery to use low sulphur tax-exempt diesel, where available
  • All vehicles and plant and machinery to be serviced and maintained regularly
  • On road vehicles to comply with any requirements of possible future Low Emission Zone (LEZ) as a minimum
  • Appropriate cleaning of haul routes and speed limits around site.

Construction and Demolition works

  • Use water as a dust suppressant
  • Cutting equipment to use water as suppressant or suitable exhaust ventilation systems
  • Securely cover skips.

Site Activities

  • Minimise all dust generating activities
  • Enclose stockpiles and keep securely sheeted
  • Ensure any concrete crushers or batchers and any static mobile recycling have permits to operate.

Summary of Measures to Reduce the Impact of Construction and Demolition Works on Air Quality

Line Managers should ensure that in following best practice and a hierarchy of reducing the impact of activities on air quality, they pay particular regard to the following:

  • Undertake air pollution risk assessments, where applicable
  • Notification of works to local authorities. Emission standards for all off-road vehicle emission controls and information on after treatment technologies
  • No burning on site
  • Waste and recycling management
  • Training and identification of on-site staff responsible for pollution issues.

Impacts of Air Pollution from Vehicles and Operational Transport

Emissions from vehicle exhausts are a significant source of air pollutants including:

  • CO2
  • carbon monoxide
  • fine dust particles
  • nitrogen oxides
  • unburnt hydrocarbons

Emissions from vehicle exhausts are a significant source of air pollutants including:

  • lead to ill health, such as respiratory problems, among staff and the public
  • cause a nuisance to your neighbours
  • contribute to roadside levels of pollution in urban centres
  • contribute to climate change

As a company this will also we can also reduce transport costs, such as fuel bills and vehicle tax, by choosing vehicles that are more environmentally friendly and using them more efficiently.

Ferns shall educate employees about the environmental impacts of transport and encouraging them to walk, cycle or use public transport for commuting and business travel can benefit their health and finances. It may also contribute to reduced sickness absence, increased staff retention and improved local air quality.

Ferns shall educate employees to drive safely and efficiently and to maintain vehicles can help reduce vehicle emissions and the number of work-related road incidents. Employees also benefit from a cleaner and safer environment and save money if they drive work vehicles more efficiently.

Vehicle emissions requirements

Ferns shall ensure that any vehicle used by for our business is roadworthy and complies with exhaust emission standards and weight regulations. The minimum exhaust emission standards are specified in the:

  • MOT test scheme for cars, light goods vehicles and motorcycles
  • Heavy goods vehicle (HGV) scheme for lorries

Vehicle emissions requirements

Alternative fuel and vehicle types should be considered where operationally viable

Types of alternative fuel and vehicles include:

  • Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) - vehicles which run on LPG cost around 30 per cent less to run than those powered by petrol and approximately the same as diesel. They produce around 10 per cent less CO2 than petrol vehicles but slightly more than diesel. LPG vehicles emit significantly less air pollutants than diesel vehicles and similar to petrol vehicles.
  • Natural gas - vehicles powered by natural gas (methane) produce significantly less CO2 than petrol vehicles, and similar or slightly less than diesel vehicles but with lower emissions of air pollutants.
  • Hybrid vehicles - these are powered by electricity and either petrol or diesel. They recharge their batteries during normal operation. This means less fuel is burned so CO2 emissions can be reduced and fuel costs are around two-thirds that of an equivalent petrol-only vehicle. Hybrids are also eligible for tax breaks, such as lower vehicle excise duty.
  • Electric vehicles - these produce no direct exhaust emissions, but there is still an environmental impact from the generation of electricity. You can reduce this by purchasing electricity generated from renewable sources. Vehicles run on electricity are also given many tax breaks.

Where alternative fuel and vehicle types are not operationally viable, the use of petrol and diesel vehicles should consider that petrol and diesel engines have different effects on the environment. Diesel engines generally produce less CO2 but emit more air pollutants than petrol engines. As a general rule, if intending to use the vehicle for long-distance or motorway driving then consider a diesel engine for fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. If the vehicle will be used more in urban areas, where air quality is a greater consideration, consider a fuel-efficient petrol engine.

Ferns shall aim for all diesel vehicles to be Euro 6 compliant as minimum.

Vehicle emissions requirements

Ferns shall encourage the following to ensure fuel is used more efficiently:

  • making sure that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure
  • removing any unnecessary clutter from vehicles
  • keeping vehicle speed down, eg it can cost up to 25 per cent more to drive at 70 miles per hour (mph) compared to 50mph - driving at 50-60mph produces the lowest emissions
  • avoiding harsh braking and acceleration
  • switching off the engine when at a standstill for more than three minutes
  • using air conditioning and other onboard electrical devices such as mobile phone chargers sparingly as this increases fuel consumption
  • pre-planning routes - you can reduce the impact of journeys by using less congested routes and avoiding peak travel times
  • avoiding using vehicles for short journeys, eg combining several short trips into one longer one - cold engines use 60 per cent more fuel per mile than warm engines

We shall encourage flexible working practices could reduce use of vehicles:

  • making sure that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure
  • removing any unnecessary clutter from vehicles
  • keeping vehicle speed down, eg it can cost up to 25 per cent more to drive at 70 miles per hour (mph) compared to 50mph - driving at 50-60mph produces the lowest emissions
  • avoiding harsh braking and acceleration
  • switching off the engine when at a standstill for more than three minutes
  • using air conditioning and other onboard electrical devices such as mobile phone chargers sparingly as this increases fuel consumption
  • pre-planning routes - you can reduce the impact of journeys by using less congested routes and avoiding peak travel times
  • avoiding using vehicles for short journeys, eg combining several short trips into one longer one - cold engines use 60 per cent more fuel per mile than warm engines

Training for vehicle drivers

Ferns employees shall be educated to drive efficiently. For example, a one-day Safe and Fuel-Efficient Driving (SAFED) course for van or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers

Maintain vehicles

Ferns vehicles shall be maintained in good working order so that they work efficiently. This includes

  • service all your vehicles regularly
  • inflate tyres correctly as under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 3 per cent
  • remove roof bars and other items when not needed
  • monitor fuel consumption to help detect problems early
  • check that the exhaust system is in good working order

Vehicle Idling

Idling of the vehicles wastes fuel and related costs, creates pollution and causes premature engine wear. It is every employee’s responsibility to minimize fleet operating costs while reducing harmful effects to the environment. Vehicles will not be parked with the engine operating unless it is essential to perform the works, for example operating a PTO. Exceptions are during an initial engine warm up or during periods of extreme cold weather. If the engine must be left running the operator must always remain with the vehicle. Ferns shall reduce air pollution and individual exposure to the vehicle exhaust by discouraging unnecessary idling. All drivers employed by Ferns are advised to turn off the vehicle engine when parked and not restart the vehicle unless necessary to depart.

To minimise vehicle emissions that negatively impact on the environment and health, Ferns is committed to reducing vehicle idling times at depots, in traffic queues and at any other times unnecessary idling takes place. The company actively encourages drivers to reduce levels of idling.
As a company, we’ve implemented anti-idling measures to

  • Reduce unnecessary vehicle idling.
  • Improve air quality.
  • Protect health.
  • Reduce wasted fuel.
  • Reduce costs.

Monitoring and review

Contracts Managers, in liaison with the Transport Manager, shall monitor and record the fuel usage and CO2 emissions. These shall be reviewed with the senior management team on a regular basis to monitor performance against the standards above and to identify areas for improvement.


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