Revised Royal Mail Coronavirus/Covid-19 Risk Assessments Following Revised Social Distancing Government Guidance (2M to 1M)
Branches will be aware that Royal Mail issued revised guideline documents and SSOW based on revised Government advice on Friday 17th July 2020 in regard to social distancing arrangements on certain specific operational tasks within Mail Centres/RDC’s. Reports received from the field suggested that in some instances Representatives were being informed that the change represented a carte blanche reduction from 2m to 1m in relation to social distancing across all functions.
A meeting was therefore arranged this morning between the CWU Operational Departments, the CWU Health and Safety Department and the Royal Mail Senior Management Operational and Safety leads to seek clarification.
We can now advise, that following changes to Government advice in England and Northern Ireland a joint review of the current Covid-19 social distancing arrangements across all functions, was undertaken by the Royal Mail and CWU Health and Safety Departments. The review activity included input from nominated CWU Area Safety Representatives. As part of the review three areas were identified where it was established that amendments to the current arrangements could be safely made, with mitigation.
In Cab Training –Large Fleet >3.5T
Revised SSOW have been agreed for these tasks, which maintain the commitment to social distancing with a reduction in certain circumstances from 2m to 1m, only where appropriate and with proper mitigation. Attached for the information of Branches are the revised safety documents highlighting the specific tasks and the necessary additional measures required to facilitate the change. Currently these changes only apply in England and Northern Ireland, as Government advice on social distancing in Scotland and Wales maintains the 2m criteria.
For the avoidance of doubt social distancing arrangements relating to all other operational tasks across all functions is unchanged and remains at 2m distance. There is currently also no change to the existing arrangement to preclude two-person operation of Car Derived Vans (CDV’s) in Delivery Units.
Local consultation should take place on any revised arrangements with sign off by both the IR and Health & Safety Representatives to ensure that all necessary measures associated to the SSOW are in place in full. Any issues that are identified should be escalated to the appropriate CWU Divisional Representative and Royal Mail Service Delivery Leader for resolution as a matter of urgency.
Royal Mail have confirmed that the business accepts the requirement to support employees through this change and that they will address individual concerns sympathetically. These arrangements will be the subject of constant review and will be revised in the case of any change to either National or local circumstances.
During the Covid period Royal Mail and the CWU have attempted to ensure that guidelines on operational arrangements have been clear, concise and issued to the field in advance of any proposed change. In particular, the progression of the arrangements for the handling of Covid-19 Test Kits has set the standard for coordinated consultation. In this case, Royal Mail have accepted that clearly this standard has not been met and assurances have been received on future consultation in relation to Covid-19 issues.
To remedy any misinformation in the field the business agreed to arrange a call today with Mail Centre/RDC managers to ensure that the advice is consistent across all sites and refers only to the specific operational tasks included in the revised SSOW.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to:
Davie Robertson Mark Baulch Carl Maden