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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
See attached image of the 750ml Royal Mail water bottles.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer