Dog Owner Convicted after Postwoman has Finger Tip Bitten Off:

Dog Owner Convicted after Postwoman has Finger Tip Bitten Off:

An irresponsible dog owner received a conditional discharge and was ordered to pay a Rushden postwoman and CWU member £2000 compensation after conviction for a Dangerous Dogs Act offence.

A Rushden postwoman had the top of her finger bitten off by irresponsible owner Shanice Blackette’s Shar-Pei dog as she was delivering mail on her round and posting it through the front door of a home in Catlin Way, Rushden, Northants on December 12 last year. She was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.

The dog owner Blackette, 27, was convicted of an ‘aggravated’ offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act, of allowing her dog to be dangerously out of control and causing injury. She pleaded guilty at Northampton Magistrates’ Court.

Blackette was sentenced to a 12 months ‘Conditional Discharge’ and was ordered to pay the postwoman £2,000 in compensation and surcharge costs.

Dave Joyce National Health and Safety Officer of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) that represents 200,000 workers including the nation’s postmen and women said in reaction to the conviction of dog owner Shanice Blackette;

“The CWU welcomes the Court Judgement” but he added “However this owner got off lightly and the injuries could have been much worse. Irresponsible dog owners are a curse to the nation’s postal workers who deliver daily to 30 million UK addresses.”

Dave Joyce said “3,000 postmen and women are attacked by dogs every year whilst going about their jobs – many suffering serious, debilitating and life-changing injuries. Dog owners can face up to 5 years in prison and an unlimited fine for allowing their dogs to injure a person (14 years in the case of a fatal attack).”

Dave added “My strong advice to all dog owners and Royal Mail/Parcelforce customers is this:  If you’re a dog owner and have an animal that attacks the mail when it comes through the letter box then the simple solution is to buy a letter box cage for around £15 and fit it to the front door. That will protect both the customer’s mail and the postal worker’s fingers. Alternatively, an outside mail box can be fitted to the home or perimeter fence as indeed many more responsible people with dogs now do. People must control their dogs and ensure they are in a safe place when the mail is delivered – that’s the law – it’s a pity so many dog owners are unaware of the Law.”


Dave Joyce led the CWU ‘Bite-Back’ Campaign from 2007 to 2014 achieving major changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act – extending the law in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The major change was extending the law to cover private property including bites through the letter box. 82% of dog attacks on postmen and postwomen occur on the doorstep or front garden path in UK properties. The changes also included extending Police powers and huge increases in prison sentences and fines for those that commit Dangerous Dogs Act offences.

Dave Joyce CWU has additionally expressed the concerns of the CWU regarding recently published research by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association PFMA revealing that a staggering 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a pet since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In its latest Pet Population Data survey, the PFMA said the big increase was driven by younger families, with two-thirds of new owners aged between 16-34. According to the survey there are now 34m pets in the UK, including 12m cats and 12m dogs, 3.2m small mammals such as guinea pigs and hamsters, 3m birds and 1.5m reptiles. There are also 5m aquaria. This equates to 17m households responsible for a pet’s welfare. The study raised pet welfare concerns. The CWU’s concerns centre on new inexperienced owners failing to control their dogs and being unaware of the legal duties.

(The above Press Release has been reproduced for the information of CWU Reps, Branches and Regions) 

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 140/21 – Dog Owner Convicted After Postwoman Has Finger Tip Bitten Off

View Online



Attached for the information of Branches is a Joint Statement, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive, covering the terms of the additional payment which would effectively apply a double time rate (£22.30) to all hours worked on overtime in Parcelforce Depots on Easter Saturday, 3rd April 2021

Parcelforce are expecting a significant increase in volumes over the Easter period based on forecast customer demand. In order to meet the customer promise and maintain quality of service there is a requirement for additional drivers to volunteer to cover Easter Saturday deliveries and an enhanced Weekend Network sortation, which will enable volumes to be managed more evenly through the rest of the week.

All Parcelforce Depot employees, who can drive and legally attend at the required time subject to working time and driving time legislation, are invited to volunteer to ensure that the increased customer demand can be met. Volunteers will be expected to commit to a 6-hour attendance on the day although longer attendances may be possible depending on workload.

It is not anticipated that there will be a requirement for an enhanced level of attendance from Indoor roles over the Easter weekend. However, to ensure equity of treatment, where attendance on overtime is required for either Depot Warehouse, Depot Admin or Depot CX Functions, the enhanced payment will be made for all hours worked.

The department hopes that the recognition and additional payment that is being offered will be welcomed by members and representatives are now encouraged to engage locally with management in relation to resourcing requirements for this weekend.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.orgquoting reference 106.04.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson

Assistant Secretary

LTB 138/21

Attachment 1 – JS Meeting the Demand Easter Weekend 30.03.21

View Online

TUC Health and Safety Reps Survey 2020/21

TUC Health and Safety Reps Survey 2020/21

The Survey 

Further to LTB No. 554/2020 dated 17 November 2020, the TUC have today published the results of the 13th biennial TUC survey of trade union safety representatives.

The report is analysed by senior TUC policy officials and union health and safety specialists in order to understand the changing experience of safety representatives at work and to help provide more support. The TUC also uses the survey report and outputs to inform public policy debates and in discussions with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other Government Departments, Agencies and Politicians.

The TUC also wants Union Safety Representatives and Safety Committees to discuss and use the report to help with their ongoing work.

Safety Representatives

Safety Representatives are trained worker health and safety experts, with protected legal rights under the Health and Safety at Work Act and Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations.  They are often on the front line of safety enforcement in workplaces across the public and private sector. Employers must consult safety representatives on their safety policy, risk assessments, safe systems of work, safety controls and method statements plus ‘Covid-Secure’ action plans.

Number of Safety Rep Respondents

A total of 2,138 Trade Union safety representatives responded to the 2020 questionnaire in the survey period November 2020 to January 2021. This was almost twice as many as in the previous 2018 survey in which 1,073 safety representatives took part and 1,039 took part in the 2016 survey. The responses provide much information about the profile of safety representatives, the work they do to improve safety and the help (or otherwise) they get in this from employers and enforcement agencies.

The Industry Profile of the safety representatives responding was as follows:

  • Transport and Communications 17%
  • Education 17%
  • Local Government 12%
  • Health Services 12%
  • Central Government 8%
  • Manufacturing 7%
  • Distribution 6%
  • Energy & Water 2%
  • Banking, Insurance & Finance 2%
  • Leisure Services 1%
  • Construction 1%
  • Agriculture & Fishing 0%
  • Hotel & Restaurants 0%
  • Voluntary Sector 0%
  • Other Industries combined and not listed above 17%

Time Respondents Had Been a Safety Rep

  • Over 5 Years 45%
  • 1 to 5 Years 35%
  • Less than 1 year 18%

Main Hazards of Concern

Safety representatives were asked to identify the main hazards of concern to workers at their workplace (excluding Coronavirus/Covid-19), and to identify the top five of their concerns in order of importance. All those mentioned as being in respondents’ top five were aggregated to provide a table of ‘top-five hazards’ across all survey respondents which resulted in the following:

  • Stress 70%
  • Bullying & Harassment 48%
  • Overwork 35%
  • Harassment/Violence/Verbal Abuse 31%
  • Slips, Trips & Falls 30%
  • Long Hours 29%
  • Back Strains 29%
  • Display Screen equipment 21%
  • Low Temperature 20%
  • Working Alone 19%
  • Repetitive Strain Injury 18%
  • High Temperatures 18%
  • Handling Heavy Loads 18%
  • Infections 10%
  • Dusts 10%
  • Asbestos 10%
  • Noise 9%
  • Cramped Conditions 6%
  • Workplace Transport Accidents 5%
  • Chemicals/Solvents 5%
  • Falls From Height 4%
  • Road Traffic Accidents 4%
  • Machinery Hazards 4%
  • Dermatitis/Skin Rashes 4%
  • Asthma 4%
  • Vibration 2%
  • Passive Smoking 2%

This shows that of all the hazards listed, stress is again the most widespread concern, cited by 70 per cent of safety reps. The other most commonly cited main hazards of concern were ‘bullying/harassment’, ‘overwork’, ‘harassment, violence and abuse’ and ‘slips, trips, falls’.  Back strains and long hours of work were in sixth and seventh place, respectively, cited as a top-five concern by almost one in three safety representatives, and one in five say there are serious concerns about display screen equipment and low temperatures.

Transport and Communications Industry Safety Reps Reponses

The two highest responding groups of Safety Reps were those in the Transport and Communications Industry and the Education sector with around 300 Safety Reps from each responding. The top 5 hazards of concern for Safety Reps in the CWU’s Communications and Transport Sector were Stress 58%, Bullying & Harassment 43%, Slips, Trips and Falls 42%, Long Hours 34% and Harassment/Violence/Verbal Threats 34%.

Survey findings Summary and Top Five Health and Safety Hazards

Stress, bullying/harassment, overwork, harassment/violence/verbal abuse, and slips, trips and falls fill the first five places as they did in the last survey in 2018.

  • Stress – Once again stands out as the main dominant health and safety hazard of concern, identified as the top hazard by 70% of safety representatives in the survey (Also top with 69% in 2018).
  • Bullying/Harassment – Was in second place again with 48%. Concern over this hazard has grown more widespread in recent years. (Also second with 45% in 2018).
  • Overwork – Still in third place, with 35%. (Also third with 36% of respondents citing it in 2018).
  • Harassment/Violence/Verbal Abuse – Up one place to forth with 31%. (Fifth in 2018 with 23%).
  • Slips, Trips and Falls – Down one place to fifth with 30%. (Forth in 2018 with virtually the same percentage 31%).

The Survey Also Reveals Widespread ‘Covid-Secure’ Failures

The TUC’s biennial survey has also found that, in many cases, employers have been failing to follow ‘Covid-Secure’ rules – and this had been putting workers at risk of infection and avoidable illness.

  • Workplace outbreaks: More than eight out of ten safety representatives (83%) said employees had tested positive for Covid-19 in their workplaces, while more than half (57%) said their workplaces had seen a “significant” number of Covid-19 cases.
  • Social distancing: A quarter (25%) of representatives said their employer did not always implement physical distancing between colleagues through social distancing or physical barriers. Just over a fifth (22%) said their employer did not always implement appropriate physical distancing between employees and customers, clients or patients.
  • Personal protective equipment: More than a third (35%) said adequate PPE was not always provided.
  • Mental health concerns and stress:Almost two-thirds of safety representatives (65%) said they are dealing with an increased number of mental health concerns since the pandemic began. Three-quarters (76%) cited stress as a workplace hazard.

Government Must Improve HSE Enforcement To Keep All Workers Safe

The survey found that less than one quarter (24%) of the safety reps responding said their workplace had been contacted by a Health and Safety Executive inspector, or other relevant safety inspectorate in the last 12 months. More than a fifth (22%) said their workplace had never been visited by an HSE inspector, as far as they were aware.

A copy of the final report is attached for your information.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 136/21 – TUC Health and Safety Reps Survey 2020-21

TUC Safety Reps Survey 2020 2021

Ethylene Oxide (Carcinogen) in LFD Test Kits

Ethylene Oxide (Carcinogen) in LFD Test Kits:

On Friday and over the weekend, the Health, Safety & Environment Department picked up a ‘conspiracy theory’ rumour circulating on social media which was gathering a degree of momentum and is causing concerns leading to enquiries with CWU/HQ.

The background to this is that on the NHS ‘Test and Trace’ Covid-19 Lateral Flow Device Self-Test Kit boxes is the stamp “STERILE|EO” and this refers to the chemical disinfectant “Ethylene Oxide”.

Ethylene Oxide is carcinogenic to humans by the inhalation route of exposure and can cause lung damage plus evidence indicates that exposure increases the risk of lymphoid, white blood cell cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma, and lymphocytic leukaemia cancer and breast cancer.

Social media stories centred on children being tested by LFD kits and there are videos of people claiming that carcinogenic Ethylene Oxide laced swabs are being used to test children in schools and urged parents to put a stop to it!

Additionally, there were articles on the internet claiming that the general population may be exposed to this carcinogen substance through the use of medical products that have been sterilized with Ethylene Oxide.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the National Health Service (NHS) responded to these cancer rumours following what they described as ‘false reports’ that the Lateral Flow Tests cause cancer.

The DHSC issued a statement on Saturday morning to the effect that “Lateral Flow Device Covid-19 Coronavirus tests used by schools and by workers and others are completely safe and do not cause cancer.” The DHSC government department added “There are false reports that Lateral Flow Tests can give you cancer. These rapid Covid-19 tests have been rigorously tested and are safe. The swabs are sterilised with Ethylene Oxide to ensure they are safe to use. It is one of the most commonly used sterilisation tools.”

The NHS confirmed that Ethylene Oxide has been used for decades as a sterilisation agent and is used to destroy all forms of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.

At the request of the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department, Royal Mail raised the matter with the DHSC in the context of both Royal Mail’s Test Kits Collection and Delivery Contract and importantly the Workforce Testing Pilot/Trials currently underway involving CWU members, seeking a 100% guarantee of safety in respect of our members in Royal Mail and Parcelforce.

The DHSC responded that Lateral Flow Tests have been rigorously tested and are safe to use on a regular basis. Ethylene Oxide is only used in the sterilisation of swabs and it is one of the most commonly used sterilisation tools in the NHS and healthcare industry, principally applied by manufacturers to keep medical devices safe. LFD tests are approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s regulator of medicines and medical devices, responsible for ensuring their safety, quality and effectiveness. Lateral Flow Tests have also been certified safe to use both in the EU and UK. The LFD Tests as with Test Kits and any medical device used within the NHS, using the routine Ethylene Oxide sterilization of health care products is governed by international standards ISO 11135 and ISO 10993-7 as well as World Health Organisation (WHO) standards and any traces of Ethylene Oxide remaining in the Lateral Flow Device or packaging after sterilisation are significantly below limits that would be considered hazardous for health and comply with national and international safety standards.

See attached Statement/FAQ provided to Royal Mail and the CWU by DHSC. 

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 137/21 – Ethylene Oxide (Carcinogen) in LFD Test Kits

DHSC have provided the following FAQ on the subject of Ethylene Oxide in Lateral Flow Device Test Kits

View Online

Royal Mail Group – Latest Updated Coronavirus/Covid-19 – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Guidance Document (Version 85)

Royal Mail Group – Latest Updated Coronavirus/Covid-19 – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Guidance Document (Version 85)

I attach for your information Version 85 of the Royal Mail Group, Managers’ Coronavirus/Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Guidance document, issued by the business on 26 March 2021.

At the commencement of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak, Royal Mail Group established a ‘Business Pandemic Team’ which includes all national heads of department and this team meets regularly to review the situation across Royal Mail Group and to issue update Questions and Answers information communications to all managers, which is cascaded throughout the business.

The Coronavirus Guidance, version 85 Q&A document has been shared with the Union’s Health, Safety & Environment Department and is hereby circulated for information and reference purposes for CWU Regions, Health and Safety Reps, Branch Reps and Divisional IR Reps.

The Q&A documents are circulated to all RMG managers and are also available to access through a link on the Royal Mail Group ‘Intranet’, in the ‘Managers Update Messages’ section.

Please note that when update changes and additions are made from the previous versions, they are normally highlighted in ‘Yellow’.

Contents List:


  1. Prevention
  2. Self-isolation, testing and reporting
  3. Cleaning and consumables
  4. Travel
  5. Support and advice


  1. General guidance
  2. Travel/and annual holiday
  3. Caring for dependants
  4. Sick pay
  5. Attendance process
  6. Vulnerable employees


  1. General Ops advice
  2. NHS testing kits
  3. Operational processes and reporting changes
  4. Delivering and collecting from customers
  5. Fleet and vehicles


Any enquiries to this LTB or feedback on the RMG Q&A document should be directed to Dave Joyce CWU National Health, Safety & Environment Officer. Issues received in connection with the attached which are appropriate to other CWU/HQ Departments will be passed on the appropriate National Officer.


  • Coronavirus Guidance Questions and Answers V85

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 135/21 – Royal Mail Group – Latest Updated Coronavirus Covid-19 – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Guidance Document (Version 85)

Coronavirus Guidance Questions and Answers v85

View Online

PSM Sorter Under Guard (Safety & Ergonomic Improvements) Re-Design & PSM Engineering Safety Modifications Update

PSM Sorter Under Guard (Safety & Ergonomic Improvements) Re-Design & PSM Engineering Safety Modifications Update:


Following the introduction of the new generation(1A/1B) Parcel Sorting Machines (PSMs) an issue was identified and discussed in detail at the RM/CWU National Joint PSM Safety Sub-Committee in relation to an unfortunate consequence of the ‘Equinox sorter design’ that parcels can fall from the trays at the sorter corners onto the under guarding. As the standard guarding design is fixed with no under guard access, it is a difficult, awkward task to recover fallen parcels that can build up in numbers and the only practical method is to reach for them from above by accessing them from within Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP). Recovery of the fallen parcels is difficult as they need to be pulled up through the sorter tray carriers using a grabber tool and this action can lead to engineers over-reaching, stretching etc., with the potential of back and arm strains.

The machine manufacturers and suppliers were approached but were not prepared to change the under guarding design as they believed the contractual obligation regarding through-put, rejects, mis-sorts and flyout items had been achieved and the contract terms satisfied.

Consequently, with the safety and ergonomic problem identified, Royal Mail decided to undertake an in-house re-design of the under guarding to significantly improve the search and recovery of fallen parcels in a safe and ergonomically sound way.

Concept Design 

Under the leadership of Les Curtis, Royal Mail Engineering PSM Asset Manager, the PSM project team conceived various ideas of under guard designs with the Swindon based on-site technicians. This resulted in cardboard mock-ups being stuck onto the sorter to assess the feasibility.

Following on from this, an external ergonomist designer was engaged to develop 3D visualisations of various potential designs along with scale models to show how they could look at how the fallen parcels could be safely and ergonomically recovered efficiently and comfortably in the PSM working environment.

The design had to take account of many different and often conflicting requirements, such as: head room, walkway clearance, overall safety, parcel recovery access, appearance, materials, viewing panels, robustness and maintenance.

Meetings of the RM/CWU National Joint PSM Safety Sub-Committee took place at PSM offices and workshops with the on-site engineering technicians in both Swindon MC and Warrington MC to agree the best design approaches to take forward. At this stage, it was decided a chute at corner 1 was a key design requirement, but corners 2 and 3 would not have a chute due to operational work area constraints.

The chosen design was developed and a full-size modelling board version was constructed and attached to the Swindon PSM to initially verify its form, fit and function.

The 3D design was converted into sketches so that Royal Mail Engineering’s PETRA group could manufacture the panels in sheet aluminium in their Swindon workshop.

The prototype panels were then assembled onto a full-size wooden test rig built in the PETRA Swindon workshop which simulated a PSM sorter corner of the live machines. This enabled the design to be verified and tested before being fitted to a live operational machine. The testing included ensuring parcels did not get trapped, that the guarding was strong enough to retain the full weight of a York full of fallen parcels and that the parcels could be safely and easily removed through the access hatches or drop safely down the chute.

Once testing was successfully completed, the PETRA team dismantled the guarding from the test rig and fitted it onto the operational PSM in Swindon Mail Centre for live trials. The trials were run during the Christmas peak and proved successful.

Feedback from the on-site technicians at Swindon MC after the live trial led to further improvements to the prototype production design.

The main trial points were:

  • The hatch key lock was awkward to use.
  • The hatches need to be slightly taller to improve parcel removal.
  • The hatches need to be held in the open position to free both arms for parcel removal.

The production version addresses these by:

  • Changing the hatch lock to an easy to use square security key.
  • Increasing the hatch openings to the maximum possible height.
  • Installation of gas springs on each hatch to hold them in the open position.

KPK Sheet Metal Fabricators were commissioned to convert the prototype design into a production design. KPK have state-of-the-art sheet metal laser cutters and larger capacity power bending equipment and machinery, so, the production version design is simplified and manufactured to closer tolerances. KPK subsequently manufactured the corner 1 production version and this was installed by the PETRA team to replace the prototype on the Swindon MC PSM. The design fitted perfectly, confirming this corner design is now ready for fleet wide national roll-out.

The production designs for corners 2 and 3 are slightly different as neither can have a chute. The designs are nearly finalised and production versions will be manufactured and planned to be fitted on the Swindon MC PSM machine during April 2021. There is no change to the corner 4 under guard as parcels seldom drop from the trays at this corner, so it will remain as provided by the machine supplier.

National PSM Fleet Wide Roll-Out and Deployment 

The deployment of the new Sorter Under Guards across the Royal Mail PSM fleet is now being planned. The intention is to deploy the guarding on the three corners to all 20 operational PSMs during the Summer and Autumn of 2021, prior to Christmas peak.

See attached photographs/images of the re-designed, modified PSM Under-Guard.

RM Driven Safety Modifications

Additionally, Royal Mail has developed 25 safety related modifications for the PSM machines. 19 modifications have already been deployed. 2 modifications are in development. 4 RM modifications are ready to deploy. See below list of all 25 modifications.29014Sorter Under-Guard Fixings ReplacementMod Deployed29015C4 Anti Tip Brackets ReplacementMod Deployed29016AC Torque Arm Safety Brackets InstallationMod Deployed29017Installation of Davit Arm Lower MastMod Deployed29018C3 Conveyor Bump Stop InstallationMod Deployed29019Improved Operator Workstation FansMod ready to deploy29022Unused Chute Vinyl StripsMod Deployed29023Sorter Corner Infill PanelsMod ready to deploy29026Fit padding to vertical beam at base of stairs to DWS 2Mod Deployed290292 Hand Controller Cable Parking SocketMod Deployed29030Induct Operator Table Edging StripMod Deployed29033Fitting of modesty panelsMod Deployed29037Tipper Release ButtonMod Deployed29038Installation of Operator Chair Rubberized Wheel CastorsMod Deployed29039Conveyor C15 Safety Signage InstallationMod Deployed29040Raise DWS Cross BarMod Deployed29043C4 Gate Infill PanelMod Deployed29046Issue of Special Tool J194Mod Deployed29053Tipper Door Mesh BracketsMod Deployed29057Additional Earth BondingMod Being Prepared29058Eject Chute NettingMod Being Prepared29059Over Sized Parcel Recovery PullerMod Being Prepared29062Suction Cup SWL LabelsMod Deployed29065Reject Chute Edge ProtectionMod Deployed290??AC Outside Spill NettingMod In Design


  • Photographs/images of the re-designed, modified PSM Under-Guard.
  • Photographs/images of the safety modifications.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 134/21 – PSM Sorter Under Guard (Safety & Ergonomic Improvements) Re-Design & PSM Engineering Safety Modifications Update

PSM Sorter Under Guard Safety Ergonomic Improvements Images

Safety Modifications

Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash (FY21 006) – Tail Lift Safe Operation – Serious Accident

Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash (FY21 006) – Tail Lift Safe Operation – Serious Accident:


All Royal Mail Group drivers who drive and operate a tail lift fitted vehicle.

Overview and Background:

Royal Mail Group Safety Health and Environment Group have issued ‘Safety Flash’, number FY21 006, (copy attached), which gives a summary of a recent serious accident which could have ended in a fatality. The ‘Safety Flash’ is to form the basis of a Unit Briefing to ALL ROYAL MAIL DRIVERSoperating ‘Tail Lift’ vehicles, in order to raise awareness of the potential risk of similar serious accidents involving falls from height whilst unloading vehicles.


The Safe System of Work (SSoW) was not followed by the driver concerned as the tail lift should have been in the up-position, level with the vehicle load space bed. York containers should be pushed on to the tail lift and loading dock platform – not pulled.

Description of the Incident:

A driver was unloading York containers from a 7.5t tail lift vehicle. The driver was moving backwards, pulling a stuck York towards the rear of the vehicle load space. The tail lift had been previously lowered to the fully lowered, ground level position and as the York suddenly became free and released, the driver, pulling the York backwards, fell from the vehicle, down onto the lowered tail lift, pulling the York container with him and the York landed on top of him causing injuries.

Impact and Effect:

Hand, chest and back injuries sustained.

Key Learning Points, Management Activities and Messages to Staff:

  • Communicate and display this SHE Flash on the SHE Noticeboard.
  • Brief all drivers on this SHE Flash, alerting them to risk and the accident and the need to follow the mandatory SSoW.
  • Drivers to follow the mandatory SSoW at all times entitled ‘Loading & Unloading Vehicles – Operation and Use of a Tail Lift’.
  • Do not use a tail lift unless trained and authorised to do so.
  • Do not work on the vehicle bed/loadspace with the tail lift in the down position.
  • Only two Yorks are to be loaded on to a tail lift at any time.
  • When unloading wheeled York containers, turn the York from inside the vehicle and push it on to the tail lift being careful to stay clear of the sides. Position the York against the floor roll stops if fitted and apply the brake on the York container.
  • Position the York containers to the offside of the tail lift platform (right of the platform as facing from the ground), to maximise space available for the driver. Stand to the near side (left as facing the ground) whilst operating the tail lift controls. Hold onto a York with the other hand if needed.

Key Management Activity:

  • Communicate and display the SHE Safety Flash on the SHE Notice board.
  • Brief the SSOW ‘Loading & Unloading Vehicles – Operation and Use of a Tail Lift’ to all drivers operating these vehicles.


  • Copy of RMG SHE Safety Flash FY21 006 –Tail Lift Safe Operation.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 133/21 – Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash (FY21 006) – Tail Lift Safe Operation – Serious Accident

SHE Flash FY21 006 Taillift Operation

View Online

RM/CWU National Joint Statement for Customer Service Point (CSP) Opening Hours and Standardisation Process

RM/CWU National Joint Statement for Customer Service Point (CSP) Opening Hours and Standardisation Process

Branches will be aware, as advised in LTB 335/20 and the approach contained within the associated Joint Statement regarding the standardisation along with the continuous review of CSP Opening Hours, accordingly the Union received proposals from Royal Mail that sought to do the following;

  • Standardise the opening times of all CSP Units (Enquiry Offices) across the UK
  • Put CSP Units into categories dependent on traffic and footfall
  • Instigate the closure of 200 CSP Units in very small and micro sized categories based on cost
  • Work on a cost per parcel retrieval basis that did not fully take into account the needs of the customer, nor the perceived ambition of the company in terms of growth.

The Postal Executive rightly agreed to totally reject that approach on the basis that it was short sighted in the extreme and flew in the ‘face of the spirit and intent’ of the Pathway to Change Agreement.

National Discussions continued with Royal Mail through the joint working group where our position was articulated forcibly and in a reasoned fashion, detailing the flaws in the Royal Mail’s position. The department also reminded Royal Mail that the mind-set of the company should now change beyond all recognition and that their position was not consistent with the Pathway to Change Agreement and manifested in a negative approach to this vital service, particularly to those offices that they were looking to close. The discussions also evaluated the current variations in terms of service provision and opening hours on offer across CSP’s in order to examine the impact on staff and potential benefits of standardisation. The Discussions have also taken into account the impact of new delivery products and services being rolled out, such as in-flight 1 & 2, which have impacted FTD rates.

As a result of these discussions, we have achieved a Joint Statement, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive that has moved on considerably, regarding the position of Royal Mail and contains the following:

  • The opening hours and categorisation are based on pre-Covid 19 levels
  • There are no units to be closed
  • Full Cognisance will be taken when revising duties as there will be many tasks that are due to be undertaken, once the office is closed to the public
  • Temporary duty arrangements can be agreed until either the table top or full structural revision activity takes place in the Delivery Unit.
  • A full review will take place of the changes in future and an initial 3-month touch point review will take place once the actual deployment date is known, this will also take into account future commercial opportunities and new services into CSP’s.
  • There is the ability for local offices to raise anomalies that might require them to be placed in a different category or there are other local factors which will require flexibility.

We believe that the Joint Statement represents a sea change of Royal Mail thinking and will hopefully serve as an indication of how we wish to continue going forward with a constructive and optimistic manner.

As the UK now looks forward to Covid-19 restrictions being eased in line with the Government and other National Administrations’ road maps, it is an opportune time to review the opening hours of the CSPs (based on pre-Covid data) to ensure that the new BAU opening hours reflect the needs of customers and align to parcel volumes and CSP footfall, whilst also taking full consideration of the impact of the inflight product as well as other products and services going forward.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 230.03, email address:

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch                                                                                       

CWU Assistant Secretary

LTB 132-21 Customer Service Point (CSP) opening hours – 30.03.21

CSP National Joint Words_300321

CSP Hours_New BAU_Final_300321 (right click – save as – to download)

LTB 335-20 – Joint Statement for CSP Opening Hours and Review Process

CSP National Joint Statement- Opening hours and Review Process

View Online



Branches and representatives will be aware that a process for reporting of Road Traffic Accidents by telephone has previously been agreed for deployment to all drivers in Delivery Offices, including Collection Drivers using the PDA, Network and Area Distribution functions utilising telemetry equipment and most recently in Parcelforce (LTB’s 513/15 – 565/16 – 092/17 and 323/19 refer).

The procedure was designed to enhance the processes for reporting accidents to improve the quality of the information provided, with the aim of assisting Royal Mail in dealing with 3rd Party claims. To achieve this aim, drivers are encouraged to report accidents directly to Royal Mail solicitors by telephone from the scene of the accident, or as soon after as it is safe and practical to do so, which Branches will recall remains entirely at the discretion of the driver. 

Royal Mail Specialist Services (Relay) have now requested that the PDA reporting process is made available to drivers of their vehicles. Discussions have therefore taken place with the business, which have concluded in a Terms of Reference being agreed and endorsed by the Postal Executive, a copy of which is attached for your information (Attachment 1).

In addition to the attached Terms of Reference the following supplementary documentation is also included for information:

 Attachment 2 – WTLL Road Traffic Collision Reporting Changes 

 Attachment 3 – Advice and Guidance at the Scene of an Accident 

 Attachment 4 – Making a Telephone Call from the PDA 

Branches will note that the attached RMSS specific Terms of Reference retains all safeguards included in the original agreement/s, mirrors the processes previously agreed for the Royal Mail functions and remains entirely voluntary.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.orgor quoting reference number: 218.19

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson

Assistant Secretary

LTB 131/21

Attachment 1 – RMSS Telephone Accident Reporting 29.03.21.doc

Attachment 2 – WTL Telephone Reporting

Attachment 3 – Advice & Guidance


View Online



Branches and representatives are informed that further to discussions that had taken place with the Health & Safety Department the business recently approached the department in relation to deploying changes to the process for loading curtain side vehicles, due to working at height risks associated to these vehicles.

These risks present an industry wide challenge, are not unique to Royal Mail and involve drivers standing on the exposed rear of trailers while cages are loaded by forklift. The process also requires drivers to secure the load with straps while standing within the trailer bed, leading to an increased risk of falls occurring.

Drivers could spend 30 minutes working close to the trailer edge, with the risk of falling a considerable distance. Following an accident and a review of the working at height risks, Royal Mail identified that the current method of loading and securing the load on curtain side vehicles did not meet the working at height legislation and could be improved.

Subsequent to the conclusion of their discussions with the H&S department in respect of a new process, equipment and revised SSoW, it was jointly agreed between the department and the business that that the proposed changes would require trial activity in an operational setting.

The department have therefore been engaged in discussions with the business in relation to a Terms of Reference between Royal Mail National Distribution and the CWU on a Trial of Curtain Side Vehicles Alternative Ground Operating System (AGOS) AT NHC, YDC & BM VOCS. A copy of the document, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive, is attached for information.

Branches and representatives will note that the trial will be overseen by the Network Working Group, with all of the normal protections in relation to full involvement of the CWU in the activity have been achieved, with any further deployment of the process and equipment being subject to agreement at National level.

Colleagues are asked to note that the attached TOR also makes reference to the installation of equipment on vehicles at sites not included in the trial activity. Where this occurs the straps will be fitted but not used until the trial is completed, reviewed and agreement is made to deploy.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.orgquoting reference: 014.14.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson

Assistant Secretary

LTB 130/21

Attachment 1 – TOR Alternative Ground Operating System for Curtain Side Trailers AGOS 29.03.21

Appendix A – SSoW Alternative Ground Operating System (AGOS) Curtainside Vehicle Use

View Online

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: