Coronavirus/Covid-19 – Workforce Testing Pilot – Using Lateral Flow Testing
Led by the Health, Safety & Environment Department and Postal Outdoor Department, CWU/HQ has been pressing for the introduction of ‘Workforce Testing’ for Covid-19/Coronavirus as a positive, proactive way of combatting the spread and transmission of the virus in the workplace by quickly identifying those infected and getting them into self-isolation promptly, to firstly protect the individual and secondly reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, bearing in mind that many people may be infected but are either pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic and will not know they have the virus.
A positive test early in the course of the illness enables individuals to isolate themselves, reducing the chances that they will infect others and allowing them to seek treatment earlier, likely reducing disease severity and the risk of long-term disability, or death. Since it is recognised that nearly half of all Covid-19 infections are transmitted by people who are not showing any symptoms, identifying infected individuals via testing while they are pre-symptomatic, as well as those who are asymptomatic, workforce testing in Royal Mail Group, one of the UK’s largest employers, could therefore play a major role in stopping the pandemic.
A ‘tripartite’ agreement has been reached involving the CWU, Royal Mail Group and the Department of Health and Social Care for Royal Mail to be involved in a wider government initiative, running a number of pilots to test the concept of regular weekly Covid-19 testing in the workplace. The pilot, forms part of the plan to roll out mass testing technology across the country with the full support, help and assistance of the Representatives and members of the South Yorkshire Postal Branch. Sheffield City Delivery Office has been selected to run a 4-week pilot to trial ‘lateral Flow Testing’ whereby the workforce will be offered the new 30-minute rapid lateral flow tests (LFTs), which can be administered in person at the workplace.
Royal Mail HQ and CWU HQ nationally, will jointly work together to bring about the successful piloting of the lateral Flow testing of the workforce. The role and full involvement of Local managers, CWU Area and Local Representatives including H&S reps and the workforce will be vital to the successful deployment and evaluation of the testing and they will be fully involved in the pilot site and if successful in each deployment site, it will enable consistency and ongoing success.
Royal Mail and CWU will closely monitor the methods, progress and success of this important initiative, during the pilot in order to jointly understand all aspects of this initiative and to consider any process improvements. A review will take place in January 2021.
All enquiries should be directed to CWU/HQ Health, Safety & Environment Department and Postal Outdoor Department
Attached is a copy of a joint statement entitled ‘Royal Mail/CWU Joint Statement – Coronavirus/Covid-19 – Workforce Testing Pilot – Using Lateral Flow Testing – Sheffield City Delivery Office’.
Further updates will follow in due course.
Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 600, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
Assistant Secretary Outdoor Dept