Royal Mail Logistics – Accident Near Miss & Hazard Reporting Process “STAR” (Stop, Think, Act, Report) – National Roll-Out:
LTB No. 452/2018 dated 8 August 2018, announced the trial of a new “near miss and hazard reporting” process which had been developed jointly between Royal Mail Logistics and the CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department for use in Logistics, aimed at helping to improve safety standards and better manage safety in the workplace. After reviewing the Trial outcome, it has been agreed to roll out nationally the Accident Near Miss & Hazard Reporting Process called “STAR” (Stop, Think, Act, Report) across the UK in all Royal Mail Logistics, Distribution and Fleet Services Units and operations. WTLL briefing sessions will be completed in all units prior to introduction in that unit.
The simple, easy to use ‘STAR’ system enables Logistics workers to report incidents via a simple report card and collection box process. The CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department have been fully involved in the development 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 Health, Safety and Environment Department and to the RM Logistics/Trade Unions National Joint Health & Safety Committee.
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.
- 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 system, safe way or specified method of doing a job and which increases the probabilities for an accident. It must contain an element of unsatisfactory behaviour 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’.
- A hazard is anything that is a source of potential damage, may cause harm, or adverse health effects on someone, such as chemicals, electricity, working from ladders, faulty equipment, bad lighting, uneven or slippery floor surface, an open drawer etc. The risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody could be harmed by these and other hazards, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be.
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 accident 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.
- This Process has nothing to do with ‘World Class Mail’ and is not connected with it in any way.
- ‘STAR’ WTLL Briefing
- ‘STAR’ Poster
- ‘STAR’ Near Miss/Hazard Report Card
- ‘STAR’ Staff Briefing PowerPoint Slides
- ‘STAR’ Management Briefing PowerPoint Slides
- ‘STAR’ RM Logistics/CWU Joint Statement
Note: It has been agreed that once stocks are exhausted a re-designed, improved Near Miss/Hazard Report Card will be introduced.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer