11 Jun 2007, 11:37
Those of you who were present at last week's CWU Annual Conference will recall that a meeting of Royal Mail Area Safety Representatives (ASRs) was called on Friday to inform you that at the request of the Outdoor Dept the Health, Safety and Environment Department will be producing a "concise" health and safety guide for WSRs and Unit Reps in Delivery Units.
As we know from the HSE Inspection Programme Reports of the 2004/2005 and 2005/2006, severe criticism was made of Royal Mail's ability to manage health and safety effectively in Delivery Offices. The concern is that whilst we will from a health and safety perspective be staying clear of the current Industrial Relations breakdown
and possible national dispute, the concern is that current poor standards of health and safety management will decline even further as local managers put pressure on the workforce to cut corners and take risks.
Therefore the aim of the guide we will produce will be to provide basic, concise, "bullet point" key issue guidance to local reps in order that they can be assisted with simple advice to concentrate attention on "Safe Working" along with the provision of contact details/phone numbers of the ASR and the appropriate Health and Safety law Enforcing
Authorities (HSE and Local Authority EHO) where further detailed information and assistance can be obtained.
The guide is not intended to be a detailed, bulky re-write of 'the principles of health and safety' and it will certainly not be an IR "work to rule" guide or anything like that as we must maintain our credibility as Health and Safety Representatives of the Union at all times, protecting the Safety, Health and Welfare of the members we represent and in order that we can continue to conduct that role uninterrupted.
Although the guide is being produced in the short term to address 'possible' increased safety risk levels in Delivery Offices, it will be seen as the first step in the Union's long term strategy and part of the Union's contribution to the HSE's aim to improve Safe Working Practices in Delivery Units in line with the HSE's "LOPP" scheme (Large Organisations Partnership Pilot) and the Union's "Doing The Job Properly" campaign, an initiative to be led by the Outdoor Department and discussed at conference, in order to encourage the workforce (Managers and our Members) to comply with health and safety regulations and Royal Mail's Safe Systems of Work and Safety Standards every working day of the year in order to reduce accidents numbers and ill health such as back injuries and upper limb injuries mainly caused by Manual Handling, Slips and Trips etc.
As explained at Conference the aim will be to produce the Guide very shortly but the Health, Safety & Environment Department is keen to consult you and your input and to ensure any points you think should be included are taken into account.
We will therefore need any comments this week.
Would you please ensure that this is brought to the attention of all ASRs.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer