Policies & Standards
Axminster Tool Centre Ltd is a professional and environmentally conscious organisation, which acknowledges the impact that our operations may potentially have on the environment. Our clear objective is to minimise any impact on the environment by:
- preventing pollution, reducing waste and ensuring that, wherever practical, measures are implemented to protect and preserve natural habitats, flora and fauna
- considering the effects that our operations may have on the local community
- taking action to eliminate or reduce, as far as practicable, any potentially adverse environmental impacts
- promoting environmental awareness amongst our suppliers, contractors and partners by implementation of operational procedures
- seeking to work in partnership with the community by behaving in a considerate and socially responsible manner
- ensuring effective and expedient incident control, investigation and reporting.
Management and supervisory staff have responsibilities for the implementation of the policy and must ensure that environmental issues are given adequate consideration in the planning and day-to-day supervision of all work.
We will fully comply with the statutory duties placed upon us, whilst at all times complying with, as a matter of best practice, the requirements and duties set out within Approved Guidance as issued by the Environment Agency and other organisations. As part of our commitment to maintaining the highest levels of environmental management, we will maintain our ISO14001 accreditation.
All employees and sub-contractors are expected to co-operate and assist in the implementation of this policy, whilst ensuring that their own works, so far as reasonably practicable, are carried out without risk to themselves, others or the environment. This includes co-operating with management on any environment-related matter.
We will take all practical steps to ensure that potential hazards and risks to the environment are identified and that suitable and effective preventive and control measures are implemented. All employees will be provided with the necessary resources, equipment, information, instruction and training to fulfil the requirements of this policy.
The directors have overall responsibility for all environmental matters. The operation of this policy and the associated procedures will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis. This policy has been endorsed by the board of directors who give their full support to its implementation.
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Act Statement
Axminster Tool Centre Limited, as a UK based retailer of tools, machinery & sundries, recognises the part it plays in the global economy. Our head office and distribution centre is in Devon, with retail stores across the UK. Our customers are in over 100 countries around the world and our supply chain extends to Europe, North America, India, Australasia and the Far East.
As part of its wider Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, Axminster Tool Centre Ltd believes that everyone has the right to work in an environment free from harassment, abuse or unprofessional conduct. This belief extends to our suppliers, wherever they may be located.
As such we undertake to audit a percentage of our suppliers every year, either ourselves or with the assistance of our Agents on the ground in the Far East. All new suppliers are required to agree to respect our values and to work closely with us to prevent slavery in all its guises within our supply chain. We have provided all our suppliers with a statement of conformity to our ethical policy.
An important element of the company's regular visits to the Far East (Previously once every 2 years moving to yearly as of 2024) ) is inspections of factories in person by one or both of our Procurement Manager and our Product Manager.
Our Procurement team have been trained by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply in awareness of these issues and to recognise risk areas.Alan Styles, Managing Director – April 2021
Diversity and Social Mobility
Axminster Tool Centre Ltd is committed to valuing and promoting diversity and social mobility throughout the company and recognises its talented and diverse workforce as a key competitive advantage. Our growing business success is a reflection of the quality and skill of our people. We define ourselves as a family company and therefore through diversity and our Social Mobility Programme we can support our staff and our local communities. To us as a business, a diverse workforce is the bedrock of commercial survival. We have the ability to recruit the best talent from a range of backgrounds right on our doorstep.
Social mobility is the movement of individuals, families, households or other categories of people within or between social strata in society. Social mobility drives growth and creates a highly skilled workforce; putting people in the right jobs for their talent.
By being diverse through our people and operations, we can deliver a strategy which will enable us to succeed and excel in our services and offering. The company is working towards an environment that is based on inclusiveness, where all employees can develop their full potential, irrespective of their race, gender, marital status, age, disability, religious belief, political opinion, or sexual orientation. The company recognises that each employee brings their own unique capabilities, experiences and characteristics to their work.
Axminster Tool Centre Ltd believes in treating all people with respect and dignity. We aim to identify various behaviours and barriers that discrimination can take and understand the negative effect these can have on the company and its employees and customers. We strive to create and foster a supportive and understanding environment in which all individuals realise their maximum potential with the company, regardless of their differences.
