Royal Mail Group/CWU – Joint Health & Safety Committees Structure 2019/20
Following business reorganisation in Royal Mail Group earlier this year a comprehensive review of the Joint Health and Safety Committee was undertaken across Royal Mail Group, led by the RMG Safety Health and Environment Team, in consultation with the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department and that review work has now been concluded.
Attached are copies of the new revised:-
- Royal Mail Group (RMG) Safety, Health and Environment SHE Instruction 2.3 entitled ‘Consultation and Participation’
- Appendix 1 to the Instruction ‘Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Committees Structure and Attendees.’
- Appendices 2 – 7 on Dispute Resolution, Health and Safety Committee Agendas and Day to Day Consultation.
This ‘Mandatory’ Instruction is now in force.
Employers have a duty to consult with trade union safety representatives on health and safety matters and to establish and maintain joint health and safety committees in consultation with trade unions in order to ensure they are complying with the law, namely the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 (as amended) which in Royal Mail has been promulgated via Royal Mail Group/CWU National Safety Representation Agreements. These regulations apply to all workplaces.
Effective, fit for purpose joint health and safety committees benefit both the employers and trade unions in laying solid foundations for an effective ‘Safety Culture’ by raising the profile of health and safety and helping develop the focus on the value and importance of workplace health and safety. Joint health and safety committees bring together those from both sides with an in-depth practical knowledge of specific work tasks as well as company policies, and procedures (management). Another significant benefit is the enhancement of cooperation between management, union and workforce toward solving health and safety problems.
Key aims of Joint Health and Safety Committees are to:-
- Improve safety culture in the workplace.
- Enhance safety and health communication.
- Provide a way to empower and give a voice to the workforce.
- Ensure the organisation remains compliant with current health and safety legislation and legal guidance.
Joint health and safety committees perform an important role and will for example:-
- Recognise and Identify workplace hazards.
- Monitor accident causations and trends.
- Evaluate the hazards and risks that may cause accidents, injuries and illness.
- Participate in the development and implementation of campaigns, initiatives and programs to protect the workers’ safety, health and wellbeing.
- Respond to worker complaints and suggestions concerning safety and health.
- Ensure the maintenance and monitoring of injury and work hazard records.
- Monitor and follow-up safety hazard reports and recommend action.
- Set up and promote programs to improve workers’ safety information, instruction, training and education.
- Participate in safety and health inquiries and investigations, as appropriate.
- Consult with professional and technical experts.
- Participate in resolving working environment problems.
- Make recommendations to management for accident prevention and safety programme activities.
- Monitor effectiveness of safety and risk management and compliance.
The attached Joint Health and Safety Committees Structure covers local, area, regional and national levels which varies by business unit. It covers Royal Mail Service Delivery, Parcelforce, Royal Mail Fleet, Royal Mail Engineering, Royal Mail Logistics and Distribution, Royal Mail Specialist Services and Royal Mail International. (Note: Royal Mail Property & Facilities Services continues to be under discussion and will be added in due Course).
Area Health and Safety Representative Action
All CWU Area Health and Safety Representatives should ensure full compliance with the attached and any non-compliance should be escalated using the nationally agreed RMG/CWU National Joint Health and Safety Disputes Escalations Process set out on Page 3 of the attached RMG SHE Standard 2.3 and the Appendices.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer