Royal Mail Group – Night Workers Health Assessment
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:
• 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.
• 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.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer