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Health and Safety Statement

The Directors and Staff of WST Travel Ltd recognise that client safety is a primary part of our business. We are committed to ensuring that all reasonable measures are taken so that clients are assured of a high level of safety throughout their tour.

The combined experience of the Management and Staff at WST is 308 years of managing a school travel company, of undertaking hotel, venue and coach inspections, of training staff and of advising group leaders regarding
school visits abroad.

We shall achieve this by ensuring that:

1.1 WST establish and maintain a written Health and Safety Policy and Safety Management System which comply with the recognised standards for school travel;

1.2 WST will facilitate and promote a positive health and safety culture throughout our own staff, our clients’ and our suppliers’ organisations world-wide, by actively researching and reviewing our tours and visits and maintaining communications with our clients;

1.3 the Directors are committed to provide both finance and resources to implement the safety policy;

1.4 we will actively encourage higher standards from our suppliers by ensuring they are fully aware of the safety standards we require;

1.5 our Safety Management System will set standards which meet the needs of our clients and which are measurable, achievable and realistic;

1.6 WST will measure and review the performance of our compliance with the standards set in the Safety Management System by regular monitoring and a full annual review by the Senior Management Team.

1.7 in addition to our own review we will engage the services of a suitable qualified external expert to carry out a formal annual review.

2. Safety Management System

This formal policy document sets out how WST Travel Ltd is to ensure that the company safety objectives are being managed and reviewed. Our Safety Management System is established and maintained to conform to the requirements of the School Travel Forum.

2.1 Direction, Management, Implementation and Review

Policy Making and Planning:

2.1.1 The Managing Director has the overall responsibility for developing and managing the Safety Management System.

2.1.2 Our Safety Management System will be established and maintained to conform to the requirements of the School Travel Forum.

2.1.3 The Directors will ensure that adequate resources will be provided by the Company to ensure policies are implemented.

2.1.4 Every effort will be made to ensure the Directors are kept up to date with the safety requirements and practices applicable to the provision of tours.

2.1.5 The Senior Management Team will ensure that all staff are trained and competent in the requirements of the Safety Management System.

Review Procedures

2.1.6 The Contracts Manager will monitor the standard of accommodation and facilities provided by agents.

2.1.7 WST will establish a monitoring and feedback system, including post-visit contact with party leaders and a review of feedback forms provided to party leaders and coach drivers.

2.1.8 To ensure WST are kept up to date, contact will be maintained with the STF and ABTA, training seminars and by reference to travel industry publications.

2.1.9 The Management Team will carry out an annual review of the Safety Management System, identify trends and ensure implementation of any remedial action required.

External Auditors

2.1.10 WST will identify and appoint an STF approved independent auditor, currently Argent, to annually audit the content and implementation of our Safety Management System within the framework of the HSG65 standards. The verification process will include sampling of WST paperwork and processes and spot-checks of constituent elements of the Safety Management System operating in the field.

3. Services Contracted by WST

3.1 Accommodation

3.1.1 WST will ensure that a signed accommodation contract or agent agreement is obtained for all accommodation used or featured. This will confirm that the accommodation conforms to local and national fire, safety and hygiene standards, and that it has current liability insurance cover for the duration of the contract. Wherever possible, copies of relevant documents will be obtained. Confirmation that the contract conditions are being met will be obtained every three years.

3.1.2 All accommodation (used or featured) will be subject to a Standard Audit prior to first use and thereafter within every three years. A Standard Audit will not be required if a Supplementary Audit has been carried out in the past three years. The Standard Audit may be completed by an STF member, hotelier or agent. The Standard Audit results will be assessed by a trained auditor and the results recorded as one of the categories defined in 3.1.4. Where causes of concern are highlighted, the auditor will instigate appropriate additional action before use. Random spot checks will be carried out annually and records maintained.

3.1.3 If it is clear that any accommodation will be used for five or more groups in any one year, it will be listed as “frequent use”. It will receive a Supplementary Audit within twelve months and thereafter within every three years while it remains in that category. The Supplementary Audit will be carried out by a trained auditor. Based on the result of an audit analysis, the result will be recorded as one of the categories defined in 3.1.4.

3.1.4 WST will record accommodation audits in the following categories:
High Conformity: minor or no areas of improvement have been identified.
WST will commend the management and encourage them to maintain their standards.

Acceptable Conformity: Room for improvement has been identified, but the defects do not render the building unsafe. The defects will be brought to the immediate attention of the management at the time of auditing and followed up in writing within 14 days. The auditor will evaluate the deficiencies and a schedule of remedial action will be agreed and monitored.

Unacceptable: WST will remove the accommodation from its programme and will not consider its reinstatement until the defects have been rectified and the establishment has been re-audited to a standard that is either High or Acceptable Conformity.

3.1.5 A schedule of all accommodation indicating the current audit status will be maintained by members.

3.2 Coaches – Booked Direct

3.2.1 All coach suppliers used by WST will be required to sign a coach contract confirming that they comply with all national, local, trade and other laws, regulations, rules and codes of practice. This contract will stipulate a set of safety standards regarding drivers’ hours, driver vetting, insurance cover and vehicle age. Confirmation that the contract conditions are being met will be obtained every three years.

3.2.2 All coach suppliers used will be subject to a Standard Coach Audit prior to first use and thereafter within every three years. The Standard Coach Audit will not be required if a Coach Supplementary Audit has been carried out in the past three years. The Standard Coach Audit may be completed by an STF member, supplier or agent. The Standard Coach Audit will be assessed against the STF’s Coach Core Values by a trained auditor.

3.2.3 In addition to the above requirements, if a coach supplier will be used for more than 5 times in any one year (regular use) then they will be subject to a Coach Supplementary Audit within twelve months, thereafter
at a maximum of three year intervals as long as use remains regular. The Audit may only be completed by a trained auditor and will be assessed against the STF’s Coach Core Values.

3.3 Coaches – Agent Supplied

3.3.1 All coach suppliers used by an agent will be required to sign a coach contract confirming that they comply with all national, local, trade and other laws, regulations, rules and codes of practice. This contract will stipulate a set of safety standards regarding drivers’ hours, driver vetting, insurance cover and vehicle age. Confirmation that the contract conditions are being met will be obtained every three years.

3.3.2 All coach suppliers used by an agent will be subject to a Standard Coach Audit prior to first use and thereafter within every three years. The Standard Coach Audit may be completed by an STF member, supplier or agent. The Standard Coach Audit will be assessed against the STF’s Coach Core Values by a trained auditor.

3.3.3 WST will record coach audits in the following categories:
High Conformity: minor or no areas of improvement have been identified.
WST will commend the management and encourage them to maintain their standards.

Acceptable Conformity: Room for improvement has been identified, but the defects do not render the company unsafe. The defects will be brought to the immediate attention of the management at the time of auditing and followed up in writing within 14 days. The auditor will evaluate the deficiencies and a schedule of remedial action will be agreed and monitored.

Unacceptable: WST will remove the coach company from its programme and will not consider its reinstatement until the defects have been rectified and the company has been re-audited to a standard that is either High or Acceptable Conformity.

3.4 Airlines

Airlines from Britain

are regulated by the Department of Transport and Civil Aviation Authority. Flights originating in other jurisdictions are governed by the laws and regulations of the country in question. There are no further measures that WST can take.


3.5 Rail Transport

Rail transportation is regulated nationally and internationally, and there are no further measures that WST can take.

3.6 Ferry & Eurotunnel

Ferry companies and Eurotunnel are regulated nationally and internationally and there are no further measures that WST can take.

3.7 Public Transport

Public transport is regulated nationally and internationally and there are no further measures that WST can take.

4. Services secured by Agents and Ground Handlers

Where agents or ground handlers provide services that would be the subject of a safety review if booked directly by WST, e.g. visits and excursions, the agent shall sign a contract agreeing to use the same standards as outlined appropriately elsewhere in this document.

5. Visits and Excursions

WST will take reasonable steps to ensure that, where visits and excursions are included in a final itinerary, risks have been evaluated and monitored. Sufficient information will be provided to group leaders so they are able to make informed decisions for their own group.

Where WST are unable to obtain the necessary safety information prior to a group visiting a venue, the party leader will be advised to carry out their own risk assessment on arrival.

6. Inspection Visits

WST will provide a means for clients to inspect destination in advance of travelling with their group. Details on the current arrangements are available on request from the company.

7. Safety Information Before Travel

WST will provide written practical safety information to clients prior to their tour. The pre-tour information contains essential information specific to the tour and general safety information.

8. Duty Officer and Emergency Procedures

WST operates a duty officer system so that a staff member can be contacted at all times when groups are travelling. WST maintain a fully documented emergency procedure available to all clients and which is operational at all times.

All group leaders on tour, drivers of British coaches and agents will be provided with details of how to contact the Duty Officer.

To ensure that any safety issues are brought to our attention WST have established a procedure for monitoring feedback from groups, including post-visit ‘phone calls and comment forms provided to party leaders and coach drivers. All of these elements are monitored for reported safety issues.

WST will supply and complete an accident report designed to include key information. All reported accidents will be investigated. A review of any incidents, accidents and “near misses” reported to the company will be carried out monthly.

As a result of the annual review the procedures in place will be updated as required.

9. Training

9.1.1 WST staff will be appropriately trained and monitored to ensure their competency, with formal in-house staff training and update training following any safety issue reported.

9.1.2 Training for WST staff, including training courses as appropriate, will be provided every 12 months and for new staff training will be provided on employment after a suitable qualifying period, in order to equip staff to carry out the tasks assigned to them in the safety policy. All WST staff will be familiarised with the company’s Safety Management System.

9.1.3 In House Accommodation Auditors. These auditors will analyse the results of a Standard Audit, identify and action if required suitable additional investigation and provide an informed opinion on the suitability for use by WST.

9.1.5 They will visit premises to complete satisfactorily a Supplementary Audit, make recommendations regarding improvements to the safety management of the supply where necessary and provide an informed opinion on the suitability for use by the member company.

9.1.6 They will discuss the audit with the supplier and explain its reason and purpose and any additional recommendations.

9.1.7 WST auditors will comply with the STF audit training requirements prior to completing any audits and undertake a refresher course at least every two years.

9.1.8 Holders of the CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) in International Passenger Transport Level 3 for Transport Managers are exempt from the above requirements.

9.1.9 Records of all training will be held for a minimum of 5 years.

Issue 8. 07/02/2014