Movement of Sorting Frames in Royal Mail Delivery Offices, Mail Processing Units, Mail Centres Etc – ‘Mandatory’ Procedure

Movement of Sorting Frames in Royal Mail Delivery Offices, Mail Processing Units, Mail Centres Etc – ‘Mandatory’ Procedure:
To: All Branches
Dear Colleagues,
Following a recent incident involving the breach of health and safety procedures in a Delivery Office by local managers, the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department is re-issuing information and guidance to Branch Area Health and Safety Representatives and Branch Officials.
The following information may assist for future reference:-
Following a Serious Structural Failure of a Sorting Frame and Dangerous Occurrence/Near Miss in 2012 a Joint Investigation was immediately initiated and a number of remedial actions were put in place including a national inspection programme of all Sorting Frames in all Offices. This revealed a significant number found to be in an unsafe condition and or configuration and all issues were subsequently rectified through a remedial action programme.
One of the agreed outcomes was a “MANDATORY” Instruction issued to all Operational Managers NOT TO MOVE SORTING FRAMES.
It was agreed that it is important that both basic and extended Sorting Frame configurations are moved, constructed, altered, re-configured safely, ONLY by competently trained Romec Engineers who have the approved tools, equipment and components and kit available to them to ensure that all frames are constructed to a safe, sound and robust standard and are moved safely (without being damaged or the Frame’s integrity weakened) to new agreed locations in the Office.
Romec Engineers have the agreed ‘Work Method Statements’ and ‘Safe Systems of Work’ for the installation, alteration or movement of existing or new Frames/Fittings or making changes to the location of existing Fittings as this clearly needs adequate risk assessment, controls, monitoring and safety checks when completed to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the workforce bearing in mind past experiences.
Managers involved in incidents of moving Frames themselves, outside the Royal Mail Safety Standard should know better and there is no excuse for ignoring Royal Mail’s procedures and Instructions. Any similar incidents should be immediately reported and investigated and the matter dealt with appropriately by their superiors.
The CWU/HQ Health, Safety & Environment Department working with Royal Mail Operations HQ, spent a lot of time on this, getting it right in 2012. Additionally in 2012, it was also agreed with Royal Mail that DSMs and DOMs should liaise locally with ASRs/WSRs on these matters ensuring safety checks were carried out jointly.
ASRs/WSRs should point out to managers considering any office re-organisations/re-configurations to consult with all interested parties and stakeholders prior to proceeding with and changes, fully involving the CWU ASR and other Reps, Property team, Safety team, Delivery team, Programmes team etc., and they should be advised not to start moving kit and equipment, sorting frames etc., around Delivery Units or other Operational Units (MPUs/MCs etc.) outside of the recognised safety procedures.  
See attached copy of the relevant Instructions and documents.
The relevant Health and Safety Legislation: Health and Safety At Work Act 1974
S2 States that it is the duty of every employer to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all his/her employees, providing a safe place and safe system of work, safe plant and equipment, regularly maintained, safe access and egress, safe handling, storage and transport of articles and substances, provision of information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure health and safety at work of his employees.
PUWER 1998 (Provision of Use and Work Equipment Regulations)
The Regulations require employers to ensure that equipment provided at work is safe and suitable for use, maintained in a safe condition, inspected, used only by those informed, instructed and trained.
Yours sincerely
Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
Email Attachments – Click to download
Attachment 1 – LTB675/16 Movement of Sorting Frames in Royal Mail Delivery Offices, Mails Processing Units, Mail Centres

Attachment 2 – Correct Methods For Movement of Sorting Fittings

Attachment 3 – Collapsed Frame

Attachment 4 – Installation of backless C4 Greenock frames


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