Waste Disposal and Recycling Code of Practice
We are committed to being an environmentally friendly company and have been operating our main office and distribution centre on a 'zero to landfill' basis since 2014. It is company policy to ensure that the business has the least harmful impact on the environment. We follow the systems prescribed in our ISO 14001:2015 accreditation. Employees are responsible for the disposal of all work-related waste and measures are in place to ensure that all materials are disposed of in a manner causing the minimum amount of harm on the environment.
The following materials are disposed of and in most cases recycled:
Cardboard waste is recycled through a third party recycler and we are able to sell the cardboard as a commodity. The value of this waste stream is determined by its quality and penalties are imposed if the material is contaminated or mixed with other waste products. Staff can also recycle their cardboard from home.
Polystyrene can be recycled and sold in compacted blocks. We have a RUNI EPS compactor to handle and assemble waste polystyrene. Our recycling partner will buy the compacted material providing the material is assembled to its criteria.
Plastics such as polythene, plastic strapping or waste shrink-wrap are collected and recycled. The recycler prefers black shrink-wrap to be kept separate. Clear plastics should also be kept separate if possible. If the waste stream is contaminated with other non plastic waste materials, the recycler may impose penalties or return the material to our site for sorting.
Metal waste from our engineer's workshop can be disposed of in the metal waste skips. Stainless steel swarf and aluminium swarf need to be collected separately. There are collection areas for aluminium and copper (including flex cord) waste. There is also a pallet for spent motors.
Wood waste consisting of broken pallets/crates including a mixed proportion of both MDF and chipboard can be disposed of in the wood skip and then collected by the recycler.
Electrical items such as old power tools and machinery are covered by the WEEE directive and can be disposed of through an approved re-processor. Our recycling partner provides a mini skip for the disposal of these items. Cordless tools must have their batteries removed and disposed of separately.
Batteries - the company uses two recyclers depending on the type of battery: one for the disposal of rechargeable batteries such as those used in power tools. The other is for household batteries which are normally small mixed types as used in torches, radios and portable devices.
Other electrical items such as monitors and computer hardware are disposed of through an approved re-processor.
Non-hazardous dry materials that do not fit the categories listed above and are not able to be recycled are sent to a processor to ensure that none of the waste goes to landfill.
Chemicals and oils are classified as hazardous waste. There are separate collection arrangements in place for these via the engineering department. Staff are instructed never to pour oils or chemicals down drains, sinks or toilets as this could pollute the local natural watercourse, leading to a prosecution and disciplinary action.
Fluorescent and general light bulbs are also classified as hazardous waste. Separate arrangements are in place for a licensed collector to collect and dispose of these items.
We partner the following recyclers to implement our recycling policy and reduce our environmental impact:
- Peninsular Waste Services
- Devon Contract Waste
- Olds Demolition & Salvage Ltd
- 2 Recycling
- Augean PLC
- JR Transport
- Abba Cleansing Services
- Chemical Recoveries
- Biffa Recycling
- PHS Group PLC
- Bridgwater Pallets
We are a fully compliant registered member of the Valpak Ltd compliance scheme for the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 and WEEE regulation.
We offer a free recycling service for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) through our stores.
Unwanted electrical equipment is the UK’s fastest-growing type of waste. When not disposed of responsibly electrical equipment ends up in landfill where hazardous substances can leak out and cause soil and water contamination. This can be harmful to both humans and animals. This is unnecessary when so many electrical items can be repaired or recycled.
Identifying What Can Be Recycled
If your electrical or electronic product displays the symbol below, it means it should be considered for repair or reuse.
Recycling Old Items in Store
You can bring your old electrical items to be recycled at any Axminster Tools Store.
- You do not need to have purchased the item from us (either online or in store).
- If your item is very small, and less than 25cm on its longest side, then you can take it to one of our stores at any time during opening hours.
- If your item is larger than 25cm on its longest side, we will currently accept a like-for-like equivalent when you are purchasing a new item.
- Please make sure the item you're returning is clean, free of wood dusts, and dry.
Take Back Scheme
If you purchased our product online you can apply to us to dispose of your unwanted and "end of life" electrical and electronic tools and machinery, providing they are within the scope of the legislation.
You will need to notify our Customer Support Team of your request, on 03332 406 406, prior to despatch and they will issue you with a Returns Number. Send the tool back to us, at your own cost, together with a signed letter requesting that we dispose of the product on your behalf and that you give the product to us at no cost. We will then arrange for its safe disposal at an Approved Authorised Treatment Facility (AATF); we will not advise you of the number of the waste transfer note disposing of your tool. Axminster will not be liable for the cost of shipping to our address.
Under the Waste Battery Regulations, we offer a take back scheme for all portable waste batteries. All of our stores provide facilities for taking back alkaline household batteries and all types of rechargeable power tool batteries. Boxes and bins for the return of these types of batteries can be found at our stores.
Please follow these simple steps and help us dispose of your unwanted batteries safely.
- Only return batteries in person, do not mail them to us at any address.
- Only return batteries that are for household items ie, AA or AAA alkaline batteries.
- Power tool batteries from portable power tools.
- Do not take motor bike, car or any other vehicle battery to our stores as these are not classed as portable and will not be accepted.
If you are a customer who has purchased from us by telephone or online then you also have a right to return your used batteries by visiting one of our stores.
Health and Safety
Our policy is to provide safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for our employees and provide adequate information, training and supervision to ensure this. We also undertake, where reasonably practicable, to operate with due regard to the health and safety of persons who are not our employees.
This policy will be reviewed yearly and employees advised of any changes.
As part of our OH SAS18001:2007 acredditation, we take the Health and Safety of all employees and visitors very seriously. As such we would like every member of staff to share the responsibilities in keeping up and improving the standards of Health and Safety that we have within the company.
The Board is responsible for leadership on health and safety matters and in particular for:
- Appointing a "Health and Safety Director" to oversee health and safety on behalf of the Board
- Providing sufficient resources to implement the health and safety policy
- Reviewing the health and safety policy at least annually, with the assistance of a H&S advisor
- Reviewing health and safety performance from reports arising from inspections, audits, accident investigations, ill-health etc
- Agreeing a health and safety action plan and monitoring its implementation
- When introducing changes to the business, e.g. new processes, machinery, premises or structure, taking into account the health and safety implications, providing suitable resources, and monitoring to ensure risk is adequately controlled
- Ensuring that employees are consulted on health and safety matters and that safety needs are taken into account in the selection and appointment of staff
- Ensuring that the company has access to competent health and safety advice on health, safety and fire safety matters
- Keeping themselves up-to-date on health and safety requirements and developments, by arranging for regular briefings as necessary
The Managing Director has overall responsibility for implementing the Health and Safety Policy and in particular for:
- Ensuring that the Board implements their responsibilities as detailed above
- Appointing a suitably qualified Health and Safety Officer and keeping them informed of incidents, proposed changes to the business, contact from enforcing authorities etc
- Investigating, or ensuring that others investigate, accidents and work-related ill-health and ensuring that statutory reports are made for serious incidents in accordance with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations
- Continuously reviewing health and safety practices
- Ensuring that appropriate training is provided
- Ensuring that staff are consulted on health and safety matters through team meetings etc
- Ensuring that staff performance objectives include health and safety
- Making sure that safety information and data sheets are being received as part of the purchasing process, and that the contents are taken into account within risk assessments
- Ensuring that when articles are purchased from outside the EU, that EU product safety legislation and material labelling requirements are met
- Ensuring that Employers' Liability insurance is maintained and that the details are publicised to employees
- Purchasing other insurance as required, including insurance for company vehicles
- Ensuring that statutory requirements are met in relation to working hours, employment of children, young persons, pregnant employees, and new mothers at work
Directors and Senior Managers lead by example in matters of health and safety and are responsible for:
- Ensuring that managers and supervisors reporting to them understand their health and safety responsibilities
- Monitoring the health and safety performance of direct reports
- Ensuring adequate manpower and compliance with working time legislation
- Ensuring that risk assessments cover all employee activities, that any actions arising from them are implemented and that the findings are shared with employees
- Consulting employees on health and safety matters via the health and safety committee
- Providing appropriate training for employees, including induction training and training in job skills, general health and safety matters and other specific safety issues, as required
- Ensuring that work equipment is suitable for purpose
- Providing suitable personal protective equipment and ensuring it's properly maintained
- Reporting to the Managing Director any health and safety concerns which they are not able to resolve
Managers and supervisors are responsible for implementing health and safety standards as part of the day-to-day activities of the business including:
- Instructing staff in health and safety requirements and supervising to ensure that rules are followed
- Contributing to risk assessments as required by Senior Managers/Directors
- Keeping themselves up-to-date with health and safety requirements and asking for assistance from Senior Managers or the company Health and Safety Advisor as appropriate
- Carrying out periodic inspections of the workplace, work vehicles and work activities and ensuring that high standards of health and safety are achieved
- Ensuring that employees are suitably competent and have any necessary licences and qualifications for carrying out the work instructed
- Making staff aware of arrangements for the provision of eyesight tests for those using computers
- Taking disciplinary action against staff who fail to follow company rules, as appropriate
- Reporting to an appropriate senior manager or director any health and safety concerns which they are not able to resolve
The Health and Safety Officer is responsible for:
- Maintaining their knowledge of health and safety matters
- Carrying out monitoring as agreed with the Managing Director
- Providing advice as requested and in response to observations
- Maintaining the health and safety manual
The Site Manager is responsible for ensuring general maintenance of the premises and in particular for:
- Arranging for a periodic test and inspection of the electrical installation and portable appliances
- Implementing the findings of the fire safety risk assessment including the provision, maintenance and testing of fire extinguishers, the fire alarm system and emergency lighting, the provision of signage, drills etc. and the appointment and training of fire marshals
- Monitoring that high standards of housekeeping are maintained, with emergency escape routes kept clear and all parts of the workplace maintained in a clean condition
- Ensuring that appropriate first aid arrangements are implemented including a sufficient number of first aiders and carrying out regular checks of the contents of first aid kits
- Ensuring compliance with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007; construction and maintenance contractors should demonstrate that they are competent to work safely and that they receive, and are requested to provide, adequate information to enable safe working
- Maintaining a log of all premises checks, testing, maintenance and repairs
All employees must take care of themselves and others affected by their work and in particular are expected to:
- Behave in a professional manner, follow health and safety rules and not act in a way which would deliberately endanger others
- Familiarise themselves with the health and safety policy, risk assessments and any other instructions relating to their work and comply with the requirements set out
- Report unsafe working practices, shortcomings in safety procedures, accidents and near-misses to their manager
- Stop work and liaise with their manager in the event that a procedure appears unsafe
- Know the emergency procedures for the location at which they are working
- Use vehicles, equipment, materials or substances in accordance with information, instruction and training provided
- Make proper use of safety devices and guards and only carry out such maintenance, repair or adjustment to work equipment as they are authorised to do so
- Ensure that equipment and materials are stored safely when not in use
- Keep their work area clean and tidy, avoid the creation of tripping hazards and clean up any spillages immediately
- Wear personal protective equipment as instructed, store it so as to avoid damage, keep it cleaned and maintained and report loss or damage
- Dispose of waste materials in the manner instructed so that they do not create a hazard to other workers
- Not work under the influence of alcohol or drugs
No employee of the company may carry out or authorise practices which place staff or others in danger or which are in direct breach of legal requirements.
Alan Styles (Managing Director)
Jane Boulton (Health & Safety Director)
Mitch Hopkins (Site Manager / Health & Safety Officer)
Buy with confidence from Axminster...
The Buy With Confidence Scheme provides you with a list of local businesses - including us - that have given their commitment to trading fairly. Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks before being approved as a member of the scheme.
The performance of members is continuously monitored via the Citizen's Advice Consumer Service and through customer feedback. The scheme is directly administered by local authority Trading Standards Services.