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13 Jun 2007, 11:56

Dear Colleague,

HSE (Northern Ireland) & NI District Councils - Inspection Programme of Royal Mail Delivery Work Report:

LTB No 785/06 dated 20 November 2006, reported to Branches, Representatives and members in Northern Ireland that following concerted efforts by the Health, Safety & Environment Department, the Health and Safety Executive (Northern Ireland) and the Northern Ireland Local Authority Health & Safety Liaison Group had agreed to undertake a joint Inspection programme of Royal Mail Workplaces and Peripatetic Delivery work.

Following meetings and exchanges of correspondence with the Northern Ireland Health and Safety Law Enforcement Authorities the following 6 offices were identified as those at which the CWU felt that the enforcing authorities needed to undertake inspections, those being the worst health and safety performers: Belfast DOs, Craigavon DO, Londonderry DO, Newtownabbey DO, Antrim DO and Malusk Mail Centre. HSE(NI) and the Local Authorities agreed that the first 5 would be targeted for Inspections.

Principle HSE Inspector John Wright on behalf of HSE(NI) played the lead role and co-ordinated joint inspections with the various Local Councils Environmental Health Officers and Mr Wright has now published his findings (copy attached). This will be subject to a meeting with the Area General Manager.

The Inspection programme was long overdue and we very much appreciate the commitments given by HSE(NI) and the Northern Ireland Local Authority Health & Safety Liaison Group. We are keen to ensure that their interventions have maximum impact and effectiveness of the project and moreover that our Northern Ireland Royal Mail workforce benefits equally from an Inspection programme as the rest of the UK. The CWU very much supports the project due to our Union's very justified concerns regarding Royal Mail Operational Managers continuing failure to manage proper health and safety standards and enforce adequate risk control measures and safe systems of work.

Summary of the findings and conclusions of the HSE(NI)/District Councils Inspection Report

1. 50% of staff leaving Belfast DO were over-loaded, carrying too much weight with the full cognisance of management.

2. Job and Finish led to Postmen and Women taking risky "short Cuts".

3. Risk Assessments not kept up to date.

4. Lack of management monitoring of Health and Safety.

5. Dangerous Dogs forms a significant proportion of RIDDOR reports.

6. Health and Safety Forum dates missed.

7. Health and Safety objectives were less evident than meeting mail delivery objectives.

8. Unit managers were not held to account for the Unit's health and safety performance and ensuring risk assessments

and walk logs are reviewed and updated.

9. Royal Mail procedures on Manual Handling are being openly flouted at Tomb St DO's.

10.Risk Assessments and Walk Logs are not being kept current.

11. HSE(NI) will continue its regulatory activity in Royal Mail taking full account of developments in GB.

The Report and recommendations have been circulated to Royal Mail management and Safety Representatives in Northern Ireland for comment and action proposals as appropriate. A follow up meeting with Royal Mail is being arranged to discuss remedial action.

Our ongoing discussions and liaison will continue with HSE(NI) and Local Government Representatives in NI regarding the Health and Safety Regulation of Royal Mail NI and we will be seeking an ongoing dialogue and regular contact between our Safety Reps and the authorities in Northern Ireland. The important thing is that HSE(NI) and the Local Authorities have agreed to continue regulatory activity in Royal Mail Northern Irelan

13 Jun 2007, 17:55

What H&S policy the only thing that matters in my office is delivering the mail, not enough drop boxes packet/bag man does not want to take out extra bags (with management knowledge).

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