Over 115,000 postal workers will be taking part in the biggest strike of summer so far to demand a “dignified, proper pay rise”.

Today (Tuesday 9th August), the Communication Workers Union – which represents Royal Mail Group workers – have served notice to management that workers will take strike action on Wednesday 24th August, Thursday 25th August and Thursday 8th September.

The decision follows the union’s recent ballot for strike action, which saw members vote by 97.6% on a 77% turnout to take action.

This was the biggest mandate for strike action reached since the implementation of the 2016 Trade Union Act.

The union is demanding that Royal Mail Group make an adequate pay award that covers the current cost of living increases for our members.

However, the management of Royal Mail Group decided to impose a 2% pay rise on its employees through executive action,those same employees who were given key worker status at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an economic climate where inflation has soared to 11.7%, the imposition would lead to a dramatic reduction in workers’ living standards.

CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “Nobody takes the decision to strike lightly, but postal workers are being pushed to the brink.

“There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve.

“We can’t keep on living in a country where bosses rake in billions in profit while their employees are forced to use food banks.

“When Royal Mail bosses are raking in £758 million in profit and shareholders pocketing in excess of £400 million, our members won’t accept pleads of poverty from the company.

“Postal workers won’t meekly accept their living standards being hammered by greedy business leaders who are completely out of touch with modern Britain.

“They are sick of corporate failure getting rewarded again and again.

“The CWU’s message to Royal Mail’s leadership is simple – there will be serious disruption until you get real on pay.”

CWU Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger said: “Our members worked miracles during the pandemic and know full well what they are worth.

“The pay offer is an insult to our members and they are willing to fight for a no strings, real-terms pay rise that they are fully entitled to.

“Those managing Royal Mail Group are treating our members with contempt by imposing such a minimal amount.

“Royal Mail Group have failed to recognise the strength of feeling and have clearly lost the dressing room on pay, so they have left us with no choice but to fight.

“Our members deserve a pay rise that rewards their fantastic achievements in keeping the country connected during the pandemic, but also helps them keep up during this current economic crisis.

“We won’t be backing down until we get just that.”


For more information or media requests, please contact CWU Press Officer Marcus Barnett on mbarnett@cwu.org or 07812 590450.

Royal Mail Group – Night Workers Health Assessment 2022

Royal Mail Group – Night Workers Health Assessment 2022

As part of employers’ legal requirements under the UK Working Time Regulations 1998 (as amended in 2003, 2007 and 2009), every adult worker assigned to night shift work must be afforded the opportunity to have a periodic free health assessment. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforces the night worker health assessment requirement detailed in the Working Time Regulations.

Royal Mail Group complies with this legal requirement by ensuring that all night worker employees are offered a health assessment on an annual basis. This is done through a screening questionnaire that has been compiled with guidance from Royal Mail’s occupational health provider (Optima Health).

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, a ‘night worker’ is an employee whose regular work hours includes at least three ‘night time’ hours between 11pm to 6am unless otherwise agreed.

Night workers can be at a higher risk of physical or mental ill health than day workers, which is why this assessment is offered. The assessments are designed to support night workers’ health and wellbeing as some health conditions might need to be taken into consideration when doing night work.

While working at night doesn’t necessarily pose any significant health risks, it may worsen some existing health conditions including epilepsy, depression, anxiety and diabetes.

The health assessment helps employers to identify where night shifts are causing workers health risks. After completion, it also helps to decide how best to make reasonable adjustments. Very few health problems prevent people working nights and the assessment will help identify where any specific advice or adjustments may be needed for individual workers and/ or their manager to take account of.

A night worker health assessment will identify any risk factors associated with health condition(s) and allows advice to be obtained on how to manage them effectively. It does not necessarily mean anyone with these conditions is unsuitable for night work.

The Royal Mail health and wellbeing team are this month (August 2022) writing to all night workers about the offer of the free health assessment and inviting them to complete an on-line health questionnaire. Each completed questionnaire will then be professionally reviewed by Royal Mail’s occupational health providers (Optima Health). Those workers who are unable to use the online version of the questionnaire can ask for a paper version which they can complete and send by post. The closing date for returns is 18 September 2022.

Depending on the information individual night workers provide, if a follow-up conversation with an occupational health professional is required, the individual will be contacted to arrange a health assessment appointment which are usually held over the telephone, but can be face to face.  Individuals will be advised if further action is required. The employees’ manager will receive a report which will confirm fitness for night work and if necessary, it will contain further advice in respect of ensuring appropriate adjustments and action are taken to help and assist the employee to manage their health.

Should an assessment not be necessary, following completion of the questionnaire, there will be no further action taken and those individuals will not receive any further correspondence until the next annual night worker health assessment is due, unless a personal requirement is identified sooner.

Note: This is a ‘voluntary assessment’and workers are not obliged to complete it. All returns will be treated in the ‘strictest confidence’ and with the individual’s consent, information may be shared with Royal Mail, which could result in the worker’s line manager being informed about certain aspects i.e. if reasonable workplace adjustments are required to accommodate a health condition or disability. Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure workers with disabilities, or physical or mental health conditions, aren’t substantially disadvantaged when doing their jobs. This applies to all workers, including trainees, apprentices, contract workers and business partners.

The benefit of the night workers’ health assessment is that it helps identify risk factors associated with health and medical conditions which may require treatment or need advice on how to manage them effectively and where issues are identified, Royal Mail Group can take some proactive action to support the individual workers in order that they can continue to undertake their work effectively and efficiently without added difficulties and stress. Additionally, the assessments data helps Royal Mail understand any emerging health trends amongst the workforce.

Health Advice for Shift Workers:

As part of the exercise, the Royal Mail Group Occupational Health Service is distributing health advice to night workers which also contains advice on physical activity, diet, social interaction and the steps workers can take to help maintain and improve their health and minimise any adverse effects. A copy is attached.

Managers Actions:

Managers’ Actions are to deliver the attached WTLL brief during August/September and provide the attached ‘Health Advice for Shift Workers’ information sheet/hand-out to all night workers.

Support available: 

The Royal Mail Group ‘Feeling First Class’ portal has helpful support content on both mental and physical health. Visit www.rmgfirstclasssupport.co.uk or download the ‘Lifeworks’ app. New users are required to sign up using a unique invitation code, which is ‘RMG-payroll number’, for example RMG-12345678. More information is available at www.myroyalmail.com/support. You can also call First Class Support in confidence on 0345 266 5060 for health and wellbeing support.  This is available 24/7.

ASRs Actions:

Would ASRs ensure that:

  • Managers have delivered the WTLL
  • Night workers are fully aware of the annual health assessment,
  • Night Workers have received the health and wellbeing advice and
  • Night Workers are aware of the support services available to them should they require it for any reason.


The CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department fully supports the exercise and wishes to encourage all CWU Night Workers to participate and take part.Would all CWU Health and Safety Reps remind Night Worker Members about the Health assessment and encourage them to participate and complete the questionnaires as it’s in their best health and wellbeing interests. 

The letter to all night workers, approximately 16,500 workers will be dispatched on 12 August and the deadline for completing the health assessment questionnaire is 18 September. Every CWU Member Night Shift Worker is encouraged to complete the on-line questionnaire as soon as possible before the closing date. 

Yours sincerely,

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer


RMG Letter to Night Workers

Questionnaire Night Worker Screening

RMG Night Workers Health Assessment WTLL 2022

Health Advice for Night Workers 2022

RMG Night Workers Health RMG Intranet Article 2022

View Online

Royal Mail Group Fire Safety Week 8 – 14 August 2022

Royal Mail Group Fire Safety Week 8 – 14 August 2022

This week has been designated by Royal Mail Group as 2022 Fire Safety Week, beginning today on Monday 8 August.

Fire safety is of the highest importance in any building, to ensure safety of the workforce and the protection of the building and contents. Fire protection systems and procedures are a legal requirement and need to be put in place in buildings to make employees aware in the event of a fire. Employers are responsible for taking the appropriate steps to prevent fires and guarantee the workplace meets all required health and safety standards. Premises are required to provide a minimum fire safety standard, with employers having the responsibility to carry out fire risk assessments to identify, manage and reduce the risk of fire.

SHE Huddle FY22 045 – ‘Fire Safety Week’ (Copy Attached)

SHE Huddle FY22 045 entitled Fire Safety Week has been issued today informing managers that they all have a part to play to ensure that the workforce and buildings are safe from the risk of fire, stressing that it’s important that fire safety plans are reviewed and updated and that issues with fire safety are documented and recorded. Having an awareness of the common fire safety risks in RMG building is key to knowing how to prevent fires and reducing the chance of fires and the harm they cause.

Message and Managers Actions Required

The risk of fire is present in any business and Royal Mail is no different, whether it be directly at a Royal Mail Group site, at a neighbouring property or at an address being delivered too.

Fires present a serious risk to health and safety but can dramatically impact on RMG operation and ability to process and deliver mail.

The risk of fire and being injured in a fire can be dramatically reduced by having good housekeeping practices, trained staff, effective fire safety plans and testing those plans through fire drills.

Detailed below are some basic measures that managers can deploy to help to keep the workforce and buildings safe:

  • Ensure that all staff are aware of the location of fire exits from the building.
  • Remind all staff of the fire evacuation plan from the building, what to do if they discover a fire, what to do if they hear the alarm and where the assembly point is.
  • Remind all staff of the PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan) process and to speak with their manager if they have any questions.
  • Remind front line staff to immediately leave any building they may be delivering to if they hear an alarm activate or see smoke or flames and to alert the emergency services on 999 if needed.
  • Remind staff never to block fire exits with York Containers, trolleys or waste material or any other items, not even for a short period of time.
  • Ensure that waste is disposed of promptly, only stored in designated areas and not allowed to accumulate in fire exits, plant rooms, under stairs, in boiler rooms or other areas that pose a risk.
  • Remind staff that they should report any fire safety concerns to their manager.

Work Time Listening and Learning Brief (WTLL) SFTY 22/23 001 ‘Fire Safety Week’ (Copy Attached)

WTLL Brief SFTY 22/23 001 entitled Fire Safety Week has been issued today re-emphasising the message to managers of the importance of fire safety and focusing on SHE Calendar requirement to complete Fire Safety training by the end of August 2022 for all staff, ensuring everyone is aware of fire safety within the workplace and familiar with the actions to take in the event of discovering a fire or on hearing an alarm and that everyone is aware of the emergency evacuation plan.

WTLL Summary

  • It is a SHE Calendar requirement to complete Fire Safety training by the end of August 2022.
  • After training, everyone should be aware of fire safety within the workplace.
  • By using the fire evacuation plan all staff should be familiar with the premises, actions in the event of an alarm, actions in the event of discovering a fire and of any specific requirements on them to act as a buddy or a fire warden.
  • This year the requirement is for the training to be delivered to all staff.
  • If there are any fire wardens or PiCs who have not undertaken the required online training, then they should ensure that it is completed via success factors.
  • The training can also be delivered during a WTLL session.
  • Fire training for all staff is available via Content on Demand – in the Health and Safety section – and takes only around 10 minutes to complete.

Message and Managers and Important Actions Required

  • The safety of the workforce and customers is of critical importance to the business.
  • Ensure all employees are aware of all the fire exits from the building, where the assembly points are, who the fire wardens are and what is expected of them in the event of an emergency evacuation.
  • Fire safety training can save lives.
  • PiCs/Managers to deliver and take part in the WTLL discussion making it as interactive as possible with the staff taking part to answer questions.
  • The Fire Safety ‘Content on Demand’ Video is to be shown to all staff.

Supporting Information

  • Fire safety information can be found in RMG SHE Management Standard 2 ‘Fire Risk Management’.
  • Local documentation is held on the ‘Compliance Records Database’.
  • Fire Safety Training is available on ‘Success Factors’ and ‘Content on Demand’.
  • Any queries about fire safety should be raised with the RMG SHE Safety Advisor or you can email safety@royalmail.com

RMTV and Unit Plasma Screens (Copies Attached)

The attached three Fire Safety ‘Screenshots’ messages will be circulating on our Unit plasma screens to raise awareness and remind staff of key fire safety messages – ‘If you discover a fire’ – ‘If you hear the fire alarm’ – Actions for all Colleagues. 

Fire Safety SHE Calendar Tasks for July and August

All Unit Managers/PiCs were set RMG SHE (Safety Health and Environment) calendar task to complete as follows:

Q: Have you reviewed your Premises Fire Evacuation Plan (including PEEPs), checked people’s understanding of the evacuation procedures by carrying out a fire drill and briefed staff using the brief provided?  

Help text: You must test the effectiveness of your Premises Fire Evacuation Plan (PFEP) on each shift and where required Personal Emergency Evacuation – Plan (PEEP) and review the contents in line with the annual review.  Each annual evacuation test should be recorded in Section 3 of the Site Log Book.  Template forms can be found on the Compliance Records Database at:

Q: Have you completed and submitted the Operational Fire Risk Assessment ensuring that any subsequent actions are being progressed?  See guidance text for additional requirement relating to shared sites with residential accommodation in the building.

Help text:

If you are in a shared building and there is residential accommodation elsewhere in the property please send an email to fire.safety@royalmail.com with just a brief description of the accommodation.

Q: Have you carried out your bi-monthly inspection of the workplace?(also available on Power App)

As part of fire safety week, remember to check fire doors aren’t wedged open and fire exits are clear and unobstructed.

Help text: Remember to focus on fire safety as part of your inspection: carry out visual check of building to ensure that fire doors are not wedged open, check that all the fire exit routes are clear, are openable and are unobstructed outside.

You can complete your inspection across the month rather than in one complete tour of the unit if you find this easier.  Now available as a form on Power App.

When you carry out your workplace inspection:

  • Carry out an inspection for the site as a whole to identify any unsafe conditions and record their findings.
  • Carry out the inspection in conjunction with the CWU Safety Representative.
  • Identify Unsafe Conditions against the defined list as detailed in the Unit & Work Area Inspection Guidance document, however do not ignore unsafe conditions that do not appear on the list.
  • Produce an action plan of countermeasures to remove or reduce the identified risks.
  • Ensure suitable controls are implemented where possible within the month.

Link: –

ASR Actions during Fire Safety Week:

Would all ASRs carry out spot check Safety Inspections of Units to ensure;

  • The SHE Calendar tasks have been completed.
  • The WTLL and Huddle have been delivered.
  • The Staff Training has been completed.
  • The Premises Fire Evacuation Plan (PFEP) has been tested and staff are fully aware of it.
  • The Unit Fire Risk Assessment is up to date.

Any shortcomings and non-compliance should be formally recorded and submitted asap on a Safety Inspection Form and escalated to the SHE Advisor, SHE BP, COM and OPL and placed on the agenda of the appropriate Joint Health and Safety Committee.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety and Environment Officer


SHE Huddle FY22 045 Fire Safety Week

080822 WTLL SFTY 22 23 001 Fire Safety

716219_03_RM_Fire_Safety_Week_TVscreen 1

716219_03_RM_Fire_Safety_Week_TVscreen 2

716219_03_RM_Fire_Safety_Week_TVscreen 3

View Online

DGSP Terry Pullinger lays it on the line

🚨 DGSP Terry Pullinger lays it on the line. We are facing an unprecedented attack on us as workers and the demise of this great public serve. This is the fight of our lives.

It’s time for the whole country to stand up for us and we will be taking the message out there.

Vote YES – this is the most important ballot of your working lives.

Sunlight UV Ray Protective Properties Test Results on the New Royal Mail/Parcelforce Uniform Range Fabrics

Sunlight UV Ray Protective Properties Test Results on the New Royal Mail/Parcelforce Uniform Range Fabrics

As Branches will know, Royal Mail is currently rolling out the new uniform for postmen and women, OPGs, Parcelforce staff, Engineers and Fleet – in the first Uniform change in a decade. The new-look uniform, which includes walking trousers and shorts, tops, jackets, coats, gilets and headwear, has been based on discussions with the Union’s postal department and the health and safety department in relation to Uniform safety aspects and clothing, garments and footwear classed as ‘personal protective equipment’ under health and safety regulations. Frontline feedback from CWU members has also been taken fully into account in the re-design of the new Uniform and Footwear range. The uniform has been created to reflect the physical demands of the daily delivery round outdoors plus indoor, driving and technical worker duties. The new Uniform has been developed with the input of an experts in design, fabrics biomechanics and product development. The national rollout follows national joint trials.

With regards to outdoor workers, the health and safety department was extremely keen to obtain confirmation that the UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating of the new Uniform garments/fabrics matched or surpassed the previous clothing range by providing effective shielding from harmful Sun UV rays, and as such preventing the rays from reaching the skin.

Garments with UPF 50 rating, for example, offer very good protection, allowing just 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to reach the skin whereas a thin cotton T-shirt with a UPF of around 5, allows a massive 1/5th of the sun’s UV rays to reach the skin.

One of the most important things to always bear in mind when it comes to sun protection is that ‘covering up’ is the most effective way of blocking the sun’s potentially harmful Ultraviolet ‘UV’ rays. Choosing the right kind of clothing fabrics to use as a ‘cover-up’ is key to helping keeping outdoor workers protected in the sun.

What many people don’t realise, however, is that not all clothing is made equal when it comes to sun protection. Some fabrics, colours, and cuts of clothing do not give the protection people might expect, which can cause our skin to be exposed to high levels of UV without us even realising. Choosing the right kind of clothing and fabrics to use as a cover-up is key to helping ensure outdoor workers are protected in the sun’s potentially harmful UV rays. There’s no point in covering up from head to toe if the clothing materials/fabrics won’t block out and protect wearers from the sun.

Looser weaves of fabric will give lower protection against the sun’s UV rays, as the gaps in the weave let the rays through. The type of thread, weave style, and even the finish of a fabric will all affect how much UV is reflected or absorbed by it.

At the request of the CWU Health and Safety Department, All the new Uniform fabrics have been ‘independently’ tested to the BS EN 13758-1 standard where the requirement is a minimum of 40 UPF, all fabrics have exceeded the British UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating.

I have attached the test reports for your perusal which shows the image of each product the test relates to, where products have a shared fabric base, Royal Mail Group have only tested it once. For example the image for the base layer fabric only shows the bottoms but the tops are also covered as they are made from the same fabric.

We just now need the business to agree to provide high factor (SPF) Sunscreen/Sunblock to the outdoor workforce to protect any exposed skin in weather like the current hot, sunny, high UV ray conditions where postal workers, working outdoors for many hours, should cover up exposed skin but will naturally want remove clothing layers to help achieve thermal comfort. A fresh claim for the provision has been submitted to Royal Mail Group for the provision of sunscreen to the outdoor workforce.


Yours sincerely,

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer


394536 polo fabric

394537 shirting fabric

394538 base layer fabric

394539 trouser & short fabric

394540 lite trouser fabric

394541 sun hat fabric

394542 baseball cap fabric

394543 beannie hat fabric



View Online

CWU’s Jamie McGovern Wins TUC Safety Representative Award 2022

CWU’s Jamie McGovern Wins TUC Safety Representative Award 2022

Jamie McGovern (Greater Mersey Amal Branch) has won the 2022 TUC Safety Representatives award, to be presented at the TUC Congress 2022 which takes place in Brighton, 11 – 14 September.

The TUC annual Congress is a key event in the TUC’s calendar, attended by delegations from all Unions and where reports and motions are proposed and discussed which then form the policies and basis of the TUC’s work for the following year. Congress 2022 will attract an estimated 4000 visitors to Brighton during the week.

The TUC Judging panel recently announced the result of the TUC Safety Representative of the Year award for 2022, after considering entries from a number of the TUC’s 50 affiliated Unions who represent 6 million workers and in line with the practice for all TUC awards there is one overall winner.

In a letter to the Union, the TUC Health & Safety Officer Shelly Asquith informed us that there was a very high standard of entries this year – with Jamie’s entry finally impressing the judges as the one demonstrating the greatest achievement as a Safety Rep.

The TUC Safety Representatives annual Award is now in its nineteenth year and was introduced by the TUC General Council to demonstrate and acknowledge the range of work currently undertaken by Safety Representatives on behalf of their Union, its members and the community, recognising the contribution made by Safety Representatives in promoting health & safety in the workplace.

The TUC make the award to a trade unionist who represents the best aspects of being a Safety Representative and who in the view of the TUC has made an exceptional contribution in the role and has demonstrated commitment to working to improve workplace health and safety.

The CWU Health, Safety & Environment Committee has given the award scheme its full backing over the last decade and has a record second to none in the achievements and recognition of the work of the department and our field force of Safety Reps across the Union.

Jamie McGovern has been a CWU Area Safety Representative in Royal Mail for the members of this Union since 1995, for over 27 years. He’s done some great work as a CWU Area Health and Safety Rep.

Jamie was at the forefront of supporting members during the pandemic, carrying out workplace inspections and ensuring safety and infection controls were maintained, working with Covid compliance teams to keep workplaces Covid-Secure. His work was recognised by the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside.

Jamie became a Mental Health First Aider and subsequently an Instructor. He has trained over 100 delegates, taking them through the 2-day MHFA training course. He has also been part of the group that set up the Mental Health networks in Merseyside and in the North West Region. Jamie recently won the national ‘Inside-Out’ award for his work on Mental Health and Stress.

Jamie is a member of the International Workers Memorial Day Organising Committee in Merseyside and a founder member of the Merseyside Dog Safety Partnership working with Police, Local Authorities, Animal Charities, Liverpool University and other organisations to deal with Dog Attacks and Dangerous Dog control in the area. Through his work on disability, over 200 Members have been assisted with reasonable adjustments in the workplace due to physical or mental health disabilities. On Road Safety Jamie Worked with the Wirral Road Safety Partnership, working with police, road safety experts and organisations to bring road and driver safety initiatives into the Workplace resulting in a 31% Road Traffic Accident reduction. As a result of this work, Jamie with his Deputy Mark Evans won the ‘Mind Your Business Road Safety Award’.  Jamie also became a leading campaigner in the “Tyred” Campaign created by the Frances Molloy mother of coach crash victim Michael Molloy and the campaign supported by CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department achieved a road law change banning tyres on coaches over 10 years old.

Jamie represents the best aspects of undertaking a CWU Health and Safety Rep’s role.

I am delighted that the dedication and commitment of CWU health and safety representatives has been recognised and applauded by the Trade Union Congresses across the UK. These awards recognise the important role that Safety Representatives can and do play in contributing to ensuring higher standards of health and safety in many workplaces.

Health and Safety Representatives are dedicated and committed trade union activists who strive to make workplaces safe for all workers. The opportunity to salute all CWU health and safety representatives through these awards is welcome and deserves to be celebrated. Workplace health and safety management requires a combination of strong commitment by management and active Trade Union Safety Reps input and engagement.

Safety Reps are the best and sometimes the only defence workers have, making sure that health and safety risks are managed properly by operational managers and employers. We know Union Safety Reps cut the rate of serious injury at work by more than 50 per cent, and over the years they’ve saved many lives and prevented many injuries by diligence, hard work and commitment. The fantastic work done by CWU Safety Reps in all of our branches up and down the country is helping to improve the lives of our members every year. The time, effort and work these people put in to help their colleagues often belies the time and resources they have available. I am delighted that the TUC, have recognised our CWU nominee as the best and I am sure the whole Union will join me in recognising the fine work of our Health and Safety Reps collectively and these achievements individually. Jamie is a deserved winner as were other previous CWU winners.

This of course is great news for the Union with Jamie adding to the growing list of Health and Safety Awards won by the CWU and its Health and Safety Reps over recent years. The CWU has now won the TUC award more than any other Trade Union and became the first Trade Union to win the full set of UK Trade Union Safety Representative of the Year Awards (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) in one year 2008/9. The growing list of awards won by CWU and its Safety Reps is due recognition of the Union’s work and achievements in the field of Health and Safety.

The Union has now won the TUC Safety Rep Award on 5 occasions, demonstrating the strength of the Safety Organisation within the CWU and the commitment of CWU Safety Reps. The CWU also became the first Trade Union to win prestigious National Awards presented and sponsored by the IOSH (Institute Of Occupational Safety & Heath), RoSPA (Royal Society For The Prevention of Accidents) and MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) England and the National ‘Inside-Out’ Mental Health Awards.

Jamie and our other award winners over the years are some of many excellent CWU examples of how important our people value health and safety in the workplace. The presence of union safety reps prevents thousands of major injuries at work every year and there’s an army of them out there doing a great job for our Union.

Opinion polls indicate that health and safety is considered one of the key areas people at work regard as a priority and an important topic for trade union action.

Unions campaign tirelessly for health and safety to remain a priority where members are employed. It is so easy to forget that the rights Safety Reps of today were won by years of struggle. We must not let this government take away rights from future generations so hard won by our predecessors. Health and Safety has come under fire in recent years, having been misrepresented in the press and media through a medley of mythical tales and by Tory government ministers who have no general support on this issue within the Safety Profession or amongst Safety Reps and Trade Unions that have to pick up the pieces after injuries, deaths and diseases at work. However what is universally recognised is that workplaces where Union Safety Reps are active and present are significantly safer than those without them.

HSE and TUC surveys show that Union Health and Safety Reps:

  • help reduce injuries at work
  • lead to reductions the levels of ill-health caused by work
  • encourage greater reporting of injuries and near-misses
  • make workers more confident
  • help develop a more positive safety culture in the organisation
  • save the employers and the economy many millions of pounds.

CWU Role of Honour – Major Health and Safety Awards

TUC Safety Rep of the Year Award

2005 – Barry Gapes of CWU London City West Branch

2007 – Pete Eggleston CWU Birmingham Branch

2008 – Chris Wesson CWU Birmingham Branch

2013 – Andy McArthur CWU Eastern No 6 Branch

2022 – Jamie McGovern CWU Greater Mersey Amal Branch

Scottish TUC Safety Rep of the Year Award

2009 – Graeme Russell CWU Edinburgh and Dundee Borders Branch

Irish TUC Safety Rep of the Year Award

2008 – Sean Doherty CWU Northern Ireland Combined Branch

2015 – Kevin Sweeney CWU Norther Ireland Telecoms Branch 

Wales TUC Safety Rep of the Year Award

2009 – Allan Morgan CWU South Wales Branch

South West Region TUC Safety Rep of the Year Award

2011 – Mark Tripconey CWU Somerset, Devon & Cornwall Branch 

Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) – Achiever of the Year Award

2010 – Dave Joyce, CWU National Health and Safety Officer

Institute of Occupational Safety & Heath (IOSH) – Health and Safety Project Award 

2009 – CWU

RoSPA – Workforce Involvement in Safety and Health Award

2009 – CWU

RoSPA – Individual Safety Award for exceptional contribution to Safety and Accident Prevention 

2016 – Dave Joyce, CWU National Health and Safety Officer

“Inside Out” – Workplace Mental Health Awards

2022 – Mental Health First Aid Winner – CWU

2022 – Behind the Scenes Champion Winner – Jamie McGovern CWU Greater Mersey Amal Branch

There can be no higher cause for trade unions than saving lives and preventing injury and ill health at work – no higher calling than doing so by becoming a safety Rep. The CWU will never rest on the issue of health and safety. Through our Safety Reps, like Jamie we will work to achieve happier, healthier workplaces with a lower risk of accidents, aiming to ensure that our members are able to leave work every day as healthy as when they arrived.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer


View Online

RMG Driver/Road Safety – “Driving At A Safe Distance” Campaign” (RMG SHE Huddle/Briefing FY22 043): “Only A Fool Breaks The Two-Second Rule”

RMG Driver/Road Safety – “Driving At A Safe Distance” Campaign” (RMG SHE Huddle/Briefing FY22 043): “Only A Fool Breaks The Two-Second Rule”

The Royal Mail Group Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Team are launching a ‘Driving at a safe distance” driver and road safety communications campaign and staff briefing during this week, week commencing 1 August with the issue of RMG SHE Huddle/Briefing FY22 043 (copy attached). A Campaign slide/screen shot will also go out on the RMG Plasma screens, RMTV and on the RMG Intranet (copy attached).

Overview Message – The two-second rule:

The two-second rule is a ‘rule of thumb’ by which a driver can maintain a safe travelling distance at any speed. The rule is that a driver should ideally stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle that is directly in front of his or her vehicle. To use the rule, drivers should allow the vehicle in front to pass a fixed object such as a bridge, lamp post or road sign then count to two seconds. If the driver reaches the fixed object before counting to two seconds then they are too close and they need to drop back. REMEMBER – Only A Fool Breaks The 2-Second Rule.

The Highway Code: 

The Highway Code requires that drivers should:

  • Leave enough space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front so that they are able to stop safely if the vehicle in front suddenly stops, and never get closer than the overall stopping distance.
  • Allow a two-second gap between their vehicle and the vehicle in front, and this should be at least doubled to four-seconds on wet roads and up to ten times greater to twenty-seconds on icy roads and in poor visibility.
  • Remember, large vehicles and motorcycles need a greater distance to stop.
  • The gap should be wider as speeds increase.

Benefits of Driving at a Safe Distance: 

The obvious benefit is that by driving at a safe distance your vehicle won’t hit the rear of the vehicle in front if it should stop suddenly, but there are other benefits too:

  • There will be a better, safer view of the road ahead and the driver keeping a safe distance will be better able to assess the situation ahead – driving too close means that the view is blocked by the vehicle in front.
  • Having more time to react means being be able to drive more safely and smoothly, reducing how often and how harshly braking is required – which in turn reduces the risk of a collision with vehicles ahead or from behind and additionally it improves both all-round safety and fuel efficiency.

Most Common Cause of Road Traffic Collisions and Injuries:

The National Highways Agency and Police report that driving to close and rear end collisions is the most common cause of injuries from road traffic accidents. Being in a vehicle that is hit in the rear by another vehicle is the most likely way that a driver and passengers will be injured or killed in a collision, and any action that drivers can take to avoid this is always worthwhile.

Royal Mail and Parcelforce Drivers and Vehicles Involved in Rear End RTCs:

Last year Royal Mail Group (Royal Mail and Parcelforce) drivers were involved in 140 rear end collisions with other vehicles which led to other drivers and members of the public being injured, some seriously injured. These injuries typically occurred because Royal Mail and Parcelforce drivers were found to be driving too fast and/or too close to the vehicle in front at the time of the collision.


Driving too close to another vehicle can lead to prosecution for ‘driving without due care and attention’. This offence carries a minimum fine of £100 and three penalty points, and in some cases more severe penalties and a court appearance.

What is a Safe Distance? 

The Highway Code contains ‘Typical Stopping Distances’ as a guide to the minimum distance drivers should leave whilst driving:

  • Travelling at 30mph a driver should leave a minimum of 6 car lengths.
  • Bear in mind though that these figures can vary depending on the condition of the vehicle (tyres/brakes), the attention of the driver, the road surface and weather conditions. (See attached SHE Huddle – Stopping Distances chart and highway code).

National Highways Agency Two-Second Rule Campaign and ‘Tailgating’ Cameras Trial:

In February, National Highways launched a campaign to tackle the issue of driving too close and tailgating which is a factor in around one in eight crashes on England’s motorways and major ‘A roads’. When launching the campaign National Highways stated that “In many cases it’s unintentional bad driving by drivers who don’t realise that they are infringing on another drivers space but not leaving enough space between you and the vehicle in front is not only very frightening for that driver, it could have devastating consequences in the event of a collision. The closer you get, the less time you have to react and to stop safely. So to avoid inadvertently getting too close to the vehicle in front.”

Prior to launching their campaign earlier this year, in 2021 the Agency ran a trial of new ‘tailgating cameras’ on a stretch of the M1 which captured 60,343 incidents of drivers, driving their vehicles too close to the vehicle in front, in just one year. 10,994 were repeat offenders. In launching their two-second rule campaign jointly with Northamptonshire Police, National Highways advised drivers as follows; “We would urge drivers to use the two-second rule and to always ‘stay safe, stay back.”

 “BRAKE” Road Safety Charity Supports the 2-Second Rule:

Brake, the road safety charity, said: “It’s vital that drivers leave enough distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front in order to react in time to any sudden dangers. We’d urge everyone to respect the two-second rule to keep them, and others on the road, safe.”

Institute of Vehicle Recovery Supports the 2-Second Rule: 

The IVR said: “We fully support the ‘2 second rule’ campaign, which highlights the importance of keeping your distance whilst driving. These precautions can only make the road network safer.”

“RoSPA Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents Supports the 2-Second Rule:

RoSPA added: “Keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front will also help to reduce a driver’s stress levels when behind the wheel. Use the 2-Second Rule: leave at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front. Double this distance on wet roads and increase it even further on icy roads.

2-Second Rule – Short Video

An short but informative video can be watched on ‘youtube’ at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE9MtjSohqY


  • Managers and PiCs to brief all drivers – delivering the SHE Huddle/Briefing FY22 043, raising awareness of the 2-second rule and avoiding driving too close.
  • Drivers to remember the phrase “Only A Fool Breaks The Two-Second Rule.

The Aims and Benefits of the Campaign are:

To increase awareness amongst drivers and managers, improve driving standards, road safety and Highway Code compliance. The SHE Huddle/Briefing FY22 043 gives advice to help avoid RTC incidents and keep Royal Mail and Pacelforce drivers and other road users safe


This campaign is supported by the CWU HQ Health, Safety & Environment Department. CWU ASR/WSR full support and participation is much appreciated by Royal Mail, Parcelforce Worldwide, RMSS, RMP&FS and CWU HQ. ASRs/WSRs should ensure that the briefing is delivered to drivers and ensure drivers are aware of the 2-second rule and the Highway Code rules.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer


SHE Huddle FY22 043 Driving a Safe Distance

RMTV Campaign Screenshot

View Online

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: