Royal Mail Lampeter DO (SA Postcode Area) – Death of A Postman Staff Member Due To Legionnaires Disease
To: All Branches
The Health, Safety and Environment Department has received a number of enquiries regarding the above and this report is to update Branches and deal with any further enquiries and concerns that may exist.
The Health, Safety and Environment Department has been dealing with the matter in direct dialogue with the Royal Mail Group Director of Safety, Compliance & Sustainability (Property & Facilities), the Royal Mail Group Head of Health and Wellbeing and the Assistant Director for Environmental Services at Ceredigion County Council. Locally the CWU Deputy ASR has been fully involved and working with the Royal Mail Group’s Area Safety Health and Environment Advisor. The Health, Safety and Environment Department can advise and confirm the very sad news that one of our Postmen employed at Lampeter Delivery Office in the Swansea Postcode Area has died from Legionnaires Disease. The individual was a new employee who showed flu like symptoms a few weeks ago, before being diagnosed as having Legionnaires Disease from which he subsequently died. Upon diagnosis, the Delivery Unit received a formal visit from the Local Authority Environmental Health Officer who undertook an Inspection of Royal Mail’s Legionella management records on the Compliance Records Database and the health and Safety Enforcing Authority Officer was satisfied with the information presented and had no concerns with Royal Mail’s policy, health and safety standards and approach to Legionella management on the site or the monthly temperature readings taken of the building’s water systems. As a matter of course Royal Mail Property and Facilities Solutions have taken samples which are being tested in the laboratory and have also heat treated the DO building’s water system. In response to our requests, the Royal Mail Head of Health and Wellbeing has offered the full support of the Feeling First Class service to the Lampeter DO staff of an on-site occupational health advisor and counsellor to answer any questions and also provide counselling support plus the Director Compliance & Sustainability Royal Mail Group Property and Facilities Solutions has offered the RMPFS the support of the national Legionella lead to go down to the Delivery
Office to discuss any concerns or worries the staff may have. The H&S Dept has been contacted by the head of the multiagency Incident Management Team investigating this tragic case of Legionnaires Disease. (NHS Wales/Public Health Wales/Ceredigion County Council). They advised that the investigation is ongoing, and no written report is available at this point in time. However, no connection between the infection and this Royal Mail workplace have been identified. Colleagues from Ceredigion County Council visited the premises to assure the Incident Management Team that there was no risk to employees or the public from your member’s workplace. Appropriate legionella risk assessments and control measures are in place for the Royal Mail premises.
Legionnaires Disease is a serious Lung Infection caused by Legionella Bacteria. Initially flu-like symptoms are experienced which subsequently worsen. It is normally caught by breathing in small, tiny droplets of contaminated water. Although rare, it can come from contaminated water systems, tanks, showers, sprinkler systems, spas etc. The best way to prevent an outbreak of legionnaire’s disease is to ensure that any water system is maintained to conform to relevant health and safety regulations. The infection isn’t contagious and can’t be spread from person to person. Legionnaires Disease in the UK is rare with only a small number of cases annually occurring. Many arise from overseas travel to countries where health and safety contamination controls and sanitation standards are poor. Those with underlying or pre-existing lung conditions or a weakened immune system are more susceptible to infection. Legionnaires Disease is treated with Antibiotics and 90% of people with Legionnaires Disease make a full recovery.
For more information, go to the following link on the NHS Website https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Legionnaires-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer