TUC Rally – June 18th – Disability friendly information.

TUC Rally – June 18th – Disability friendly information.

We have been working with the TUC to provide more information for disabled members who wish to join the demonstration on June 18th. 

A summary of the outcomes are contained in the link below, including the availability of a shorter march, facilities for guide dogs and confirmation of BSL interpreters at Parliament Square. 

We ask that branches ensure the contents of this LTB are shared with members and used to deliver as inclusive a delegation to the event as possible. 

If branches require further information on the content of this LTB then please contact mmurray@cwu.org

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward
General Secretary

22LTB229 TUC Rally – June 18th – Disability friendly information.

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BSC Safety Health and Wellbeing Event, Inc. Seminars and Exhibition ‘SHW Live’ – Manchester 23/24 May

BSC Safety Health and Wellbeing Event, Inc. Seminars and Exhibition ‘SHW Live’ – Manchester 23/24 May:

The British Safety Council has informed the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department that the rescheduled north of England Safety, Health and Wellbeing Event ‘SHW Live’ will take place on 23 and 24 May 2022 at Manchester Central and the event guide will be published shortly.

The ‘SHW Live’ event is set to reconnect regional occupational safety and health communities in the north of England and will offer essential educational, networking and procurement opportunities across two days.

This is a ‘free to attend’ live event which offers attendees a wide range of seminars covering many safety, health and wellbeing topics, the chance to speak to industry experts, learn about the latest safety innovations and talk directly to manufactures and key suppliers.

The British Safety Council and the Health & Safety Executive who are collaborating with the ‘SHW Live’ team who are organising the event will also be delivering seminars at the event.

A second event will take place in the south of England in Farnborough on 28th and 29th September 2022.

Event Seminars:

The organisers have promised a packed line up of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) health and safety seminar sessions for all delegates across two theatres – the SHW Keynote Theatre and the SHW Knowledge Hub supported by industry-leading exhibiting brands along with a wide range of innovative products.

The Health & Safety Executive will be hosting the morning sessions in the SHW Keynote Theatre on day one following an address by HSE Chair Sarah Newton. These seminars will focus on ‘Tackling Respiratory Disease’, ‘Work-related stress and its impact on Mental Health’ and ‘Taking the risk out of MSD Risk Management’, as well as a ‘Building Safety Regulator Update’.

The seminar agenda is complimented by the exhibition. The full list of event seminar sessions is attached.

Whether your priority is workplace safety, occupational health or mental health and wellbeing, this event aims at covering up to date subject matter and the latest legislation alongside networking and procurement opportunities for those within the Safety, Health and Wellbeing sector.

Venue and Dates

The ‘SHW Live’ Health and Safety Event (North) takes place at:

Venue

Manchester Central Convention Complex
Windmill St
Manchester
M2 3GX

Dates

23rd-24th May 2022.

Registration here: https://shwl-2022-visitor.reg.buzz/website

The event is ‘Free to Attend’

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

22LTB228 BSC Safety Health and Wellbeing Event, Inc. Seminars and Exhibition ‘SHW Live’ – Manchester 23 24 May

HSM_SHW_Live_HS-Conference_Agenda

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Royal Mail Group – Provision of Personal Attack Alarms To Postal Workers

Royal Mail Group – Provision of Personal Attack Alarms To Postal Workers

This is a further short update following LTBs 422/2021, 435/2021, 455/21, 562/21 and 35/22.

As previously reported, following discussions between the Health, Safety and Environment Department and Royal Mail Group HQ regarding concerns about the possible risk of physical and verbal threats and attacks on outdoor postal workers, agreement was reached between the CWU Health, Safety and & Environment Department and Royal Mail Group for the provision of Personal Attack Alarms for CWU members and that following further discussions with Royal Mail Group and ‘Dimensions’ the company’s work-wear supplier, it was further agreed that the new Personal Attack Alarms (PAAs) would be made available on the Royal Mail Group website/uniform ordering portal, from where CWU members can now order the item.

Since achieving the agreement and promoting the availability of the new ‘Royal Mail branded Personal Attack Alarms’, I’m pleased to report that 19,000 of the new alarms have been ordered and supplied to our members and a further 6,000 are in stock. Further orders will be placed according to demand.

