Royal Mail Group Joint Health & Safety Committee Meetings – Message From Dr. Shaun Davis Director Safety, SRSC Regulations 1977, National Health and Safety Representation and Consultation National Agreements and RMG SHE Standard 2.3:
Under Regulation 9 of the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977, employers are required to establish and maintain health and safety committees by law.
The National Health and Safety Representation and Consultation Agreements between all Royal Mail Group Businesses and the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department along with Royal Mail Group Safety Health and Environment (SHE) Standard 2.3 and Safety Policies set out the ‘Mandatory’ requirement for joint health and safety committees.
The primary purpose of a health and safety committee is to facilitate cooperation between the employers, departments, managers, Trade Unions and their appointed Health and Safety Representatives to identify, address, and resolve health and safety issues and concerns.
Health and safety committees have a crucial role to play in translating worker Safety Representative involvement into practice.
Where workplace health and safety management is poor, the health and safety committee provides a highly effective way in which to hold the management to account and to secure improvements and remedial actions.
Even where standards of occupational health and safety appear to be adequate, safety committees can do much to promote a climate in which safety issues are seen as inherent to the success of the organisation and not merely as a list of areas which must be checked in order to avoid legal action.
Well established safety committees will often go beyond checking passive compliance with health and safety law, by playing a pro-active role in the fostering and development of a positive health and safety ‘culture’ within the workplace.
Joint health and safety committees can empower health and safety reps’ involvement and engagement in order to play a significant role in decisions made about health and safety at work.
Independent research has shown that workplaces with union health and safety representatives and joint health and safety committees had significantly better safety records and accident records than those with no effective consultation mechanisms.
In carrying out their functions around the organisation, health and safety reps become extremely knowledgeable about the safety hazards and risks that the workforce may encounter in the course of their duties. Such expertise is invaluable and the health and safety committee is a prime conduit through which that input can flow proving that greater health and safety rep participation in workplace health and safety brings big benefits to the workforce, employers and managers.
It was brought to the attention of the CWU Health Safety and Environment Department that during the pandemic, the management in some areas and units in Royal Mail Group had taken it upon themselves to cease Health and Safety Committee meetings – which in fact they had no authority to do as it was both in breach of the law and in breach of National Agreements and company mandatory policies.
At our request the Director of Safety has issued communications to all managers across all parts of Royal Mail Group that joint Health and Safety Committee meetings MUST take place.
The communication from Shaun Davis Royal Mail Group Director of Safety is attached.
NOTE: Under the CWU/RM National Health and Safety Representation and Consultation Agreement, the ASR can attend ALL Health and Safety Committees in his/her constituency area.
Please ensure all Joint Health and Safety Committees are functioning and meeting regularly (as per the above and attached), producing minutes and remedial action plans, operating to the model agenda as a minimum. Any areas not resolved should be escalated as per the attached process.
- Health and Safety Committee Meetings – Message From Dr Shaun Davis Safety Director
- RMG SHE Instruction 2.3 – SHE Consultation in Day To Day Operations Guidance Document
- Appendix 1 She Standard 2.3 – Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Committees Structure & Suggested Attendees (Appendix1)
- RMG SHE Instruction 2.3 – Consultation and Participation
- Appendix 3 – Safety Health and Environment Committee Agenda
- RMG SHE Instruction 2.3 SHE Committee Meeting and Dispute Resolution Guidance Document
- Appendix 2 – SHE Standard 2.3 Dispute Resolution Flowchart
- Appendix 6 – SHE Standard 2.3 Dispute Resolution Template
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer