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Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

18 Sep 2020, 09:24

https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/st ... nt-4508025

Royal Mail has come under fire over the sacking a long-serving postman who was called in to work at short notice on his week off at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Daniel Austin had already drunk a large amount of strong cider when he received the call from bosses asking him to work because they were 'really busy'.

Mr Austin walked to the delivery office and when he got there colleagues raised concerns about his condition with two managers.

But the 40-year-old was instructed to drive one of the delivery vans - and was caught drink-driving soon after.

North Staffordshire Justice Centre has heard how Mr Austin believes a manager reported him to police.

Now his family has accused Royal Mail of being 'negligent' and called for the introduction of random drug and alcohol tests.

Following the drink-drive case, mum Angela Marsden said: "I am disappointed, and extremely concerned, that Royal Mail allowed my son to drive a vehicle.

"Managers had been made aware by work colleagues that Daniel appeared to be under the influence of drink and had been drinking the night before. Daniel was not on duty that day and was called in as they were short-staffed.

"In my opinion, Royal Mail should have had a duty of care to my son and sent him home. I feel that Royal Mail is in some way negligent and should be held to account for this

"Royal Mail never does random drug or alcohol tests and I feel this would be a way forward to prevent the same happening again.

"Daniel worked for Royal Mail for 22-years and had an unblemished record. He now has no job or driving licence and a criminal record.

"I am no way trying to absolve my son of his responsibility. But Daniel was under the influence of drink and was still given the keys to a Royal Mail vehicle."

The court heard Mr Austin had left it a couple of hours before going to work. Police discovered him on Saturn Road, Smallthorne, on April 9.

Prosecutor Jacqueline Coley-Fisher said: "At the time of the incident Austin was working for Royal Mail and was driving a Peugeot Partner delivery van.

"He was seen to be unsteady on his feet and the police were contacted. Police officers arrived and spoke to Austin. A roadside breath test was carried out. He was arrested and conveyed to the police station."

Mr Austin, of Botham Grove, Tunstall, gave an alcohol reading of 108 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35. He pleaded guilty to drink-driving. He has no previous convictions or cautions and had a clean driving record.

James Hulse, mitigating, said the defendant had found out his father had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and had gone to drink himself 'to oblivion' when he received the call from his employer.

He said: "He was off work the week the offence was committed. He finds out his father has a terminal brain tumour. He's off work so he thinks I'm going to drink myself to oblivion as I don't want to think about this. He consumed a large amount of strong cider.

"Then work ring and say they are really busy, in the middle of the pandemic, and ask 'can you come in?'. He thinks he'll leave it a couple of hours and it should be alright.

"He walks to work, sees two colleagues, and they say to him that they don't think he's in a fit state to be in work. They can see he is under the influence of alcohol.

"They go to speak to two managers who make the decision not to do anything and tell him to go out in the delivery van and do what he is accustomed to.

"Mr Austin believes it is one of those managers who, after he left, rang the police. The police were located at his first drop-off and he had delivered one parcel.

"He's then arrested, he was fully compliant with the police. There have been disciplinary proceedings with Royal Mail.

"Instead of saying he could be signposted to mental health or social services they dismiss him after 22 years. Despite his alcohol use being a result of the devastating news about his father's brain tumour.

"It is frustrating that a large organisation just turned a blind eye to that. He attended unfit for work on a day he was not supposed to be in work.

"He holds a real grudge against Royal Mail for how he feels he was treated by them.

"He is someone of good character and the driving disqualification will impact him in the short term and long term even when the disqualification has expired."

Magistrates handed Mr Austin a 12-month community order. He must also complete 80 hours unpaid work and was banned from driving for 26 months. He must pay £400 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.

Royal Mail is standing by its decision to sack Mr Austin.

Following the case, a Royal Mail spokesman said: “Although we cannot comment on the details of individual cases, we can confirm that the correct procedures were followed in this matter.”

Royal Mail Accused of being "negligent".

18 Sep 2020, 10:46

What a s**t show, w*****s the lot of them.
Him for coming in, managers for being scumbags for letting it go, and colleagues who should of known better.

Bunch of scumbags the lot of them!

PS: I edited the title

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

18 Sep 2020, 16:24

Colleague's asked him if he had been drinking, he told them he hadn't and he was ok, they then informed managers about his condition, managers approached him and asked if he had been drinking, he said he was ok. Colleagues tried their best and have supported Dan over the past few months, if someone says he's ok and doesn't want to go home then people cant force him, managers CAN.
There is more to this story than what has been written and that is a private matter for Dan, so please don't call staff scumbags when you don't know all the facts

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

18 Sep 2020, 21:54

Negligence from mangers is rife within RM no surprise really when there are no consequences for it...

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

18 Sep 2020, 21:57

First of all, he is off work for a week, they had no right to ask him to come in to work.

The management according to regulations should have sent him home once he is found unfit to work as per duty of care, to him and the public, Royal Mail is negligent in this.

He should have refused to come in, it may well be he wasn't in the right state of mind to make an informed decision.
Which brings us back to point two.

You are just a number, all favours are forgotten the next day.

Any manager that asks me to come in on my holidays or breaks is going to be told FO in the firmest terms.

Royal Mail should have been prosecuted for breach of Health and Safety at work.

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

18 Sep 2020, 22:15

Royal Mail should have been prosecuted for breach of Health and Safety at work.


I hope they will, the managers who send him out to deliver parcels should be made responsable.

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

18 Sep 2020, 23:13

Homer wrote:Colleague's asked him if he had been drinking, he told them he hadn't and he was ok, they then informed managers about his condition, managers approached him and asked if he had been drinking, he said he was ok. Colleagues tried their best and have supported Dan over the past few months, if someone says he's ok and doesn't want to go home then people cant force him, managers CAN.
There is more to this story than what has been written and that is a private matter for Dan, so please don't call staff scumbags when you don't know all the facts

It's not really a private matter cause it's now all over the news that he went out with a van over 3 times the drink drive limit.
You're from Burslem and as you may be aware some of us on here have a lot of respect for you guys there, me included. Remember when you guys 1st came on here?
Is this the Burslem office then where he was at? Don't tell me you guys there let a bloke go out who was obviously pissed with a Van?
Managers scumbags? that's just a given.

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

19 Sep 2020, 05:33

It certainly looks as if he was not just over the limit but blatantly pissed.

Without being too judgemental I would like to think in a similar situation at least one of my mates would have taken me aside and apart from the obvious about killing myself and others warned me that management knew about it and were very likely to get straight on the phone to the cops to grass me up.

It's a bit of a given in that situation so it's a strange one. Being supportive since it happened doesn't really help me understand how it was allowed to go down in the first place unless all this was explained to him at the time but he still chose to ignore it which if true is fair enough but doesn't really do his case much good.

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

19 Sep 2020, 05:54

From the other side of the fence in not sure where Royal Mail are coming from at all.

If we take the facts at face value they say that the correct procedures were followed so...

1. It was reported to them that a member of staff was under the influence.

2. He was so obviously under the influence that the cops said later he appeared to be unsteady on his feet.

3. He said he was okay so they let him drive a van?

Obviously they'll deny calling the cops but it's 99% nailed on they did but even without that is it "correct procedures" to take the word of someone who's blatantly been drinking at some point that they're 'okay" even though members of staff have also voiced their concerns'?

If it is maybe they need to look at their procedures.

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

19 Sep 2020, 06:01

From his point of view it's really s**t that he's lost his job and I feel for the guy especially with the situation with his dad I know how that feels but none of the previous two posts should be seen as mitigation for the fact that ultimately it was his decision to do what he did and his responsibility for the consequences. Harsh but unfortunately true, at least you didn't destroy someone else's life and have to live with the consequences of that.

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

19 Sep 2020, 07:28

Personally I think he was set up to fail.

He wasn't supposed to be in work in the first place as it's his week off, I thought there is a rule that you're not supposed to come into work for overtime if you're off.

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

19 Sep 2020, 07:39

It isn't clear whether he was on annual leave or not, it just says "off work that week" but the rule is you can't be paid for annual leave, there's nothing stopping you cancelling it and taking it at a later date obviously with the agreement of both parties.

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

19 Sep 2020, 16:23

Postman wrote
It's not really a private matter cause it's now all over the news that he went out with a van over 3 times the drink drive limit.
You're from Burslem and as you may be aware some of us on here have a lot of respect for you guys there, me included. Remember when you guys 1st came on here?
Is this the Burslem office then where he was at? Don't tell me you guys there let a bloke go out who was obviously pissed with a Van?
Managers scumbags? that's just a given.[/quote]

The part about him being pissed is correct but as I said there is more to this story than has been written, not everything is written in newspapers and it is a private matter for Dan and has got nothing to do with people who use this site, Dan came into work on that day later, a lot of people didn't even know he was in work, including me, if I had seen him I would have tried to get him to go home, but the people who did see him were concerned about him, enough to speak to managers about him, as I said we cant stop him, managers can, if someone wont listen to reason there's only so much anyone can do, Managers are scumbags but we didn't let him go out in a van managers did. And when I said we had supported Dan over the past few months, I was referring to the few months before he was done for drink driving, nobody knows more than us about scumbag managers, we have had loads.

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

19 Sep 2020, 22:51

The bottom line is don't come if if your unfit for work by alcohol or more presently these days drugs just do a sicky and don't kill anyone!

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

24 Sep 2020, 11:03

What if he would have been involved in an accident killing some person. At the end of day he's an adult and knew he had too much to drink. Blame who u want but it was his choice to drive. Yes managers should have sent him home but hey we now how they work. Sorry to b so harsh but would u drive in this state.

Royal Mail Stoke Accused of being "negligent" with drink driver postie Daniel Austin while colleagues and managers turn a blind eye

26 Sep 2020, 20:39

:Applause :Applause :Applause :Applause :Applause :Applause :Applause
Jpro747 wrote:Negligence from mangers is rife within RM no surprise really when there are no consequences for it...

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