Would all CWU Postal Branches and CWU Area Safety Reps, Area Delivery Reps and Area Distribution Reps remind members that Personal Attack Alarms are available to any individual member who would like to request one. These are a simple, lightweight device (see attached image) that can clip on to the belt clip or PDA strap or jacket ring and are activated by pulling the pin. A loud high-pitched noise is then sounded. These are recommended by both the Health and Safety Executive and the Police.

The Personal Attack Alarms can be ordered via the RMG Uniform portal as part of the personal uniform allocation.

Any Management only enquiries can be directed to Sam Dixon, National Uniform & Print Manager: Email: sam.dixon@royalmail.com Mobile:- 07553365925.

As a reminder, on 10 January 2022 all managers were requested to brief members about the availability of Personal Attack Alarms and were tasked with the following Actions:

  • Communicate and discuss the availability of Personal Attack Alarms with staff;
  • Confirm the ordering process (via the uniform portal); and
  • Discuss any instances where individuals believe there might be a threat. Consider any other actions that could be taken, including updating the Offsite Risk Assessment (WRAP).

Would all Area Safety Reps carry out spot check safety inspections to ensure these actions have been complied with by all unit managers.

Attachments:

  • Personal Attack Alarm – Image

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

22LTB227 Royal Mail Group – Provision of Personal Attack Alarms To Postal Workers

Royal-Mail-Group-Personal-Attack-Alarm-Image

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Royal Mail – Provision of New Supply Branded/Refillable 750ml Water Bottles For Outdoor Workers: “Staying Hydrated”

Royal Mail – Provision of New Supply Branded/Refillable 750ml Water Bottles For Outdoor Workers: “Staying Hydrated”

Introduction & Background

This is an update to LTBs No. 434/2020 and 259/21.

As previously reported, the Health, Safety and Environment Department reached agreement with Royal Mail for the provision of water bottles for the outdoor workforce as part of our campaign on protecting members working outside during heatwave conditions and on communicating the extremely important issue of staying hydrated at all times whilst undertaking manual work.

Since achieving the agreement and promoting the use of the new ‘durable, Royal Mail branded, refillable 750ml water bottles’, I’m pleased to report that 52,125 of the new water bottles have been ordered and supplied to our members and a further 13,000. Further orders will be placed according to demand.

The temperatures are now beginning to rise with hot weather forecast to continue and long range forecasts predicting one of the hottest summers on record with 27C plus temperatures on the way and a series of heatwaves to follow.

Royal Mail and the CWU have again agreed to jointly promote the importance of staying hydrated at all times. This is an important health and safety issue when carrying out a manual job, walking many miles outdoors – especially in hot, sunny weather conditions, when temperatures are high.

Would all Branches, Regions, Area and Unit Reps please raise awareness of this and encourage members to order and use the bottles with the simple message – “STAY HYDARATED”.

Ordering The New Water Bottles

The water bottles are readily available on the Uniform Ordering Portal, ordered against the individual’s wearer profile and are available for those in Delivery and Driver job roles.

Any Management only enquiries can be directed to Sam Dixon, National Uniform & Print Manager: Email: sam.dixon@royalmail.com Mobile:- 07553365925.

Area Health and Safety Reps and Workplace Safety Reps Actions:

Area and Workplace Health and Safety Representatives are requested to ensure that:

  • Firstly, Delivery Office members order their water bottles in preparation for hot weather,
  • Secondly, working with Operational and SHE Team Management, raise awareness about sun safety and dehydration amongst outdoor delivery members and,
  • Thirdly, ensure that Severe Weather Risk Assessments are carried out in hot, heatwave weather conditions.

Any failures and non-compliance should be reported to senior management, recorded on health and safety inspections, raised at health and safety committees and if necessary escalated through the health and safety disputes/escalations process.

The Health, Safety and Environment Department will also continue to press Royal Mail HQ to ensure that in future, Severe Weather Risk Assessments are carried out in hot, heatwave weather, to avoid dehydration, sunburn, skin damage, heat exhaustion and sun stroke and so protect the outdoor delivery workforce.

The Importance and Health Benefits of Good Hydration: 

Good Hydration means getting the right amount of water before, during, and after work. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates the joints and helps muscles and joints work better. It promotes better cardiovascular health and helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you’re not hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level. Water keeps organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.

The Dangers of Dehydration:  

Dehydration can cause heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heatstroke and can reduce the amount of blood in the body, which can put strain on the heart and cause shock – a dangerous decrease in blood pressure, which can have serious health consequences.

Attachment:

See attached image of the 750ml Royal Mail water bottles.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

22LTB226 Royal Mail – Provision of New Supply Branded Refillable 750 ml Water Bottles For Outdoor Workers “Staying Hydrated”

Royal Mail – 750 ml New Supply of Branded-Refillable Bottles for Outdoor…

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Royal Mail Fleet – Installation of 50 AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators):

Royal Mail Fleet – Installation of 50 AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators):

Introduction

Royal Mail Fleet have informed the Health, Safety and Environment Department of their agreement to invest in the provision of 50 Automatic External Defibrillators and the attached staff huddle/briefing details the actions required by Fleet Workshop Unit Managers/PiCs for the deployment of the initial 37 defibrillators which will be dispatched by RM Fleet and arrive in Units shortly. A second deployment of 13 defibrillators to additional locations will follow.

The AED models being procured are the “Heartsine Samaritan Pad 360P, fully automatic defibrillators”. The models provide a single button activation, after which the defibrillator will monitor the patient, provide voice guidance and if necessary, undertake ‘shock delivery’. They have a 4-year battery life (matching pad life), a ready to use visible indicator (this product is IP56 rated against dust and water ingress) and a 90-minute recording to aid emergency services review. See attached specification sheet and image.

The AEDs will be located within an RM Fleet Workshop admin area such as the Reception or Shift Supervisor’s Office and clear signage will be installed to direct the workforce and any visitors to the availability and location of the defibrillator.

AED – What is it?

An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). It’s a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyse the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

How many people die of SCA?

Every year in the UK, 100,000 people die of SCA, making it the UK’s biggest killer.  It strikes without warning regardless of age, fitness level, anytime, anywhere.

RM Fleet Workshop AED locations Phase 1 – 37 sites:

  1. Bristol
  2. Carlisle
  3. Carmarthen
  4. Chelmsford
  5. Chichester
  6. Dartford
  7. Darlington
  8. Derby
  9. Gatwick
  10. Glasgow
  11. Gloucester
  12. Hemel Hempstead
  13. Huntingdon
  14. Ipswich
  15. Lincoln
  16. Manchester
  17. Milton Keynes
  18. Newport (Gwent)
  19. Nottingham
  20. Oxford
  21. Peterborough
  22. Poole
  23. Preston
  24. Redruth
  25. Sheffield
  26. St Albans
  27. Stoke (Longton)
  28. Stourton (Leeds)
  29. Trowbridge
  30. Tyneside
  31. York
  32. Uxbridge
  33. Walton
  34. Warrington
  35. West Midlands
  36. Wigan
  37. Worcester

A further 13 sites will be added in phase 2.

Defibrillator Set-Up Guide and Video

The “Heartsine defibrillators” set-up guide and video is available on the manufacturers website via this link:

Understanding CPR and Defibrillators – British Heart Foundation, RMG and CWU (See LTB 079/22)

Since February the CWU has been jointly campaigning with RMG and BHF to promote across Royal Mail Group sites and throughout the CWU membership a free digital training programme and application to assist the understanding of CPR and use of defibrillators – ‘learn CPR in 15 Minutes’ and we continue to support the promotion of this on-line free training tool and a digital App to assist understanding of CPR and the use of defibrillators. RevivR (a link up with British Heart Foundation) is a free, easy to use, digital training tool to teach anyone the essential elements of CPR, in just 15 minutes – providing people with the necessary skills to give lifesaving CPR and feel confident about using a defibrillator.  The training is also available by clicking on the link: https://revivr.bhf.org.uk/?org=royalmail&start=direct&dist=intranet (See Attached RevivR – BHF/RMG/CWU Poster – Learn CPR in 15 Mins).

Fleet Workshop Managers (PiC) Actions

  • Share the attached Staff Huddle/Briefing with the workforce and deploy the following actions if the site is receiving a defibrillator.
  • Locate defibrillators within Reception area or Shift Supervisor’s Office where it is highly visible to anyone entering that area – display signage outside that room so it can be quickly found – source AED signage from ARCO (Search for ‘AED sign’) e.g., so that its presence is highly visible to workshop occupants and any visitors (the defibrillator sites will be centrally logged with the Emergency Services).
  • Keep external AED case clean using sanitising wipes (as per First Aid boxes).
  • The AED case must not be locked but always readily accessible to anyone.
  • Deploy AED monthly checks.
  • Specific First Aid supplies (titled the ‘prepack’) should be located with the AED to aid use.
  • If the Fleet Workshop is located within a shared site, co-located with other operational Units the Office/Plant Manager/PiC must be notified for sharing with all site wide First Aiders.
  • Review use of the British Heart Foundation CPR digital training tool and App as a Health and Wellbeing activity at the site for all staff. See above link.
  • Ensure all first aiders have been trained in defibrillator use and that they are notified and familiarise themselves with the AED (defibrillator).
  • Further information and enquiries to: Richard Wiggins Engineering & Fleet Safety Manager richard.wiggins@royalmail.com.

ASR Actions

Please ensure that this LTB and attached Huddle/Briefings are brought to the attention of all CWU Reps, members and First Aiders on the above listed sites both those within RM Fleet and those in operations who are on shared sites.

Royal Mail Group – AED/Defibrillator Provision and Installation Policy

It remains the Union’s policy to see AED defibrillators installed in all workplaces. There are regular requests from Reps and members for their Unit to have an AED installed. Royal Mail Group’s response is that any site/office can have an AED/defibrillator providing; firstly, a First Aid Risk Assessment (FARA) is completed and the AED is justified by the assessment and secondly, the AED is purchased from the local Operational Budget.

Attachments:

  • SHE Huddle/Briefing – Deployment of Fleet Workshop AED defibrillators
  • Heartsine Samaritan AED Defibrillator Specification Sheet
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest Fact Sheet
  • RevivR – BHF Learn CPR in 15 Minutes Poster/Leaflet

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

22LTB223 Royal Mail Fleet – Installation of 50 AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators)

SHE Huddle – Fleet – Defibrillator deployment

Heartsine Samaritan Pad 360P fully automatic defibrillator

Sudden Cardiac Arrest – CWU Fact Sheet

RevivR – BHF – Learn CPR Poster-Leaflet

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Royal Mail Group – Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessment Update Version 11

Royal Mail Group – Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessment Update Version 11:

See attached copy of the Royal Mail Group – Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessment Update Version 11 along with a covering message from Royal Mail Group Safety Director Phil Graham. This updates LTB 047/2022 issued on 3 February 2022 and RMG Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessments Update V10.

In line with the ongoing commitment from Royal Mail Group to keep the CWU informed of any changes or updates made to the Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessments, CWU/HQ were advised of the revised RMG Unit Risk Assessment approach with version 10 (which has now been updated to version 11), which amalgamated the previously issued Functional Risk Assessments into one Risk Assessment that applies to all RMG sites and this was communicated to Branches, Regions and Reps via LTBs.

This Risk Assessment incorporates the changes communicated in October 2021, December 2021, January 2022 and February 2022.

Current Government guidance issued on 1st April 2022

Following Royal Mail Group’s ongoing review of Government guidance and RMG operations, RMG has updated the Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessment released on Thursday 10 February 2022. The changes reflect the UK Government guidance issued on Friday 1 April 2022 (“reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace”) and the withdrawal of the Working Safely guidance.

The updated RMG Unit Risk Assessment Version 11 attached, reflects the current Government guidance  which can been seen at this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/reducing-the-spread-of-respiratory-infections-including-covid-19-in-the-workplaceand it covers these topics: –

  • Who this information is for (employers, workforce/workplace managers).
  • Know which symptoms to look out for – COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.
  • What to do if a member of staff has symptoms of a respiratory infection, including. COVID-19 (try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you no longer feel unwell).
  • Actions to reduce the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19.
  • Encourage and enable vaccination.
  • Let fresh air in.
  • Maintain a clean workplace.
  • Outbreaks in the workplace.
  • Management of members of staff who are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
  • Risk assessment – the explicit requirement for employers to COVID-19 in their health and safety risk assessments has been removed.
  • Employers should continue to comply with the requirements for cleaning, ventilation and welfare facilities in the workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 or the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 to control occupational health and safety risks.
  • Employers have a duty to consult with their employees and safety representatives, on

health and safety matters. The Health and Safety Executive has issued guidance on how to keep people safe and healthy at work.

RMG Coronavirus Update Risk Assessment V11 Subjects covered:

  • Maintaining a clean workplace including vehicles
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Adequate Ventilation
  • Touch Points
  • Contacts
  • Handling Test Kits
  • First Aid
  • Mental Health, Stress and Anxiety
  • Serious illness for employees with a weakened immune system
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Signage
  • Face Coverings
  • Vaccination
  • Local Controls
  • Third Party Requirements
  • DSE Assessments
  • Feeling First Class Support

The Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessment V11 has been circulated to all Royal Mail Group Unit Managers/PiCs this week. Unit Managers/PiCs will need to download the Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessment and jointly review with the Union Area/Unit Safety Representative, remembering that all staff, including temporary staff, need to understand the outputs of the Risk Assessment and the arrangements that have been put in place (this should be covered at induction). Any specific local tasks or controls that were in the previous assessment that are still required and/or any that are now required need to be added. The Unit Manager/PiC then needs to sign the assessment by entering their name and clicking the submit button, ensuring they are using the latest version. A copy of the Risk Assessment must be saved and held for reference in the event of a visit from an enforcement authority officer. They should review the Risk Assessment when necessary, for example following any cluster or increase in confirmed positive coronavirus cases in the unit. The RMG Safety Health and Environment (SHE) team will be contacting units to support unit managers with no coronavirus unit Risk Assessment submitted.

Attachment:

An example copy of the Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessment V11 is attached for ASRs information and reference. The full working version is accessible on the RMG Intranet/Share Point site.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

22LTB222 Royal Mail Group – Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessment Update Version 11

13th May – Risk Assessment Update Version 11

Copy of Coronavirus Unit Risk Assessment v11

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Dog Law for Professionals Seminars 2022 – Focusing on Hot Topics for 2022:

Dog Law for Professionals Seminars 2022 – Focusing on Hot Topics for 2022:

Specialist dog law solicitor Trevor Cooper has contacted the CWU/HQ Health, Safety & Environment Department to announce the details for his autumn seminar tour which has now been finalised and so ‘DogLaw’, Trevor’s company, are open for bookings.

Each Seminar will last half a day (10am to 1pm) and the theme of this tour and programme of events is “Dog Law for Professionals: Hot Topics for 2022”.

These highly recommended UK dog law seminars are hosted by UK top dog law lawyer Trevor Cooper (Solicitor), the well-known principal lawyer of Cooper & Co. (Solicitors).

The 2022 dates and locations for the new roadshow of dog law seminar events, covering 15 venues, spread around the whole of England are as follows:

  • London – 13 September
  • Southampton – 14 September
  • Maidstone – 15 September
  • Bristol – 20 September
  • Taunton – 21 September
  • Newquay – 22 September
  • Grimsby – 27 September
  • Chesterfield – 28 September
  • Frodsham near Runcorn – 29 September
  • Colchester – 11 October
  • Newcastle – 12 October
  • Harrogate – 13 October
  • Oxford – 1 November
  • Peterborough – 2 November
  • Sutton Coldfield – 3 November

The Seminars will be presented by Trevor Cooper and colleague Richard Shawcross.

The seminars cover a range of dog law subject matter including; Dogs ‘Dangerously Out Of Control’ Under Section 3 Of The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, The Law on Strays, Expert Witnesses, Enforceability of Contractual Conditions, Update On Progress With The Action Plan For Animal Welfare.

The seminars cost £150 per person to attend, (includes a Certificate of Attendance) which continues to represent good value for money.

No prior legal knowledge is necessary.

To book a place by debit/credit card, this can either be done online at the DogLaw Website at this link: https://www.doglawsos.co.uk/doglaw-for-professionals-seminars/ or by telephone on 0800 999 3647during normal office hours or by cheque/post using the attached flyer/application form.

These seminars are organised by Doglaw Ltd and are aimed at entertaining the audience as well as to educate and inform. The feedback received from these talks is consistently positive.

Trevor Cooper’s seminars are recommended by the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department.

The attached ‘DogLaw’ flyer contains full details of the seminar programme as well as the terms and conditions.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

22LTB221 Dog Law for Professionals Seminars 2022 – Focusing on Hot Topics for 2022

Doglaw-for-Professionals-Seminars-2022

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Dog Bites Through The Letterbox – Royal Mail/CWU Wins Appeal Court Case Over Ipswich Postman’s Dog Bite – Dog Owner Subsequently Pleads Guilty and Sentenced:

Dog Bites Through The Letterbox – Royal Mail/CWU Wins Appeal Court Case Over Ipswich Postman’s Dog Bite – Dog Owner Subsequently Pleads Guilty and Sentenced:

Introduction

In response to a number of requests for further details of the case I referred to in my speech at CWU Annual Conference on Motion 68, here is a detailed summary of the case in question for the information of Regions, Branches and Representatives.

Background – The Dog Attack

In May 2017 a postman and CWU member had part of his finger bitten off by owner Richard Watson’s ‘Boxer’ dog as he pushed mail through a letterbox in Ipswich. So began a four and a half years legal battle for justice for a CWU member.

Suffolk Police Refuse To Prosecute

For reasons best known to themselves and inexplicably, the Suffolk Police refused to prosecute the dog owner despite huge efforts jointly by Royal Mail and the CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department through representations to the Chief Constable, the local MP and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Gathering the Evidence

The next stage was another long drawn out battle to get Suffolk Police to release case file documents, statements and evidence following which a ‘Private Prosecution’ was launched by Royal Mail lawyers under an agreement reached in 2014 between the Royal Mail Group Chairman and CWU.

Private Prosecution Commenced – Dog Owner Wrongly Acquitted

Royal Mail Group prosecuted the dog owner Richard Watson accused of being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control after the incident at his home on Sycamore Drive, Ipswich. However, Mr Watson was acquitted and cleared by a district judge Julie Cooper in February 2020 at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court when the judge, who clearly misunderstood the Dangerous Dogs Act law, wrongly dismissed the case and cleared the dog owner of committing a crime.

Royal Mail Win High Court Appeal

After discussions between Royal Mail and the CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department and our member, Royal Mail lodged an appeal and the case, after a long wait, came before the Appeal Court in London.

Two senior Appeal Court judges ruled that the Ipswich District Judge was wrong to dismiss the case and the case was sent back to Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Reviewing Royal Mail’s appeal, Lady Justice Carr and Mr. Justice Saini said they considered whether Mr. Murrell acted as a trespasser by putting his fingers through the letterbox rather than using a “posting-peg”.

They also considered if Mr. Watson had a defence to the case because Mr. Murrell “failed to use due diligence” or was a “trespasser”.

All of these points were dismissed by the judges.

The judges ruled the Ipswich District Judge was wrong to acquit the dog owner.

The Appeal Court Judges stated – “Parliament has chosen to put the burden on those who own (or are in charge of) a dog to ensure that effective steps are taken to ensure that the dog does not cause injury to anyone,” Lady Justice Carr and Mr. Justice Saini stated in their ruling.

“A postal worker in the position of Mr. Murrell is not a trespasser as a result of putting their fingers through a letterbox.”

Lady Justice Carr and Mr. Justice Saini said the ruling did not mean people could not leave dogs unattended, but rather “simple measures” could be taken, “such as the installation of a wire letterbox guard or adjustment to the height of the letterbox itself”.

Case Finally Concludes with Dog Owner’s Conviction at Ipswich Magistrates Court

After the successful Appeal Court judgement, dog owner Richard Watson’s case was remitted/sent back to Ipswich Magistrates’ Court from where the case was wrongly dismissed, in order for it to be properly tried.

On Friday 22 October 2021 dog owner Richard Watson pleaded guilty to an offence under S3 of the DDA 1991 and the Magistrates sentenced him to a 12 months’ community order, 150 hours of unpaid work, £1000 in costs to Royal Mail, a victim surcharge of £85 plus a contingent (suspended) destruction order was placed on the dog. The Magistrates additionally awarded a further £1500 costs to Royal Mail from central funds.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this case now establishes ‘case law’ which should avoid similar cases being thrown out of court without a proper trial. The Appeal Court ruling has also clearly defined the dog owner’s responsibilities to keep their dogs under control in such cases plus it dealt with the ‘spurious’ defences of ‘trespass’ and ‘due diligence’ used by defendants in similar cases.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

22LTB220 Dog Bites Through The Letterbox – Royal Mail CWU Wins Appeal Court Case Over Ipswich Postman’s Dog Bite

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