Royal Mail, Parcelforce and RM International Christmas Operations 2021 – Temporary Dedicated Parcel Sort Centres (PSCs), Outhouses and Marquees – Health and Safety
This is to inform and update Branches and Area Health and Safety Representatives that for the eleventh year running, Royal Mail Opps, Parcelforce Worldwide and Royal Mail International are setting up and opening a dedicated, nationwide network of temporary ‘outhoused’, parcel sort centre hubs and outhouses, overflow, relief sites as part of the 2021 Christmas operations, to deal with and handle the significantly increased traffic volumes and to sort a significant proportion of the parcels/packets Royal Mail handles before distribution around the UK and final delivery. The sites will be opening on a phased basis from November.
The temporary network will handle a significant proportion of the additional parcels/packets from the normal sorting network of Mail Centres and Regional Distribution Centres, enabling Royal Mail to cope adequately with the increased volumes of parcel/packet traffic as a result of the continued growth of online retail shopping as effectively as possible, providing Royal Mail with increased capacity and flexibility needed as well as reducing the potential for congestion in Mail Centres and Regional Distribution Centres that sort parcels, cards and letters at the busiest time of the year. The set up will also enable the operation to cope better in the event of any severe weather conditions.
Discussions have taken place with Royal Mail Group in relation to Health and Safety at the Temporary Outhouse Christmas Sort Centres and Satellite Offices and the Joint Statement attached has been agreed with the Royal Mail Group Global Director of Compliance and Sustainability. This applies to all temporary offices and operations and ensures the full access and involvement of CWU ASRs in order to be fully consulted and to undertake Health and Safety inspections, pre-start and ongoing safety spot-checks once operational and to be fully involved, working with the RMG Safety Team, Property Team and Operational Management, to deal with any Health, Safety, Welfare and working environment issues both before and during occupation. All the relevant safety documents agreed with CWU by the Royal Mail Group Central Safety Team are attached.
The agreed Royal Mail Group (Including Parcelforce Worldwide and RM International)/CWU Joint Statement provides a strong commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, safe work methods and safe equipment at the Temporary Outhouse Offices, Hubs, Marquees etc., for all staff, and ensures the provision of information, training, supervision and fit for purpose equipment needed to achieve this.
Operational Management supported by the RMG Safety Team will take responsibility for health and safety procedures, working with CWU Area Safety Representatives.
RMG/CWU Joint Statement:
The Joint Statement covers: staff safety training and information including site induction training, statutory Health and Safety notices in place, manual handling training, new/temp employees and visitors, safe systems of work, environmental controls, adequate heating and lighting safe place of work, risk assessment, housekeeping, safe machines, plant and equipment, fault reporting, noise and dust control, fire safety and evacuation plan, first aid, ensuring all accidents and near misses are reported and investigated, emergency procedures, joint workplace safety inspections and monitoring. Site access and involvement of CWU Safety Representatives, workplace transport and yard risk controls, continued effective vehicle and pedestrian segregation on site, PPE, emergency procedures and workplace monitoring are also included.
I also attach several safety documents agreed with us by the Royal Mail Group Central Safety Team which have gone out to all Royal Mail Regions, and Safety Teams which they have been asked to complete when introducing additional Outhouses or Temporary Structures to support their Christmas operation. These are:
(1) Safety Assessment and Concurrence (SAC1) Unit Level Action Plan
(2) Temporary Accommodation Health & Safety Checklist
(3) Temporary Accommodation Health & Safety Checklist Marquees on existing sites
(4) Guidance Note For Persons In Control (PIC) Where Temporary Heating is Provided
SAC1 & Risk Assessments:
Completion of the SAC 1 in particular may lead to the requirement to review a number of risk assessments in light of changes being introduced, for example:
- Yard – Primarily to ensure continued effective vehicle and pedestrian segregation on site.
- Workplace – To identify and record any other significant risk issue inside the building.
- First Aid – Some of these sites can be remote and require first aid provision to be made.
- PPE – Potentially a number of risks at the site in terms of vehicle/pedestrian segregation and with adjacent properties who share the yard.
- Work Equipment – Normal work equipment may not suit some premises/environments.
- Fire Risk Assessment including fire evacuation plans – essential.
Royal Mail will also be ensuring the following points have been considered:
- Site induction training – Everyone will be new to the premises.
- Statutory Notices in place – See the new Health and Safety notice board standard.
- Accident reporting procedure – Arrangement in place to allow reporting of accidents and near misses.
- Heating – RMPFS directive followed for temporary heating.
- Housekeeping standards – To minimise the risk of slip and trip accidents.
- Manual handling training – For all the temporary staff.
This set of clear arrangements will help overcome problems experienced in the past with Christmas ‘Outhouses’, ensuring better Health and Safety standards, joint working and problem solving.
Attached are the Royal Mail Opps, Parcelforce Worldwide and Royal Mail International locations of the Christmas Outhouses and additional buildings and Marquee Accommodation being used for the Christmas period 2021.
- RMG/CWU Christmas Joint Statement 2021
- Guidance Document for Temporary Heating (Guidance to Person In Control)
- Temporary Outhouses Health and Safety Checklists
- SHEI 5.3 Change Management
- SAC1 Unit Level Action Plan (SHEI 5.3) Appendix
- Marquees on Existing Sites – Health and Safety Checklist
- Change Management SAC1 (SHEI 5.3) (Appendix 1)
- Checklist for Use of Temporary Heating Appliances
- Royal Mail Opps, Parcelforce Worldwide and Royal Mail International list of Additional Accommodation Christmas 2021
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer