Wolverhampton Mail Centre Loading Bay Roof Collapse – Update Report:
To: All Branches
This is an update report to Branches, further to LTB 135/18 issued on 7 March 2018.
The Wolverhampton Mail Centre Warehouse Loading Bay canopy Roof collapsed on Friday night 2 March at around 9:45pm.
Further discussions have taken place with the Director of Property Risk, Compliance & Assurance and I can report as follows:-
As a consequence of the failure of the loading bay canopy roof at Wolverhampton (North West Midlands) Mail Centre on the evening of Friday 2nd March, please find below details of the continuing work in relation to the Mail Centre and other buildings across the estate with similar canopy roofs.
Whilst the cause of the failure at Wolverhampton is not yet fully understood and is the subject of a specialist investigation, Royal Mail Group Property and Facilities Solutions (RMPFS) believe that the weather at the time was a significant contributing factor with high levels of snowfall being recorded and strong winds. The area affected by the collapse remains fenced off and managed such that it does not pose a risk to RMG employees working at the mail centre.
Current and future activity for Wolverhampton (NW Midlands) Mail Centre
• A detailed investigation into the root cause of the failure has already commenced using a specialist safety consultant (WGY Ltd) and structural engineering team (Curtins). The investigation is being led by the Royal Mail Property Risk, Compliance & Assurance team with support from WYG. Evidence is being gathered from the site, and it is anticipated that specialist forensic analysis of the canopy design and materials involved in the failure will be undertaken as part of the investigation. This investigation is expected to take around 3-4 weeks to complete due to the depth of analysis required.
• Planning is underway for the safe removal of the collapsed structure and damaged vehicles. This is being led by the Property Projects and Programmes team and consultation with the site and interested parties will take place in preparation for the commencement of this work. The principal contractor for this operation will be (Wates) who will start mobilisation on site on Thursday 8th March, ahead of the main demolition work commencing on Monday 12th March. Removal work is anticipated to take 4 weeks. Until the canopy is removed and the area made safe, work cannot proceed on the design for the repairs to the façade of the building.
• The erection of a marquee to provide temporary accommodation on site is due to commence Thursday 8th March for completion Tuesday 13th March. This work is also being led by Wates and the Property Projects and Programmes team.
Current and future activity for the rest of the estate:
• As part of the RMPFS review into the safety of these canopy roofs, they have identified similar canopy roof designs in Belfast Mail Centre, Medway Mail Centre, HWDC and Jubilee Mail Centre. Others may present themselves over the coming days. Independent surveyors have already been mobilised for Belfast and will be due on site Friday 9th March to ascertain the robustness of the canopy roof structure and its fixings. Surveyors are being mobilised for the remaining sites. The findings of these surveys will be shared with RM Property & Facilities Solutions who will liaise with the sites concerned on the findings and any remedial work required.
• Across the estate there are many canopy roofs of various designs and construction. As part of a wider programme commencing next financial year to survey the condition of the RMG estate, all these canopy roofs will be inspected and assessed for their robustness and safety. Where any concerns are identified, appropriate measures will be taken to fix or modify the canopies.
Please note that the above will take time to coordinate so as to ensure that work can proceed safely and without risk to the surveyors and RMG employees or general public. In doing so, the full support of the relevant Unit Managers has been requested, should surveys be required on their canopy roofs, such that investigations and surveys can proceed swiftly.
Further updates will follow in due course.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer