The Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

The Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018:

Dear Colleagues,

Further to LTBs 475/16 and 151/18, the Government has laid before the Houses of Parliament a statutory instrument to amend regulations in relation to health and safety legislation under the Withdrawal Act following Brexit.

These regulations ensure that EU-derived health and safety legislation and protections will continue to be available in domestic law after the UK has left the EU.

It does not seem to have any deregulatory measures, but if any Rep has any concerns over any aspect, please let me know.

A copy of the Bill is attached.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB462 The Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

Statutory Instrument – Exiting the EU Health Safety and Environmental Protection

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Royal Mail Group – Night Workers Health Assessment

Royal Mail Group – Night Workers Health Assessment

Dear Colleagues,

As part of employers’ legal requirements under the UK Working Time Regulations 1998 (as amended in 2003, 2007 and 2009), every adult worker assigned to night shift work must be afforded the opportunity to have a free health assessment. Royal Mail Group complies with this by ensuring that all employees, who work for at least three hours between the hours of 23:00 and 06:00, are offered the health assessment on an annual basis. This is done through a screening questionnaire that has been compiled with guidance from Royal Mail’s occupational health provider (OH Assist).

The assessments are to support night workers’ health and wellbeing. Some health conditions which might need to be taken into consideration when doing night work include:

• Diabetes

• Epilepsy

• Heart disease

• Intestinal problems

• Kidney disease

• Thyroid or glandular disease

• Mental health

• Chronic sleep problems

• Back, joint and neck problems

• Asthma and pulmonary disorders

A night worker health assessment will identify any risk factors associated with the condition(s) and allows advice to be obtained on how to manage them effectively. It does not necessarily mean anyone with these conditions is unsuitable for night work.

The Royal Mail health and wellbeing team are this month (August 2018) writing to all night workers about the offer of a free health assessment, enclosed with the letter will be a health questionnaire and a postage paid return envelope. Each completed questionnaire will be reviewed by Royal Mail’s occupational health providers (OH Assist). Depending on the information individual night workers provide, it may be necessary for a health assessment to be arranged with a professional occupational health advisor. An assessment could be face to face or over the telephone. Individuals will be advised if further action is required.

Should an assessment not be necessary, there will be no further action taken and those individuals will not receive any further correspondence until the next annual night worker health assessment is due, unless a personal requirement is identified sooner.

Note: This is a ‘voluntary assessment’ and workers are not obliged to complete it. All returns will be treated in the ‘strictest confidence’ and with the individual’s consent, information may be shared with Royal Mail, which could result in the worker’s line manager being informed about certain aspects i.e., if reasonable workplace adjustments are required to accommodate a health condition or disability. Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure workers with disabilities, or physical or mental health conditions, aren’t substantially disadvantaged when doing their jobs. This applies to all workers, including trainees, apprentices, contract workers and business partners.

The benefit of the night workers health assessment is that it helps identify risk factors associated with health and medical conditions which may require treatment or need advice on how to manage them effectively and where issues are identified, Royal Mail Group can take some proactive action to support the individual workers in order that they can continue to undertake their work effectively and efficiently without added difficulties and stress. Additionally the assessments data helps Royal Mail understand any emerging health trends amongst our workforce.

The CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department has been fully involved in the planning and organisation of this year’s night worker assessment programme and the Union fully supports the exercise and wishes to encourage all CWU Night Workers to participate and take part.

Would all CWU Health and Safety Reps remind Night Worker Members about the Health assessment and encourage them to participate and complete the questionnaires as it’s in their best health and wellbeing interests.

If CWU Night Worker members have any questions or concerns about completing the health questionnaire then they should speak to their Workplace or Area Health and Safety Representative for clarification and reassurance.

Attachments:

• All Night Shift Workers will receive a copy of the attached letter and attached questionnaire, sent to their home address.

• All Managers will have received the attached WTLL to deliver to Night Shift Staff.

• See attached copy of the Managers WTLL Brief.

• See attached copy of the Royal Mail – Feeling First Class – Health Advice For Shift Workers.

The deadline for returning completed questionnaires has been extended from 20th August to the 31st August 2018. Every CWU Member Night Shift Worker is encouraged to complete the questionnaire and return it to OH Assist using the SAE return envelope provided.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB461 Royal Mail Group – Night Workers Health Assessment

July WTLL Template (Night Workers Assessment) 2018 Final

Letter template NWA 2018 (Final)

Night Worker Health Questionnaire July 2018 (Final)

Royal Mail Feeling First Class Health Advice For Shift Workers_

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Heatwaves: Adapting to Climate Change” – House Of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee Report published – Includes Maximum Temperature at Work Recommendation

Heatwaves: Adapting to Climate Change” – House Of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee Report published – Includes Maximum Temperature at Work Recommendation:

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee has issued a report entitled “Heatwaves: Adapting to Climate Change” on the practicalities of adapting to a higher frequency of heatwaves due to climate change.

There is a section that notes the position of the TUC, CWU and other Unions of the need for a statutory maximum working temperature in relation to hot workplaces and it recommends that “Public Health England should also issue formal guidance to employers to relax dress codes and allow flexible working when heatwave alerts are issued.” The report goes on to recommend that “The Government should consult on introducing maximum workplace temperatures, especially for work that involves significant physical effort.”

This Report and Recommendations will now go to the Government to consider and formally respond to (accepting or rejecting recommendations).

The Report is helpful to Trade Unions. A copy of the report is attached and the maximum workplace temperature recommendation is on Page 42.

High temperatures like those recently experienced during this current summer 2018, can cause heat exhaustion and dehydration and for outdoor workers sun burn, dehydration, sun stroke and heat exhaustion.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 say that the employers must maintain a reasonable temperature where you work, but it does not specify a maximum temperature. However, the employer is expected to prevent the workplace being uncomfortably hot. There should also be enough thermometers around the workplace so that workers can check the temperature.

The employer should make sure that workers are not uncomfortably hot by installing suitable equipment, using ventilation or air conditioning, and by relaxing dress codes etc. There must also be access to drinking water.

If the workplace is uncomfortably hot, a complaint can be made to the HSE or local authority health and safety enforcement inspectors.

The TUC, CWU and many of the UK’s Trade Unions have been campaigning for a legal maximum workplace temperature for many years and in 2011, the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union along with the CWU and other Unions launched the “Cool It” campaign and the TUC Congress carried a Motion supporting a legal maximum workplace temperature with CWU support.

The “Heatwaves: Adapting to Climate Change” Report concludes that heat-related deaths are set to treble by 2050 unless Government acts on the dangers and predicts that higher temperatures which caused over 2000 deaths in 2003 will be the summer norm by the 2040s, making adaptation to heatwaves a matter of life and death.

The Environmental Audit Committee Report found that failing to address the danger of heatwaves will threaten the wellbeing of an increasing number of vulnerable people and that they threaten health, wellbeing and productivity.

The Met Office has projected that UK summer temperatures could regularly reach 38.5°C by the 2040s. The Government must stop playing pass the parcel with local councils and the NHS and develop a strategy to protect the ageing population from this increasing risk.

Heatwaves cause premature deaths from cardiac, kidney and respiratory disease. There will be 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050 if the Government does not take action.

The Government needs to do more to warn the public of the health risks of heatwaves, particularly when they fall outside of the summer period, and should appoint a minister to lead work across Government.

The Government’s new adaptation plan promises no effective action to prevent overheating in buildings. It must change building regulations and planning policies to ensure homes and transport networks are able to deal with extreme heat, and that local authorities and cities have green spaces and heat-resilient infrastructure.

The Select Committee has called on the Government to:

1 Ensure NHS England issues guidance on planning for summer pressures, to ensure that adequate steps are taken to prepare the NHS for more frequent heatwaves. NHS organisations should submit annual heatwave plans to ensure they are prepared for the sudden onset of a heatwave;

2 Inspect resilience to heatwaves in hospitals and care homes through the Care Quality Commission and NHS England;

3 Protect peoples’ health by changing building regulations to prevent overheating;

4 Review the capacity of local authorities to deliver climate change resilience, require them to report on their adaptation to climate change and introduce an urban green infrastructure target for cities;

5 Introduce stricter water efficiency standards as part of the building regulations;

6 Coordinate a study of vulnerability to heat-health risks on transport and how this contributes to economic loss during heatwaves;

7 Make businesses aware of the threat of heatwaves and the economic consequences. Public Health England should also issue formal guidance to employers to relax dress codes and allow flexible working during heatwaves, and the Government should consult on introducing maximum workplace temperatures, especially for work that involves significant physical effort;

8 Issue guidance for head teachers about safe temperatures in schools and relaxing school uniform policy during hot weather;

9 Launch a public information campaign on the growing frequency and intensity of heatwaves and run a year-round heatwave alert system to warn vulnerable people about the health risks; and

10 Provide a Ministerial lead in the Department of Health and Social Care with responsibility for climate change related health risks.

The background on the Report recommendations are as follows:-

NHS guidance on summer pressures

Heatwaves place strain on the NHS and social care system. During the 2013 heatwave, double the amount of consultations for heat-illness took place compared to a non-heatwave year. Hospitals can overheat to 30 degrees Celsius when the temperature outside is just 22 degrees Celsius. However, the NHS only asks hospitals and other healthcare organisations to report on their preparation for winter pressures.

NHS England’s Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response assurance does not account for the risk of overheating hospitals, and the Care Quality Commission do not inspect for it either. The ability of nursing homes to cope with the serious health impact of heatwaves on older people is not assessed. This is worrying given that in the 2003 heatwave, excess deaths in nursing homes in some parts of the UK rose by 42%.

Ensuring safe and heatwave resilient homes

Certain types of homes (single aspect flats, houses built in the 1960s and 1970s) and densely populated urban areas are at significant risk of overheating. Even at current temperatures, 20% of UK homes overheat. This presents a risk to those who are vulnerable to high temperatures such as older people, those with underlying cardiovascular or respiratory conditions, those with disabilities and children. There is no building regulation to prevent overheating in buildings, and tests to identify overheating are weak and ineffective.

However, the Committee heard uncertainty from Government Ministers about whether the building regulations should be used to protect human health. The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers believes building regulations should be changed to protect health, and have developed a series of tests to prevent buildings overheating at design stage.

The Committee heard that public money is used to support the construction of modular homes. According to a study on Modular Construction in UK Housing by Pinsent Masons, there are currently around 15,000 modular homes built in the UK each year by China National Building Material Company. Modular homes are not resilient to heatwaves, and the Committee is calling for the Government to end public funding for them.

Local authorities and cities

Local authorities should be driving adaptation for heatwaves, across a range of areas such public health, local spatial plans, and urban development. However, the Committee only received evidence from one local authority and the Local Government Association confirmed that they “do not have a bespoke work programme on climate change adaption.” Funding for programmes to support local authority climate change adaptation was withdrawn in 2015/16, leading to the closure of numerous regional climate change partnerships.

Cities can be up to 10°C hotter than surrounding countryside due to the urban heat island effect; hard surfaces in urban areas absorbing heat during the day and emitting heat at night. Overheating at night prevents physiological recovery from heat. In the 2003 heatwave, excess deaths in London increased by 42%. However, measures to reduce the urban heat island effect are not included in local plans and the Government’s planning framework does not make mention of it. The Government should introduce an urban green infrastructure target as part of the metrics for the 25 Year Environment Plan and in the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure towns and cities are adapted to more frequent heatwaves in the future.

Transport, water supply and productivity

Heatwaves can cause railway tracks to buckle and roads to melt. Only 50% of the UK’s motorways and major roads are surfaced with material that is the most resilient to the kind of summer temperatures the UK is beginning to experience regularly. During the June 2018 heatwave, railway tracks buckled causing significant delays either because trains could not operate or because they had to be run at a slow speed to avoid damage. This means that passengers sometimes have to endure rail journeys in uncomfortably hot carriages.

There are also concerns that the health risks and service disruption of travelling at peak times during a heatwave results in economic losses as staff may not be able to get to work. There is no regulation on maximum workplace temperature, resulting in difficult working conditions particularly for those engaged in heavy manual labour or outdoor work. The Committee is calling on the Government to make businesses aware of the developing threat of heatwaves and the economic consequences and for Public Health England to issue formal guidance to employers to relax dress codes and allow flexible working when heatwave alerts are issued.

Additionally the Committee recommends that the Government should consult on introducing maximum workplace temperatures, especially for work that involves significant physical effort, and that the Department for Education should issue guidance for head teachers about safe temperatures in schools and relaxing school uniform policy during hot weather.

The UK’s water supply is expected to reduce by 4–7% and this will be exacerbated by the increasing demand for water during heatwaves, particularly in cities. The Committee is calling for the Government to raise its ambitions for water efficiency by adopting 110 litres per person per day as the mandatory standard in Part G of the building regulations for all new buildings.

Ministerial lead on responsibility for climate change health risks

Adapting to heatwaves is complex. The impact on health can be affected by overheating on public transport, in cities and in buildings, with policies spanning several Government departments and local Government. Although the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have overall adaptation responsibility, the Department of Health and Social Care holds responsibility for heatwaves and heat-health. Therefore, we were concerned to hear that despite these significant health hazards, the Minister for Public Health, Steve Brine MP, did not consider it his department’s responsibility to take active steps to address the heat-health issues of overheating buildings and planning policy.

The Committee is calling on the Department of Health and Social Care to provide a Ministerial lead on responsibility for climate change related health risks. The Minister should work closely with DEFRA, and across Government, to ensure there is a holistic and coordinated approach to adapting to the health risks of climate change, building on the advice of the Committee on Climate Change.

Public information campaign on risk of heatwaves and the growing frequency and intensity of heatwaves

In August 2003 temperatures reached 38.5°C in England and there were 2,193 heat-related deaths across the UK in 10 days. The Met Office predicts that similar heatwaves will occur every other year by the 2040s. Prolonged periods of high temperatures cause cardiac and respiratory disease leading to excess deaths, particularly in older people. The average number of heat-related deaths in the UK is expected to more than treble to 7,000 per year by the 2050s.

Although extreme heat events have become more common in Europe since the 1950s, there is public misconception that heatwaves have become less frequent. The Government does not provide clear information for the public on the developing threat of heatwaves.

The Government’s heatwave alert system only runs from June to September, so vulnerable people are not warned about unseasonal heatwaves. Moreover, the Committee heard that alerts are only put out if a threshold of approximately 30°C is reached, even though the Medical Director at Public Health England acknowledged that heat-related deaths begin when temperatures rise above 25°C.

Membership of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee:

Mary Creagh MP (Labour) (Chair), Colin Clark MP (Conservative), Therese Coffey MP (Conservative), Geraint Davies MP (Labour), Philip Dunne MP (Conservative), Zac Goldsmith MP (Conservative), Robert Goodwill MP (Conservative), James Gray MP (Conservative), Caroline Lucas MP (Green), Kerry McCarthy MP (Labour), Anna McMorrin MP (Labour), John McNally MP (Scottish National Party), Dr. Mathew Offord MP (Conservative), Dr. Dan Poulter MP (Conservative), Joan Ryan MP (Labour), Alex Sobel MP (Labour).

A copy of the Report is attached.

 

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB460 Heatwaves – Adapting to Climate Change

HC 826 – Heatwaves-embargo (002)

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Special Conference Redesign – 3rd/4th November 2018

Special Conference Redesign – 3rd/4th November 2018

Following LTB 321/18 Branches will wish to know that a number of meetings have been held between the President, GS Office and the union’s Standing Order Committee (SOC). The agenda of these meetings was to discuss the format and structure of the Special Conference in November.

Work is continuing on the Redesign papers and the aim is to publish all the Redesign papers to Branches on the 28th August 2018. The SOC are currently working on the conference timetable for motions, delegations, etc and further LTBs will be sent in due course.

Finally, after careful consideration and recognising the limited conference time available, it has been agreed by the NEC that the Special Conference in November will deal with motions and extensive policy papers. Any subsequent rule changes will be dealt with next year at a Special Rules Revision Conference.. Further information relating to these matters will be sent to Branches in due course.

Any further enquiries regarding this LTB should be addressed to the General Secretary’s Office at gsoffice@cwu.org quoting the reference GS 29.0.

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward – General Secretary

Tony Kearns – Senior Deputy General Secretary

18LTB455 – Special Conference Redesign – 3rd 4th November 2018

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CWU National Organ Donation Campaign – Government Publish Response to Organ Donation Consultation

CWU National Organ Donation Campaign – Government Publish Response to Organ Donation Consultation:

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

Motion 85 was carried at CWU Conference in 2011 and CWU has been supporting Organ Donation Week ever since as well as campaigning to raise awareness of the need for more organ and blood donors. In 2016 the TUC Congress carried Motion 47 on the subject of Organ

Donation and called for the TUC and Trade Unions to campaign to increase the number of organ donors. The Motion was carried with CWU Support.

Letters to CWU Branches and Regions have been issued annually by the Health, Safety & Environment Department as well as distributing materials and resources to our Branches, Regions and Officers and Reps across the UK as well as CWU Voice coverage and the Union has challenged CWU Reps to sign up to be an organ donor/blood donor and get other Reps and members to sign up.

The CWU signed up to a campaign partnership with NHSBT (NHS Blood & Transplant) in 2016 and NHSBT (NHS Blood and Transplant) issued a statement to the effect that it was pleased to be working with the Communications Workers Union, one of the UK’s major Trade Unions that takes the health, safety and wellbeing of its large membership and families very seriously and places such matters high on the agenda.

The Union has also worked jointly with employers to run joint health awareness campaigns of which organ and blood donation is included through their campaigns.

The CWU Health and Safety Department has additionally concentrated campaigning efforts to spread the message of donation across the Union, seeking to promote blood and organ donation amongst its Black and Asian members where only 1.4% of those on the Organ Donation Register are from these communities.

This week the Government published its response to the Organ Donation Consultation which took place in England between December 2017 and March 2018 and which the CWU engaged with.

The Government is proposing the introduction in England of a new system (commonly known as ‘deemed consent’ or ‘opt-out’) in which everybody would be considered as a potential organ donor unless they have either added their details to the NHS Organ Donor Register to opt out of donation or are in one of the groups excluded within the legislation. A similar system came into force in Wales in December 2015.

The Government believes that this new legislation will support more organ donors and help to save the lives of more people on the Transplant Waiting List. As ever the NHSBT (NHS Blood & Transplant) role is to support whatever legislation is in place and to work to make the Government’s ambition a reality. However as with any legislative change this will take some time to come into legal effect. The Government estimate is that the new law will commence in Spring 2020. NHS Blood and Transplant will be working closely with the Government to ensure that the changes are implemented successfully.

NHSBT (NHS Blood & Transplant) has written to the Union expressing its thanks for the support of the CWU stating “Your organisation has contributed significantly in the past by helping to promote the benefits of organ donation with us.”

NHSBT (NHS Blood & Transplant) have additionally stated that it is going to be very important that people living across the country understand how the system is going to change in England and that people continue to share their decision about organ donation with their family. They have asked the CWU to continue to support their work by helping to educate and inform our members about organ donation and by encouraging them to talk to their family about donation.

In fact, this year’s Organ Donation Week is coming up soon – it’s taking place from 3rd to 9th September and the CWU will be supporting the week again. NHSBT (NHS Blood & Transplant) have asked us to help encourage people to talk to their families about organ donation during the week. We will be circulating further details and materials and assets in due course once available.

NHSBT (NHS Blood & Transplant) concluded their message to the CWU stating that together we can ensure that as many people as possible, who want to be organ donors and who die in the circumstances where donation can be considered, can save the lives of patients across the UK in need of a transplant.

Branches, Regions and members will no doubt welcome the Government’s decision and I’m pleased to be able to communicate it to you.

Yours sincerely

 

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB454 CWU National Organ Donation Campaign – Government Publish Response to Organ Donation Consultation

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Royal Mail Logistics – Accident Near Miss & Hazard Reporting Process “STAR” (Stop, Think, Act, Report)

Royal Mail Logistics – Accident Near Miss & Hazard Reporting Process “STAR” (Stop, Think, Act, Report):

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

As part of a joint programme of work to improve safety standards and better manage safety in the workplace, a “near miss and hazard reporting” process has been developed jointly between Royal Mail Logistics and the CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department for use in Logistics. This will be launched on Monday 13 August in an agreed number of pilot/trial offices, enabling Logistics workers to report incidents via a simple report card and collection box process. This process is to be used as part of a 3 month pilot/trial to assess the system, the volumes, categories, hazards and near miss trends prior to national roll out in all RM Logistics operations across the UK.

The CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department have been fully consulted and involved in the planning to introduce the “near miss and hazard reporting” process and we fully endorse and support this approach.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimated that if every single reportable incident not at present investigated by employers was investigated and acted upon, this could save UK society up to £2 billion per year in preventable accidents and incidents.

Near misses are warnings of failings or gaps in safety management systems, and can identify potential accidents before they actually happen. In doing so personal injury, pain, loss and suffering plus damage to plant, equipment, property and loss of productivity can all be avoided with thorough reporting, investigation, root cause analysis and remedial action.

History has shown repeatedly that most serious and catastrophic accidents and events were preceded by warnings or near miss incidents. Recognising and reporting hazards and near miss incidents can significantly improve worker safety and enhance the organisation’s safety culture. The HSE state that there is a direct correlation between the number of near misses and accident rates.

The intention of this new scheme is to proactively encourage staff to support and utilise the process in a “blame-free” culture by reporting all hazards they see and all near miss incidents they observe or are involved in, so as to ensure there’s a full investigation in to the hazard or how the incidents happened, how the risks arise and how they might be prevented in future.

The findings and conclusions can then be taken into account in revising the workplace risk assessments, working methods, dealing with accommodation issues, plant, equipment etc., so ensuring they are safe and fit for purpose.

If an incident occurs which does not result in an injury, but which clearly could have done, then it’s a ‘near miss’, and jointly Royal Mail and the CWU want to encourage every individual staff member to report it. Reporting incidents will be encouraged and not frowned upon.

Effective identification and reporting of near misses and hazards means preventative measures and controls can be introduced, reducing the likelihood of an accident occurring.

The near miss/hazard report cards will be accessible to all Logistics staff on the site.

The message to all Logistics staff is ‘please take the opportunity to submit any hazards you spot or near miss incidents you have , however minor you think they are’. Because if we don’t know where the real problems are, how are we going to prioritise our efforts? An effective near miss reporting process can be a fundamental element of a thriving safety culture. A near miss is a golden opportunity to prevent an accident. The idea is to get the information reported quickly. This allows an investigation to take place to identify root causes of potential accidents and to then assist with follow-up and corrective action so that ultimately lower accident and injury rates result. The hope is that staff will learn the importance of near miss and hazard reporting and begin helping deploy a sustainable reporting program that’s unique to their work and operations. The information will be collected and analysed for appropriate attention and discussed at the local joint Health and Safety Committee.

The National Logistics Safety Management Team will feed back to the CWU/HQ National Health, Safety and Environment Department.

The support of all CWU Area and Workplace Health and Safety Reps plus Distribution and Drivers Reps would be appreciated in encouraging local members to report any hazard or near miss.

The joint intention of Royal Mail Logistics and CWU remains that we work in a positive safety culture. To improve safety and encouraging openness, recognising issues and implementing controls.

In line with HSE strategy, Royal Mail will pro-actively involve, consult and inform CWU Safety Representatives in good time.

The intention of this new ‘STAR’ scheme is to proactively encourage staff to support and utilise the process in a “non-punitive”, “blame-free” culture by reporting all hazards, incidents, near misses, so as to identify issues early, ensure there’s a full investigation in to how the hazards or incidents happened, how the risks arise and how they might be prevented in future, so that we can stop accidents from happening. This gives employees a voice to help resolve safety related issues, helps us jointly develop an open culture whereby everyone shares and contributes in a responsible manner to their own safety and that of their fellow workers – NO BLAME!

Remember “STAR” is the right course of Action!

S = STOP.

T = THINK.

A = ACT.

R = REPORT.

Hazard definitions

• An Unsafe condition is defined as an unsatisfactory physical condition that exists at the workplace which could be a major contributor to an accident occurring if not rectified e.g. damaged equipment, pot holes etc.

• An Unsafe act is any act that deviates from a generally recognised safe way or specified method of doing a job and which increases the probabilities for an accident. It must contain an element of unsatisfactory behavior immediately before an accident that was significant in initiating the event.

• If an incident occurs which does not result in an injury, but which clearly could have done, then it’s a ‘near miss’.

The PiC (Person in Charge) and Management are tasked with trying to resolve the issues and will regularly communicate updates through a ‘STAR’ Notice Board and via the Joint Health and Safety Committee Meetings and in consultation with CWU Health and Safety Reps. It may be that some issues take a while to resolve – staff can escalate issues through their CWU Reps if they don’t feel that Managers are taking the issue seriously enough.

The following Message and assurances to all employees is given by Royal Mail Logistics:

• The message to all employees is ‘please take the opportunity to submit any hazards you identify, however minor you think they are’. RM Logistics wish to promote a culture of reporting with the support and help of all managers and supervisors.

• The support of all CWU Representatives is appreciated in encouraging employees within Logistics to report any hazards through the ‘STAR’ reporting process.

• The joint intention of Royal Mail and CWU remains that we work in a positive safety culture. To improve safety and encouraging openness, recognising issues and implementing controls in a ‘no blame culture’.

• In line with HSE strategy, Royal Mail will pro-actively involve, consult and inform CWU Safety Representatives in good time.

• The ‘STAR’ scheme intends to raise awareness, encourage employees to identify and report hazards, that can be jointly investigated, how the incidents happened, how risks arise, and how they might be prevented in future.

• The ‘STAR’ scheme is an essential piece of joint working, demonstrating a clear intention to improve and sustain safety performance in the workplace, that will significantly reduce and sustain accidents levels, in a “blame free” safety culture.

• ‘STAR’ was designed to give members a voice on safety issues and was not designed for disciplining individuals who raise issues and an anonymous option has been included in the reporting process to back this up. RM Logistics want all hazards and near misses to be identified, so remedial action can be implemented and prevent accidents from happening.

• In addition the Director of RM Logistics will be sending a letter to all managers requesting their personal commitment to ‘STAR’ and expressing his expectation of them which is to: lead by example; maintain and improve safety; not “walk by” and ignore issues; be respectful and trusting; promote an open, feedback-rich culture amongst the workforce; react swiftly to the discovery of unsafe acts or conditions; be transparent and fair; thoroughly investigate all accidents to identify the true root causes, looking beyond the individual’s actions i.e., systems, processes and management activities.

The Four Pilot/Trial Offices are:

• Mount Pleasant Distribution/Logistics (co-located on Mount Pleasant MC site)

• Swansea Logistics Distribution/Logistics VOC (Co-located on Swansea MC site)

• South Midlands Distribution/Logistics (co-located on South Midlands MC site)

• Sheffield Fleet Services Workshop

Attachments:

1 ‘STAR’ WTLL Briefing

2 ‘STAR’ Poster

3 ‘STAR’ Near Miss/Hazard Report Card

4 ‘STAR’ Staff Briefing PowerPoint Slides

5 ‘STAR’ Management Briefing PowerPoint Slides

6 ‘STAR’ RM Logistics/CWU Joint Statement

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

2.9.13.2 talkabout STAR (2)

18LTB452 Royal Mail Logistics – Accident Near Miss & Hazard Reporting Process STAR

Near Miss Presentation Managers briefing (2)

Near Miss Presentation Staff briefing (2)

RM04780 A2 Poster 28.03.18

RM04780 A5 Card 28.03.18 

RM Logistics-CWU-STAR-Joint Statement

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Sentencing Council New Guidelines for Manslaughter, Including Gross Negligence Manslaughter Introduced

Sentencing Council New Guidelines for Manslaughter, Including Gross Negligence Manslaughter Introduced:

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

The Sentencing Council has published new guidelines for how offenders convicted of manslaughter should be sentenced in England and Wales.

LTB 580/17 reported on the Sentencing Council Public Consultation on Gross Negligence Manslaughter and the CWU Response.

The CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department along with the TUC and other Unions have welcomed the new guidelines which increase sentences and establish consistency from all courts and judges. However, our response included reference to the rare cases where individual workers are convicted of Gross Negligence Manslaughter, and we stressed that those concerned should face less severe punishment than employers, directors and senior managers, if in mitigation, the evidence shows that stressful working conditions and repressive management contributed to their actions, or if their employer’s management organisation and procedures were inadequate. I’m pleased to report that our submission has been taken into account and the new guidelines state in the Gross Negligence Manslaughter Section, Factors indicating lower culpability, that: “The offender was in a lesser or subordinate role if acting with others in the offending.”

The Consultation Document (CD) did not include the charge of “Corporate Manslaughter” (Corporate Homicide in Scotland) which was introduced in 2007 and is a criminal offence committed by a company or organisation, for serious health and safety management failures, resulting in gross breach of duty of care, leading to a fatality or fatalities. The offence was created to provide a means of accountability for serious health and safety failures across a company or organisation. This offence is intended to work in conjunction with other forms of health and safety accountability and offences such as “Gross Negligence Manslaughter” for ‘individuals’ (Directors, Senior Executives and Managers etc.,) and other health and safety law offences. The Sentencing Council introduced new guidelines for those convicted of “Corporate Manslaughter” in November 2015 bringing in higher penalties, particularly for large organisations committing this and other serious health and safety offences. (See LTB Number 716/2016 and subsequent LTBs 142/2017 and 449/2017).

The CD stated that in 2014, 16 offenders were found guilty and sentenced for Gross Negligence Manslaughter. All of them were sentenced to imprisonment with custodial terms ranging from 9 months to 12 years, 4 of which were suspended sentences. The average was 4 years.

The Sentencing Council has now published its definitive new guidelines to Courts on how offenders convicted of manslaughter should be sentenced in England and Wales and this is the first time that guidelines have been drawn up for these very serious and difficult cases which include workplace fatalities caused by employers’ gross negligence.

The publication marks the first time that comprehensive guidelines have been drawn up for these very serious and difficult cases, which could range from an unintended death resulting from an assault, to a workplace fatality caused by a negligent employer.

The serious nature of manslaughter, combined with the great variation in cases, and the fact that cases do not come before individual judges very frequently, means the introduction of guidelines will be particularly useful in promoting consistency in sentencing and transparency in terms of how sentencing decisions are reached.

Overall, the guideline is unlikely to change sentence levels but it is expected that in some gross negligence cases sentences will increase. This could be in situations where, for example, an employer’s long-standing and serious disregard for the safety of employees, motivated by cost-cutting, has led to someone being killed. Current sentencing practice in these sorts of cases is lower in the context of overall sentence levels for manslaughter than for other types.

The types of manslaughter covered by the guideline are:

Unlawful Act Manslaughter – this is the most commonly prosecuted form of manslaughter and includes deaths that result from assaults where there was no intention to kill or cause very serious harm. It can vary greatly. For example, it could involve a situation where two friends briefly argue and one pushes the other causing him to fall and hit his head with fatal results. It could involve someone going out looking for a fight and attacking someone forcefully but not intending to kill. It could also include unintended deaths that result from other crimes, such as arson or robbery. 105 offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

Gross Negligence Manslaughter – this occurs when the offender is in breach of a duty of care towards the victim which causes the death of the victim and amounts to a criminal act or omission. The circumstances vary greatly. In a domestic setting it could include parents or carers who fail to protect a child from an obvious danger. In a work setting, it could cover employers who completely disregard the safety of employees. 10 offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

Manslaughter by reason of loss of control – This arises if the actions of an offender, who would otherwise be guilty of murder, resulted from a loss of self-control, for example arising from a fear of serious violence. 12 offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

Manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility – Someone guilty of this offence would have been suffering from a recognised mental condition that affected their responsibility at the time of the offence, without which they would have been convicted of murder. 26 offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

The guideline ensures comprehensive guidance where previously it was very limited. Until now, there has been a guideline only for Corporate Manslaughter, which comes under the Council’s health and safety offences guideline, and a guideline by the Council’s predecessor body for manslaughter by reason of provocation, which is now out of date following legislative changes to the partial defences to murder.

Manslaughter offences vary hugely – some cases are not far from being an accident, while others may be just short of murder. While no sentence can make up for the loss of life, this guideline will hopefully help ensure sentencing that properly reflects the culpability of the offender and the unique facts of each case.

Manslaughter is an extremely serious offence, causing immeasurable pain to families who lose their loved ones. So it is vital our courts have clear, consistent guidance in these often complex cases – such as when both individuals and employers are involved. These guidelines aim to make sure sentences reflect the severity of the crime, helping protect workers and keep communities safe.

A copy of the new Sentencing Guidelines is attached.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB451 Sentencing Council New Guidelines for Manslaughter Including Gross Negligence Manslaughter Introduced

Sentencing Council_Manslaughter_Definitive-Guideline_2018

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