Royal Mail Group – Mandatory Mask Wearing – CWU Compliance Survey (Dec 2020)
This update is being issued further to LTB No. 544/2020 issued on 13 November 2020.
See attached for the information of all Postal Representatives, Branches and Regions a copy of the results of a national survey of ‘Mandatory Mask Wearing’ support and compliance as conducted via the CWU Regional Health and Safety Sub-Committees and Area Safety Reps.
This is a matter that has been discussed at the weekly RMG/CWU National Joint Coronavirus Operations Group meetings.
From day one of the introduction of mandatory face coverings/masks in Royal Mail Group, there has been widespread strong and solid support for the policy from CWU ASRs, IR Reps, Branches and Regions and the CWU/HQ Health, Safety and Environment Department wishes to thank all our Reps for that support in what is an important ‘Covid-Secure’ safety measure.
Through telephone interviews and written feedback from Area Health and Safety Reps, the following was fed back:
- Overall the feedback results are positive and generally speaking, compliance stands at a good level across the country. However, it’s not perfect and there’s room for improvement!
- A number of weak areas have been identified and even within the strongly compliant areas there are some ‘rogue units’ where compliance is at best weak and at worst virtually non-existent due to poor front-line management commitment, briefings, policing by management and poor safety culture in these units. Some Operational Managers have set a poor example by not wearing their masks properly or not wearing them at all, which is another problem. Staff in these units, then not surprisingly follow suit.
- A number of units have seen standards slip back after a good start.
- With regard to Mail Centres with poor compliance standards, these include Mail Centres where we have had significant Covid-19 outbreaks and compliance is very poor.
- Parcelforce returned good results of circa 90% across all Depots and 95% in the Hubs.
- Logistics returned good results of 90% and above in most DCs with a couple at 80%.
- In Delivery, again compliance is generally strong 85% – 95% mostly but there are some worryingly very poor performing areas and even the good areas inform us that some have ‘rogue’ Delivery Units where compliance is extremely poor.
- The generally poor performing, badly non-compliant areas in London are a concern, bearing in mind the current high levels of Covid-19 cases in the London population with Covid-19 case numbers doubling every fortnight presently. These have been flagged up for urgent attention by Royal Mail along with other poor performing areas.
- Agency staff not controlled sufficiently by managers in a number of offices or allowed to openly disregard and flout the mandatory mask wearing rule was identified.
With the weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister/First Ministers/Chief Medical Officer Prof. Chris Whitty/Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance etc., regarding the rapidly rising Covid-19 infection rate and the significantly more infectious new virus strain, the Health Safety and Environment Department has called on the Royal Mail Executive Board to re-double efforts and compliance commitment to ‘Hands (hygiene) – Face (Masks) – Space (2 Metres not 1M+) – Cleaning (Higher Standards) – Weekly Workforce Covid-19 Testing roll out’.
A Joint Workplace Inspection Programme was initiated jointly involving the RMG Safety Health and Environment Team along with CWU ASRs and this is currently working well, involving CWU ASRs and WSRs and we have called on Royal Mail to keep this going, mobilising the SHE Advisors and Business Partners across the Country. However, it has to be said that the 25% cut in SHE Advisors about to be initiated could not have come at a worse time and needs to be re-thought!
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer