Pest and Vermin Control in the Royal Mail Group Estate
The CWU HQ Health Safety and Environment Department has been in discussion with the Director Royal Mail Property & Facilities Services and his team and the Safety Health and Environment Team regarding concerns about a recent rise in cases of significant pest and vermin infestation incidents in Royal Mail Group operational buildings. In particular, this involved two cases of Mail Centres quite badly infested with rats, mice and pigeons.
There has been an overall rise in the number of reports of rodent and pigeon infestations in buildings, causing concerns amongst CWU Reps and members. Both the CWU and Unite/CMA have expressed concern about this growing problem.
Management of vermin on the Royal Mail estate is important to ensure that the buildings are safe, healthy and comfortable places to work in.
Pest infestations of offices involving mice, rats, pigeons or insects are a problem for a number of reasons, including; the potential to spread diseases, such as Weils Disease/Leptospirosis and Psittacosis, through the contamination of work surfaces and food and work areas via urine and droppings.
In addition to property damage, customers’ parcels and mail can also be damaged and this becomes a cause for customer complaints and dissatisfaction, when parcels are either delivered damaged, or as in some cases they are so badly damaged that they can’t be delivered at all!
There are also huge additional costs to Royal Mail associated with vermin infestations such as customer compensation payments, specialist additional cleaning, waste disposal, and pest control treatments by specialist vermin control companies.
RMPFS have issued fresh reminder instructions to PiCs and Office Managers in order to focus on helping to reduce the risk of pest infestations and dealing with the first early signs of pests by reporting it to RMPFS promptly.
All staff, including our members, can assist and play their part by removing sources of food, water and shelter, keep doors closed (where practicable) etc.
Office Managers and PiCs have been reminded to manage waste and maintain good housekeeping by not letting external bins overflow with refuse and by not leaving waste on the floors, either inside or outside buildings.
It is vitally important to ensure all food waste is placed in designated food waste or residual (general) waste bins.
All food stuffs must be stored in sealed rigid containers (glass, plastic, metal), inside fridges, lockers, cupboards etc.
Persons in Control (PiCs) and managers must report leaky plumbing and prevent water from accumulating anywhere, including around houseplants and fridges.
Any gaps or holes in the building fabric must be reported to the ‘P&FS Helpdesk’ in order that action can be taken to reduce the chances of pests entering and nesting in buildings.
Parcels and Packets etc. must not be left outside buildings or in areas where rodent contamination is suspected.
If any individual suspects that they have been in contact with something which has been soiled or damaged by vermin, they must ensure that they wash their hands thoroughly and follow basic hygiene rules which make all the difference.
All known pest activity must be reported to the RMP&FS Helpdesk – Royal Mail’s contracted Pest Control provider (ISS/EcoLab) will then be informed and action requested.
The pest control provider will continue to carry out site visits and provide both pest control and recommendations on how to deal with pest infestations, but prompt action by PiCs and Office Managers will make it quicker and easier to resolve these problems.
The Person in Control (PiC) for each site is responsible, supported by the SHE Team and Property and Facilities (P&FS Helpdesk) for monitoring all areas of the premises for signs of pests and managing the eradication programme to eliminate or at least reduce the problem. This includes a weekly walk around the site and inspecting for signs of vermin. More information on these arrangements is contained in the PiC handbook.
Will all ASRS and WSRS ensure these instructions are followed and maintained.
Attached is a communication circulated to PiCs by Royal Mail P&FS and SHE Teams recently.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer