https://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/18700090 ... estigates/The Royal Mail delivery office in Abbey Road, BarrowAN investigation into health and safety concerns surrounding the death of a Barrow postie and changes being made by the Royal Mail will ensure he leaves a ‘lasting legacy’.
Royal Mail bosses have launched a probe to look at health and safety conditions of workers, following the death of 59-year-old Philip Bentham, who died on the way home from work last month amid sweltering weather conditions.
After pressure from union chiefs to review working conditions, his death and that of a Sussex postman have raised particular concerns.
The Royal Mail is awaiting results of internal investigations, and it is understood that a medical report put Mr Bentham’s death down to natural causes and so it will not be the subject of an inquest.
However the Communications Workers Union, who previously pushed for a Royal Mail investigation, now wants a joint investigation to look at health and safety issues, and the severe weather risk assessments, to protect workers in the future.
Ormsgill councillor Bill McEwan said the probe and changes to policies will ensure the man’s legacy lives on.
He said: “It’s absolutely right that an investigation is carried out if that’s to protect the other workers.
“My goes out to the family and this will give them peace of mind.
“It means his death leaves a good legacy for other workers. “ CWU chiefs said in a letter: “As branches would expect, representations have been made to Royal Mail at the most senior level following these deaths.
“Specifically, concerns have been raised in relation to the important health and safety issues that need to be addressed in respect of working outdoors in excessively hot weather conditions.
“In particular, the issue of sun safety and dehydration risks to the outdoor workforce has been escalated several times over the last few months. “We have of course also taken up this matter previously when similar hot conditions have been experienced.”
While it is unknown as to exactly what the causes of death were, the union has requested a full joint Royal Mail/CWU investigation to examine whether or not there were any deficiencies in the Royal Mail ‘Severe Weather Risk Assessment’ process.
They also want to investigate whether more can be done to protect the outdoor delivery workforce, including taking into account any underlying medical conditions that individual employees may have which warrant consideration.
A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: We are waiting for the results of our own internal investigations and any medical findings before commenting further in order to avoid unhelpful speculation. The health and safety of our people is our number one priority at Royal Mail.
"We provide clear guidance aimed at protecting our people’s safety, health and wellbeing as they carry out their work. We also ensure access to drinking water."