Coronavirus Covid-19 Test Kits – Collections From 34,000 ‘Priority’ Post Boxes – SOP & SSoW Health & Safety Compliance

Coronavirus Covid-19 Test Kits – Collections From 34,000 ‘Priority’ Post Boxes – SOP & SSoW Health & Safety Compliance

As the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Test Kit collection operation moves on and up to 34,000 priority post boxes, the issue of maintaining compliance with the agreed high safety standards becomes crucial.

This matter has been raised by the CWU Health, Safety and Environment department and been subject to discussions at both the weekly RM/CWU National Joint Operations Skype meetings and on the RM/CWU National Joint Strategic Covid-19 Testing Kits Skype meetings.

Our concerns reflected the issues raised by a number of our Area Health and Safety Reps across the country who have reiterated concerns previously expressed that in some locations collection drivers, including collection on delivery staff were leaving offices without the full range of necessary specified kit and equipment in order to complete the Test-Kit collections from post boxes in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedure and Safe System of Work. It was agreed by Royal Mail and CWU/HQ that we need to work collectively to improve on this and avoid it occurring. Area Health and Safety Reps (ASRs) and Workplace Health and Safety Reps (WSRs) are asked (by both Royal Mail and CWU) to keep a close eye on this and carry out regular safety spot-checks, reporting any non-compliance to operational management and SHE Advisors/Business Partners.

Royal Mail and CWU/HQ have agreed that we must jointly ensure that all collection drivers, including collections on delivery, have the list of items  necessary with them at all times when collecting from any post-box – see attached “Pre-Collection List” Poster.

The “Collect – Before You Leave The Office” Poster – lists the 6 items required before leaving the Unit – these are:

  • Self-Seal Polythene Bags
  • Green Mail Sacks
  • PDA and Spare Battery
  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Gloves
  • Waste Bag

This poster has been issued to all offices via a ‘SharePoint’ link, supported by WTLL briefing material.  The local “Deployment Leads” have been tasked to follow up with each collection and delivery office to provide concurrence to the following question “Have the Pre-Collection List Posters been printed and displayed in my site?”. Unit Managers have confirmed that this is the case.

ASRs and WSRs are requested to ensure the poster is on display and brought to the attention of collections staff.

Collections staff should then follow the 3 key principles:-

  1. SPOT IT: UN3373 packaging and T24 label
  2. BAG IT: SSOW must be followed (bag all kits) 
  3. MOVE IT: Keep items separate from other streams and hand it over to a designated contact

Each DOM is asked to complete and sign-off the below concurrence questions to ensure they understand what is required to deliver on the Standard Operating Procedure and Safe Systems Of Work. You will see the question related to “Pre Collection list posters have been printed and displayed in my site” listed which aligns to the safety standard Royal Mail has set out. Would ASRs and WSRs spot-check compliance with this requirement.I know who my ops project lead is and have their contact informationMy site has a supply of CV19 labels and York cards (Contact Addressograph duty at Plant for stock)My site has a supply of green bags to relay the test kits to the plant  (1-2 required daily and are sourced from Plant)My site has a supply of polythene bags and I know how to order further stockAll collection drivers know to scan test kits as ‘Accepted at CSP’ before dispatch to Mail CentreAll collections drivers in my site have been trained and understand what they need to do (SSOW etc)All collections drivers in my postcode sectors have a copy of the handout – Test Kit Handout: Collection and Delivery ColleaguesPre Collection list posters have been printed and displayed in my siteAll collection drivers know that green bags must be used for test kits once they have been identifiedAll collection drivers know that green bags must be kept separate from other mail streamsAll collection drivers have been briefed on the handover process at the Mail CentreAll my collection roles in my area are aware of the location of their Priority BoxesI am aware that all items will be collected Mon – Sat in accordance to current plate timesI know that my Priority Boxes will be labelledI have resource in place to ensure collection from Priority Boxes is in place Mon – SatAll of my collectors know that all Priority Boxes will still receive a Collected scan as usual

See Attachments for your attention and assistance:

  • Pre-Collection List Poster “Have You Got What You Need”
  • COVID-19 Test Kit Mailings Delivery and Collections (Royal Mail Operations SSOW)
  • Covid-19 Test Kits – Priority Post Box Collections – Managers’ Brief
  • Covid-19 Collection From Postbox Operations Standard Special Procedure
  • Collecting Test Kits Process
  • SOP A3.1 Collecting From Postboxes
  • RM/CWU – Covid-19 Priority Post Box Test Kit Collection Frequently Asked Questions

Any non-compliant offices or management queries can be reported directly to:- Francis Williams Royal Mail Operations Head of Commercial, Property & Central Functions Programmes. Email:-

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 379/20 – Coronavirus Covid-19 Test Kits – Collections From 34,000 ‘Priority’ Post Boxes – SOP & SSoW Health & Safety Compliance

COVID 19 Test Kit SSOW Deliveries and Collections v1.2

COVID 19_priority post boxes_Operational Brief_v1.3

COVID Priority Post Box Collection_FAQs_v1.3

CV1 Collection from postbox

POSTBOX Collections drivers – pre collection list poster V2

POSTBOX Test Kit Handout for Collections and Delivery colleagues V6.1

Pre-Collection List – Have You Got What You Need – Poster

SOP A3.1 Collect from postbox

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