Eye Care and Vision – Unexpected Diseases An Eye Test Can Spot – Health and Safety (Sight problems aside, eye examinations can detect a range of serious diseases.)

Eye Care and Vision – Unexpected Diseases An Eye Test Can Spot – Health and Safety
(Sight problems aside, eye examinations can detect a range of serious diseases.)

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

The CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department has continued supporting and working with the “Eyecare Trust” an organisation that campaigns to raise awareness about the need for regular eye tests and that the eyes can also give a clear view of what’s occurring in other parts of the body. In fact, an eye test could reveal a life or death situation.

As well as detecting vision problems and eye diseases, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration, they can sometimes also reveal whether you’re suffering from a number of serious health conditions. Getting an eye examination is a bit like getting a more extensive physical examination as there are a variety of eye and general health conditions that can be picked up in an eye examination that are essentially silent but highly treatable – if they’re picked up early.

The “Eyecare Trust” states that poor uptake of sight tests is probably the biggest risk to the nation’s eye health. Around 20 million people in the UK fail to have their sight tested once every two years, yet a simple sight test can detect glaucoma years before a person notices lost vision, and many childhood eye conditions which can be permanently corrected if diagnosed early enough. The “Eyecare Trust” is conveying the message that sight tests really are essential health checks.

Did you know?

• 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives. Half of this sight loss is avoidable.

• A sight test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma, which can be treated if found soon enough.

• During a sight test, other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected.

• For healthy eyes, eat well, don’t smoke and wear eye protection in bright sunlight.

Here’s how a simple eye test could help detect other serious medical conditions and diseases:-


Around 750,000 people in the UK have undiagnosed diabetes, according to Diabetes UK. Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes can creep up very slowly and are often dismissed as normal tiredness, or just part of growing old, but cases can be diagnosed from eye tests. High blood-sugar related to diabetes can cause problems in the small blood vessels resulting in diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to blindness. An optometrist will be able to spot early characteristic changes, such as tiny leaks from damaged blood vessels. Nowhere are the blood vessels more important than in the retina at the back of the eye and Eyecare professionals have a window to look at this, and they can spot very early signs of diabetes and the effect it has on blood vessels in the back of the eye. The message is that you don’t need to go blind with diabetes as it’s treatable and the key is to pick it up early. Not only that, but the sooner diabetes is detected, the sooner it can be treated or managed, meaning other potential complications – including ulcers, kidney and heart damage – can be prevented too.

High blood pressure

Effects of high blood pressure – a condition which affects one in three UK adults but is often symptomless, and is linked with stroke, heart disease and vascular dementia – can sometimes be seen inside the eye. This is because the force of blood passing through blood vessels in the retina can cause hypertensive retinopathy. Blood vessel walls may thicken, narrowing the vessels and restricting blood from reaching the retina. In some cases, it becomes swollen and its function is limited, and there may be bleeding behind the eye.

High cholesterol/Cardiovascular problems

Because of the high blood flow at the back of the eye, excessive cholesterol – which is linked to cardiovascular problems – may also be spotted there, looking like deposits in the blood vessels. Changes in the patterns of ocular veins and arteries can also be linked to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Indications of strokes and other cardiovascular problems can be seen in the eyes. The back of the eye is part of the brain, so anything that can affect the brain can affect the eye – and often they affect the eye first.


Although arthritis is characterised by joint inflammation, autoimmune forms of the disease (like rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis) can affect other parts of the body including the eyes, and the inflammation it causes can be spotted in eye tests. This inflammation (uveitis) is the same kind that can attack joints. It can slowly destroy the eye too. Arthritis is another one of the diseases where eye examinations are important, as the ocular manifestations can have grave consequences if left untreated.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Although not available yet, it’s hoped that a simple eye test could soon be used to identify the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers are looking at whether warning signs can be detected using special computer software to analyse images of the eye. Researchers have reported that it will soon be possible to look into someone’s eyes using an inexpensive machine and discover something which may suggest a risk of developing dementia. The research promises early warning in a non-invasive way, and the test, which will identify differences in the retinal vessels, may even be able to differentiate between different types of dementia.


The eye has a large blood supply relative to its size and for this reason, certain types of tumours can spread to the eye, as well as primary tumours developing there – although this is rare. Brain tumours can also be spotted in an eye test, sometimes through swelling of the optic nerve linked to pressure from the tumour.

Driving and Vision – Safety and Legal Responsibility!

It’s important to have your sight tested if you think you may have a problem with your eyesight, in fact, studies suggest that up to one in five middle aged drivers are taking to the road with their eyesight not as good as it should be. It is not just common sense to ensure your eyesight is good enough to enable you to drive comfortably, but your safety and that of others is at risk and you will be breaking the law if it isn’t. A driver of a car or motorbike must be able to read a number plate, with symbols, 79mm high by 50mm wide, from a distance of 20 metres AND a driver should have a visual acuity of at least 6/12 with both eyes open. This can be done with glasses or contact lenses if you usually wear them. The law also requires drivers to have a wide field of vision. Your optometrist will tell you if you may not meet the field of vision standard. Bus and Lorry drivers are required to have a higher standard of vision. If you are not able to do this, your insurance may be invalidated. Driving with uncorrected defective vision is an offence punishable with a heavy fine, penalty licence points and possible driving disqualification.

National Eye Health Week 2018 (NEHW) – Vision Really Matters.

This year’s National Eye Health Week (NEHW) will take place from 24 to 30 September 2018, promoting the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all. Sight is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don’t know how to look after our eyes! Think about preparing for a local awareness raising campaign now. Further information will be published nearer the time.

For more information visit:- http://www.eyecaretrust.org.uk/

Or Contact:-

The Eyecare Trust

PO Box 804



HP20 9DF

Tel: 0845 129 5001

Email: info@eyecaretrust.org.uk

(The Eyecare Trust is a registered charity that exists to raise awareness of all aspects of eye health and the importance of regular eye care. The Trust’s public information and awareness raising campaigns are aimed at helping ensure that eye care is kept high on the UK public’s health agenda and provides valuable advice and information.)

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB123 Eye Care and Vision – Unexpected Diseases An Eye Test Can Spot – Health and Safety

Keep Calm Get Your Eyes Checked Poster

View Online

Branch Political Officers Report for Branch Meeting 27th February 2018.

Branch Political Officers Report for Branch Meeting 27th February 2018.

Local Elections May 2018

Both Peterborough and North West Cambridgeshire CLP’s have now selected their candidates for the May elections campaigning and fund raising has started the list of candidates are as follows


TULO continues to go from strength to strength both regionally and locally, locally I have written to all trade union branches in the Peterborough CLP asking them to affiliate to the CLP and the response has been good. North West Cambs now have a TULO Officer and I am in contact with him about a joint meeting.

Regionally an invite has been received from TULO in the North West, for the East to meet and look at how they run training schools for TULO Officers, so that training in the role can be given. At the time of writing no date has been set.

The next meeting of Peterborough TULO with Fiona Onasayna will be Friday 16th March.

Peterborough CLP  

The last meeting of the Executive of the CLP was on Friday 26th January unfortunately due to CWU business I could not attend the meeting, please find attached a copy of my report submitted to the meeting. The next meeting will take place on Friday 23rd February.

North West Norfolk CLP

Several well attended all members meetings have been held across the CLP, these meetings have seen an increase of new and young members attending.

Huntingdon CLP

Members meetings have been held and Darrel Herd is the TULO Officer for the CLP.

CWU Eastern Region Political Committee

I attended the regional meeting on Friday 9th February on behalf of the branch, we had a presentation from Andrew Towers, CWU Head of Political Strategy, Andrew explained what his role entailed and what the CWU has been doing politically and what we as a union will be doing moving forward.

In the last year and a half, we have secured 3 debates in parliament on The Post Office with 40 MP’s / Peers speaking in debate 37 of whom spoke on behalf of the CWU.

In March this year we have secured a debate on Agency workers in BT.

We have also influenced policy of the Labour Party with Renationalisation of Royal Mail, Broadband and Agency workers Bill.

Moving Forward

The next step for the union will be to

• Educate the membership in politics

• Provide more political information on the website

• More articles in the Voice and Frontline

• Regional Political Events will be held

• A Political Officers guide is to be published

• Political Education and Candidate Training will be given

Ongoing work

The Agency workers campaign in BT, EDM 833 is asking to close the gap between agency workers and full time in BT, and agency worker doing the same job as a full-time member is on £500 per month less.

TUC Demonstration

The CWU nationally has been pushing the TUC for a national demonstration for some time on New Deal for Workers, this will now take place on Saturday 12th May in London. At the time of writing no information on the route etc has been released, once I have the information I will circulate it.

Andy Beeby

Branch Political Officer

HSE Public Consultation Document (CD285) on Proposed Amendments to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) – CWU Response & HSE Decision & Results of The Consultation

HSE Public Consultation Document (CD285) on Proposed Amendments to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) – CWU Response & HSE Decision & Results of The Consultation

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,


As advised to Branches, Safety Forums and Safety Reps in LTB 574/17, the HSE conducted a public consultation on a proposal to amend the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012).

The CWU responded strongly to the consultation on the proposed amendment to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) as did the TUC and other Trade Unions.

In respect of the specific proposal to align the different frequencies for medical examinations for those doing licensable work and those doing notifiable work, the Unions rejected the proposal and stated that the HSE should be considering the option of harmonising UP rather than DOWN, lowering the frequency of medical examinations and so not reducing the amount of protection afforded to workers in the industry.

The CWU view was that reducing the frequency of tests would be totally irresponsible. The review, and consultation documents, stated that the aim of the tests is to “detect disease early and allow removal from further harm”. Although that’s one reason for the tests, it is not the only one. The tests also can also identify any other conditions that may put them at additional risk, or identify any problems with their PPE that prevents them wearing it properly. A medical test should also record any accidental exposure that may have happened. Frequent interaction with a medical practitioner reinforces the serious dangers to health that asbestos poses and also allows the doctor to highlight the need to change lifestyle if the person smokes. That was recognised in paragraph 57 of the consultation document, but it ignored this benefit.

Given the inability of the HSE to accept the health benefits of the tests, it’s hardly surprising that they came up with no health and safety aspects. This was rejected by the CWU, TUC and Unions that responded as we did.

CWU did not accept that giving a medical examination every two years is an onerous “burden” on business. The cost of exposure of asbestos lies with the workers and they should be given every support, including regular health surveillance to ensure that they are protected.

Consultation Results:

The HSE has published a summary of the consultation results which have been considered by the HSE Board. In total, 38 responses to the consultation were received. Of these 23 (61%) did not agree with the substantive amendment to change the period between medical examinations for those undertaking licensable work with asbestos from two to three years on the basis that the proposal reduced protection for workers carrying out the most hazardous types of work involving asbestos (although HSE believes – and independent expert advice confirms – that there is no reduction in protection), and that asbestos medicals can be (and are) used as an opportunity to undertake ‘fitness for work’ medicals, giving opportunities for wider health issues (and impact on wearing PPE, etc.) to be considered which may be missed if the interval between examinations is increased.

HSE Board Conclusion:

As a result of the consultation HSE officials concluded that the overall response to the consultation means that HSE should not proceed with the proposed amendments to CAR 2012. However, the consultation responses have raised an issue regarding the wider opportunities and benefits of asbestos medicals which was not raised during the Post Implementation Review (PIR). It is therefore important to consider this further alongside HSE’s wider review of the occupational health surveillance system as part of the Health and Work Strategy.

Based on the results of the consultation, the HSE Board decided not to proceed with the proposed amendment to Regulation 22 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2012 at this time. Therefore, the period between medical examinations for asbestos workers who undertake licensed asbestos work remains at two years and will not be reduced to three years. Additionally, Asbestos medical examinations will in due course be considered further alongside HSE’s wider review of the occupational health surveillance system as part of the Health and Work Strategy.

This news will be welcomed by Branches, Regional Health and Safety Forums and Health and Safety Reps.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB120 HSE Public Consultation Document (CD285) on Proposed Amendments to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) – CWU Response & HSE Decision & Results of The Consultation

View Online

New CWU membership forms – political fund and data protection opt-ins

New CWU membership forms – political fund and data protection opt-ins

As set out in LTB 94/18, under the Trade Union Act we are now required to include an ‘opt-in’ to the political fund on our membership forms. This changes the current system whereby members automatically pay the political levy unless they opt out of doing so.

Alongside this, under new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), we will be required to include an ‘opt-in’ on our membership form, with new members needing to opt-in in order to receive any form of communication from the union.

We have added tick-boxes and text to give effect to both of these requirements on the membership forms. The political fund opt-in is at the start of section 4, titled ‘Declaration’; and the data protection opt-in is at the bottom of the form.

As you will appreciate, these are two very significant changes that impact on what we do. We rely on members paying the political levy in order to carry out political work on their behalf and we need to be able to communicate with our members about what we are doing in order to function as a trade union.

It is therefore extremely important that the new membership forms are being used and that we maximise the number of new members opting-in to paying the political levy and to receiving communications about the union’s work. A briefing paper with a Q&A to explain our political work to new members and to persuade them to opt-in is attached to this LTB.

All of our membership forms have been amended to reflect these two changes and you can continue to receive the new forms via the website, contacting membership records lwright@cwu.org, T&FS rwalsh@cwu.org or Postal zmussa@cwu.org at CWU HQ. The revised forms are now available on the website at the www.cwu.org/join-us/postal-applications/.

It is of the upmost importance that from 1st March 2018 only the new forms are utilised and all old forms should be discarded, otherwise the union will be outside of the new legislation.

Any queries on the contents of this LTB should be directed to sdgs@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward – General Secretary

Tony Kearns – Senior Deputy General Secretary

LTB 115.18 – new CWU membership forms – political fund and data protection opt-ins

The CWUs political work – QAs

View Online

The Health & Safety Event – Expo & Educational Programme – ‪10-12 April 2018‬ at The NEC, Birmingham. (This is a Free Event.)

The Health & Safety Event – Expo & Educational Programme – 10-12 April 2018 at The NEC, Birmingham. (This is a Free Event.)

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

The Health and Safety Event has been developed to suit anyone responsible for health and safety at work. Uniquely co-located with The Fire Safety Event and The Facilities Event, The Health & Safety Event is an Exhibition plus an educational and networking opportunity for anyone responsible for or involved in the running of a safe and efficient workplace, anywhere in the UK. You can keep up-to-date with changes in legislation, join debates, hear from safety experts, receive 1-to-1 practical advice from suppliers and experience the very latest in safety equipment and technology.

The Health and Safety Event is a combination of a Health and Safety Expo plus Health and Safety Educational Seminars on a range of Health and Safety Subjects with various experts and specialists involved. It has been developed to suit anyone responsible for health and safety at work.

The event is FREE to attend and top Health and Safety manufacturers and suppliers take part in the Expo offering products and advice.

The organisers working with the British Safety Council create the educational part of the event for visitors. Alongside the Free Conference content and access to over 300 respected vendors and suppliers across three shows, there are further features: The Safety Dialogue Theatre, The Safer Logistics Theatre, NEBOSH Education Pavilion and The Safety & Health Excellence Awards.

Educational Programme & Event Features 2018

The Health & Safety Event 2018 features a whole new range of educational content, legislation updates and interactive sessions from leading experts in the industry including the brand new Lone Worker Theatre. Your free visitor badge gives you access to all CPD qualifying educational content, delivered in partnership with the UK’s safety professional organisations.

Tuesday 10th April

Conference Theatre:

Educational content for The Health & Safety Event is curated by the organiser’s Educational Partner, The British Safety Council (BSC).

• Case Law Update

• Thriving!

• Preparing for ISO45001

Safety Dialogue:

The Safety Dialogue Theatre offers the opportunity to ‘Join the Debate’ and contribute directly to discussing the topic of the day. Visitors can use this chance to share experiences with their peers and network with a panel of recognised authorities on each topic. Partners NEBOSH, IOSH, BOHS, AIF.

• Working at Height & preventing falls

• Working in confined spaces

• Using Respiratory Protective Equipment

• Training & competence

Safer Logistics:

The Safer Logistics Seminar Theatre and Feature Area promises a wealth of education and advice tackling safety hot spots in warehousing and logistics. Content curated in partnership with H&SS magazine. Sponsors/Partners CILT, A-SAFE, FLTA, RTITB.

• Building a Safer Environment – PAS 13:2017 Code of Practice for Safety Barriers within Workplace Environments

• Managing driver risk, not drivers at risk! How aware are you?

• We’ve got your back!

Lone Worker Theatre:

This year the Lone Worker Feature Theatre is being hosted by the Lone Worker Safety Expo team. Speakers representing many industries will explore the challenges faced by lone workers and share best practice on assessing and managing the specific risks faced by lone workers.

• Creating a personal safety culture in the workplace

• Considerations when Using Bodyworn Video for Lone Working

• Practical Strategies & Technology – how do we combine the two?

• The impact of Lone Working on Stress and Wellbeing

• Best Practice on Implementation of Lone Worker Solutions & Devices

Wednesday 11th April

Conference Theatre:

• Changing Face of Regulation

• Challenges in Modern Manufacturing Panel Discussion

• Establishing and Engaged Culture

Safety Dialogue:

• Managing noise & vibration

• Working at Height & preventing falls

• Using Respiratory Protective Equipment

• Working with asbestos

Safer Logistics:

• We’ve got your back!

• Forklift training essentials and practical segregation

• Building a Safer Environment – PAS 13:2017 Code of Practice for Safety Barriers within Workplace Environments

• Racking Safety

Lone Worker Theatre:

• Lone Working & Legalities – Staying Ahead of the Game

• Lone Working -Practical Solutions and Personal safety tips

• The business efficiencies of lone working

• Lone working; balancing the risks versus the benefits

• Managing Violence & Aggression against Lone Workers

• Contingency planning and practical advice for major incidents & terrorist attacks when travelling in the UK and abroad

Thursday 12th April

Conference Theatre:

• Residents Safety – Lessons from Grenfell Tower

• A Good Day at Work

• When the Worst Happens – Managing a Fatal Accident and Dealing with an Inquest

Safety Dialogue:

• Using Respiratory Protective Equipment

• Managing noise & vibration

• Training & competence

• Working at Height & preventing falls

Safer Logistics:

• Training & Forklift Safety

• Improving health & safety in materials handling operations

• Building a Safer Environment – PAS 13:2017 Code of Practice for Safety Barriers within Workplace Environments

Lone Worker Theatre:

• Stalking in the workplace

• Personal Safety Advice When Visiting Clients

• What does the future of Lone Working look like?

FREE REGISTRATION AT:- https://registration.n200.com/survey/0xqcxtfgemwk8

Upcoming Events:

The Health and Safety Event 10-12 April 2018 | NEC, Birmingham

Health and Safety Scotland 12-13 September 2018 | SEC, Glasgow

Health and Safety North 9-10 October 2018 |EventCity, Manchester

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB119 The Health & Safety Event – Expo & Educational Programme – 10-12 April 2018 at The NEC, Birmingham. (This is a Free Event.)

View Online

CWU Submission on Defined Ambition Pensions

CWU Submission on Defined Ambition Pensions

The CWU has made the attached submission to the Work and Pensions Committee Inquiry on Defined Ambition (DA) pension schemes. The inquiry focuses in particular on Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) schemes, which represent one form of DA scheme.

The purpose of the inquiry is to investigate the role that Defined Ambition CDC schemes could play in the pension landscape, the potential benefits to savers and the wider economy, and the legislative and regulatory framework that would be required to make it work.

The CWU’s submission argues for the need to protect and promote Defined Benefit pension schemes which offer the most secure, predictable outcomes for savers. It also calls for the Government to enact the regulations needed to facilitate shared risk/Defined Ambition schemes, as intended under the UK Pensions Act 2015. This is necessary to establish the CDC pension scheme recently agreed by the CWU and Royal Mail.

Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the Head of Research.

Yours sincerely

Bill Taylor

Head of Research

CWU Submission Defined Ambition Pensions

LTB116-18 – Attachment

View Online

RMG Charity Update — Youth Homelessness – Action for Children – CEO/Director SHE Sleep Out

RMG Charity Update — Youth Homelessness – Action for Children – CEO/Director SHE Sleep Out

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

As part of Royal Mail’s ‘Action for Children’ Charity campaign, Dr. Shaun Davis Royal Mail Group Global Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing & Sustainability will be taking part in this year’s CEO/Directors ‘Sleep Out’ being held in Paternoster Square, London on Thursday 22nd March 2018 to support the Charity Action For Children.

The ‘Sleep Out’ is a unique event, and Shaun will be joining fellow business leaders in sleeping rough on the streets of London for one night, to raise money and build awareness of youth homelessness.

There are 83,000 homeless young people in the UK. One in four homeless young people (27%) have been diagnosed with a mental health problem. One in five homeless young people (21%) have self-harmed.

Around 150,000 young people ask their local authorities for help each year because they are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It is crucial to step in early to prevent youth homelessness; it ends a cycle before it starts.

The money raised will be directly invested into the charity ‘Action for Children’s preventative Mental Health Programme, the ‘Blues Programme’, funded by Royal Mail Group. The Blues Programme aims to support the mental health of thousands of young people aged 15-18. Please help raise awareness by sponsoring Shaun and supporting these young people in their work to do what is needed, to intervene and change lives.

I’m pleased to support this worthy effort with sponsorship and would request your consideration for supporting this worthy cause.

Click on the link below to make a sponsorship donation: – https://www.sponsorme.co.uk/royalmail/sleepout-fundraisier.aspx

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB118 RMG Charity Update – Youth Homelessness – Action for Children – CEO Director SHE Sleep Out

View Online

2018 National Young Workers’ Education Event, ‪12 – 14 October‬, Peterborough

2018 National Young Workers’ Education Event, 12 – 14 October, Peterborough

This is to inform branches that this year’s National Young Workers’ Education Event has been confirmed to take place over the weekend of Friday, 12 October through to Sunday, 14 October and will take place at The Bull Hotel, Westgate, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 1RB.

The event brings together young (under the age of 30) activists over the course of a weekend in which they gain knowledge, skills and confidence about their role in the union and the union’s work in general.

The event will start at 6pm on Friday 12 October and will end at lunchtime on Sunday 14 October. A timetable will be issued nearer the time.

The cost to send a delegate will be £270. This cost, will include two nights’ accommodation and all meals. This figure, of course, excludes travelling and for further information relating to expenses please find attached LTB 787/15.

It should be noted that late cancellations will have to be covered by the branch – so if a delegate is not able to attend and has to cancel we would appreciate at least 1 weeks’ notice. Exceptional circumstances will be considered on an individual basis.

This is an important event and Branches are encouraged to consider sending delegates.

Please find attached an application form that participants should complete and get signed off by the branch; this should then be sent to Jo Thair at CWU Head Office either by post or by email to jthair@cwu.org.

Branches are thanked in anticipation of their assistance and any queries on this LTB should be directed to jthair@cwu.org

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward

General Secretary

LTB 114-18 – 2018 National Young Workers’ Education Event, 12 – 14 October, Peterborough

NYWEE18 Application Form

View Online


Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: