Royal Mail – Age and ID Verification Services
Following the RM/CWU Joint Statement circulated in August, this LTB intends to further support the understanding of Age and ID Verification Services. It is also jointly recognised that the introduction of these new services place frontline colleagues with further added responsibilities and challenges, accordingly where any instances or difficulties are being experienced by frontline colleagues these will be managed and treated in a fully supportive manner. Frontline colleagues will be provided with the necessary support along with any further training and coaching necessary to help them carry out this task.
There has been a particular focus on the safety aspects regarding the Age ID Verification product, and the importance the CWU places on the safety of our members. Hence our respective departments have worked closely on this matter.
The Health, Safety and Environment Department had a range of safety concerns for which reassurance was required in relation to this initiative. These being:
- Walk Safe being central to this initiative. This is a longstanding safety procedure to deal with the growing problem of the threat of violence and assault on delivery staff. Whilst satisfied with the preparation in delivery units whereby a notification or red flag identifies the requirement for age verification, assurances were required around the risk of confrontation on the doorstep. Dynamic risk assessment must allow staff to walk away from a threatening or potentially threatening confrontation.
- Just as the RMG SHE Team prioritises high impacting units (HIUs) in relation to dog attacks and slips, trips and falls, likewise there needs to be a focus on known high risk-high crime areas. The risk of verbal and physical assault must be taken seriously and risk assessed by managers in consultation with CWU Area Safety Reps. The RMG Security Team will have a role.
- There is already an increase in dog attacks with signed for delivery when opening the door, and the combination with this initiative may increase that risk with the requirement for age verification.
- Safety must be paramount in all communications and WTLLs regarding this initiative.
In summary, there must be robust risk control measures in place. It is important that we got
Those safety assurances have now been secured via discussions with the RMG Safety
Health and Environment (SHE) Team in liaison with the RM Programmes Team.
Please see below a summary of the controls in place to cover off the risks that the
Risk of Confrontation
The guidance in ‘Walk Safe’ should be adhered to in order to reduce the risk of confrontation.
The workplace coach packs and FAQs that the project team developed have incorporated the
key message which is – if OPGs feel threatened, to remove themselves from the threat
and leave the item if necessary:
- It is important that, if at any stage a frontline colleague feels threatened or in danger,
they should walk away from the doorstep (leaving the parcel if unable to take the
parcel back) and inform the Security Helpdesk, your manager and the police (if
required). You can contact the Security Helpdesk through your PDA menu or
dial (0207 239 6655). Alternatively, you can dial 999 (extract from Work Place
Coach training materials).
- When something is reported to the Security Helpdesk they are going to ask whether the
incident relates to an Age Verification/ID Verification item. The project team has put in
place weekly calls with the Security Helpdesk, starting from 8th November, to monitor
this data and provide them with a regular platform to discuss any concerns post go-live.
- Any reported risks will be managed via the WRAP/USO suspensions process – obviously
ASRs would be involved in this process where risks or incidents have been reported by
- Another relevant control is the customer notification piece as it will not be a surprise to
the customer that the post person is asking for ID – the customer will be notified at the
point of purchase that they will be required to provide ID/proof of age for this
product. They will be reminded again via text/email that ID is required as the item
passes through our pipeline. Employees have also been provided with a ‘customer
information card’ that they can reference if the customer needs further explanation.
Whilst the above has gone in the training pack, there will be further opportunities for the ‘Walk
Safe’ message to be reiterated to support the go-live next week. An additional communication
will go out to Delivery Offices with a link to the full Risk of Confrontation briefing.
Dog Attack Risk
An action has been captured on the SAC1 to raise awareness of this potential risk i.e., the
customer leaving the doorstep to retrieve ID. This isn’t featured in the WPC pack but the
planned message will be: Age ID/Verification: Dog at the property and customer needs to get
their ID. Politely ask the customer to close the door/secure the dog.
The Age/ID Verification product is currently only available to Amazon and the initial volumes
are expected to be low – Royal Mail Project Team will share the volume forecasts. Once the
product is live, the project team can take feedback from units/ASRs and if new risks are
identified we will revisit the SAC1 and consult you again on the proposed controls.
In summary, the safety assurances sought on behalf of our members have been secured. The
risks are being controlled. Ongoing monitoring will take place. Feedback to the Health Safety
and Environment department from ASRs is vital. Meetings and dialogue will be ongoing with
the SHE Team, Programmes Team and Delivery Team. The Project Team will continue to
monitor and review and seek feedback as part of the deployment process. If new risks arise
the SAC1 will be revisited.
The Age and ID Verification product will be launched next week w/c Monday 4th November.
Attachments to this LTB:
- Age and ID Verification Safety Assessment and Concurrence (SAC1)
- Risk of Confrontation WTLL
- Age and ID Verification Services – Workplace Coach Training Pack
- Age and ID Verification Customer Handout (two sided card)
- Age and ID Verification FAQs
- Age and ID verification National Joint Statement
Any queries to the content of the above, please contact the Health, Safety & Environment
Department, Louise Pietrzykowska, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, reference number
The Outdoor Department, reference: 600, email address: email@example.com.
Dave Joyce – National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
Mark Baulch – Assistant Secretary, Outdoor Postal Department