CWU Occupational Health Priorities For RMG – Progressing Conference Policies:
This is an update for Branches, Area Safety Reps and Regional Health and Safety Forums on progressing a number of Conference Policies on a range of Occupational Health issues covering physical and mental health, welfare and wellbeing.
On 19th March at a national joint event attended by the Royal Mail Group Safety Health and Environment Central HQ and Regional Teams plus the CWU HQ Health Safety and Environment Team and ALL CWU Area Health and Safety Reps (Called the ‘Fix Focus Grow’ National Event) in London, National Health, Safety and Environment Officer Dave Joyce set out CWU Policies, objectives and vision of where RMG needs to go on Occupational Health and what the CWU’s policies and key issues were for the business to tackle, the majority of these issues had been debated and carried in CWU Conference Motions or were subsequently carried in 2015 Conference Motions. The Royal Mail Group Head of Health Judith Grant presented the businesses Occupational Health agenda which built the majority of the issues into their forward plan. Further CWU/HQ – RMG/HQ meetings took place in April and May, prior to and after CWU Conference and correspondence was exchanged, confirming CWU objectives and RMG agreement to address the issues raised.
The discussions since the appointment of the new head of health in Royal Mail Judith Grant have produced clear indications of good progress. Below is a summary of our key occupational health priorities that we have confirmed we wish to progress based on Conference Motions and feedback from Area Health and Safety Reps and CWU members. As such this is Union policy. The below list doesn’t cover everything but the key issues are here:-
1. Sun Safety:
– A joint RMG/CWU “Sun Smart-Skin Safe” Campaign. A new RMG Policy, accredited by a recognised Safety Professional organisation or Skin Cancer Charity.
– A Review of PPE/Clothing provision to ensure it has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+ which blocks more than 97.5% of the sun’s harmful rays by absorbing, blocking or reflecting UV radiation that causes sunburn and long term skin damage.
– The free provision to all outdoor staff of Sunscreen Cream/Lotion with a minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30.
2. Stress Policy
A joint review of the RMG Stress Policy with the introduction of ‘cyclical’ periodic Stress Risk Assessments to be introduced, using the HSE model or similar.
3. Mental Health
– The joint development and introduction of a comprehensive RMG Mental Health Management and support Policy.
– Support and Participate in the EU Agency on Safety & Health at Work’s “Healthy Workplaces – Managing Stress and Psychosocial Risks At Work” Campaign and EU H&S Week in October.
– World Mental Health Day – Support and Participation.
– Mental Health First Aid Training to be provide to all managers, CWU ASRs and RMG First Aiders.
– RMG/CWU Joint Signing the ‘MIND’ and ‘Mental Health Rethink’ Mental Health Charities led “Time To Change” Pledge and to develop a joint ‘Action Plan’
– Working with ‘MIND’, ‘Mental Health Rethink’, ‘SAMARITANS’ and ‘SANE’ etc.
4. Women and the Menopause at Work
Develop and Introduce a Policy or RMG Standard Management Guidance.
5. Ageing Workforce
Work with HSE and develop a Policy based on HSE Guidance and Liaison.
6. Rehabilitation Policy
Review the Strategy and Rehab Centres provisions. Include physical and mental health rehabilitation.
7. Feeling First Class
Review the RMG Work-Fit Initiatives Plan, Programme, plus run relevant health and awareness campaigns, e.g. Diabetes, Stroke, Heart Health, Blood Pressure, Work Cancers etc.
Provide across the board ‘Free’ Benendin Hospital, Eyecare and Denplan for All employees (currently only available to Parcelforce employees).
Discuss and develop an understanding of new initiatives and case management approaches ensuring that the approach better benefits individuals and encourages open participation.
11. Health Surveillance/Monitoring Policy
Develop an improved Health Surveillance/Monitoring Policy in compliance with:-
– Regulation 7 of the Working Time Regulations 1998, which imposes a duty on employers to offer night workers a free assessment of their health and capacity to carry out the work they are to be given, prior to them undertaking that work.
– Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc., Act 1974 (general duties to carry out appropriate health surveillance.
– Regulation 6 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (Gen duty to carry out appropriate health surveillance Post-accident or during long-term illness; on forklift truck and other machinery operators; and on drivers to test for colour blindness.)
– Regulation 5 of the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (DSE Regulations) – duty on employers to ensure that an appropriate eye and eyesight test is carried out on employees by a competent person and pay for spectacles required to undertake their job.
Discussions continue on these issues which are on the RMG/CWU National Strategic Involvement Committees and Joint Health Board Agendas. Further progress updates will be made in due course.
RMG SHE Occupational Health & Wellbeing Workshops For CWU ASRs:
Three Royal Mail Group Occupational Health and Wellbeing one day Workshops have been organised for all CWU ASRs to attend where Royal Mail Group’s Head of Health will meet CWU ASRs face to face and will outline the Occupational Health and Wellbeing strategy and plans for Royal Mail Group going forward and to give updates on national initiatives, progressing the above listed CWU key issues and joint talks. The Workshops will emphasise the importance of RM/CWU joint working on Health and Wellbeing improvements and initiatives. There will be an open forum to raise questions on CWU ASR issues and concerns plus ongoing developments and programmes etc. The workshop events will cover priorities, standards, policies and improving processes and for getting prompt attention to health problems. (See LTB 535/15 for further details).
The Workshops dates are:
7th September 10am-2pm – Nottingham Mail Centre
10th September 10am-2pm – Sheffield Mail Centre, Conference Room.
5th October 10am-2pm – London- 1 Broadgate, London, (near Liverpool Street Station)
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer