Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY22 020 – Vehicle Rollaway Accidents – Vehicles Left Running and in Gear Whilst Drivers Exited to Make Deliveries – Causing Personal Injury and Extensive Third Party Vehicles Damage – Risk of Serious Injury or Fatality:
Background and Description
Royal Mail Group’s Safety Team have issued RMG SHE Safety Flash FY22 020 following two separate but similar incidents where Royal Mail van delivery drivers failed to follow the standard operating procedure and safe system of work whilst making deliveries.
In both incidents, the delivery drivers exited their vehicles with the engines still running and the vehicle still in reverse gear.
Impact, Injuries Received and Damage Caused
The first incident resulted in personal injury and the second resulted in extensive damage to several private vehicles.
In the first accident, the driver had one foot on the ground and the other in the vehicle foot well when the vehicle rolled backwards dragging the driver under the open door, resulting in extensive cuts, bruises, abrasions and soft tissue injuries to the head, back and legs.
In the second accident, the driver stopped his vehicle in the middle of a residential street between two rows of parked cars on either side. The driver jumped out of what was an ‘automatic hired van’ to deliver a small packet to a customer’s address. In doing so he left the engine running, the driver’s door fully open and the vehicle in reverse gear. As the driver left the van, it drove itself backwards down the street, crashing into and causing damage to five third party private cars. Fortunately, no personal injuries occurred.
Key Messages, Learning Points and Actions
In both cases, the drivers wrongly exited their vehicles with the engine still running and the vehicles still in gear. There were no defects with either vehicle.
Drivers should always turn off the engine, remove keys from the ignition and follow the ‘HIT’ acronym (Handbrake On, In Gear; Turn Wheels) process before exiting the vehicle which should always be correctly parked and locked when making deliveries/collections to maintain personal safety and security of the mail.
Managers and drivers should make sure that drivers are familiar with the vehicles being driven and the safety controls for the vehicle.
- Issue the attached ‘Safety Flash’ to all collection and delivery staff who drive as part of their duty, ensuring the message is briefed to all appropriate staff and that it is clearly understood.
- Ensure all drivers are familiar with the vehicles being driven and the safety controls for the vehicles.
- Ensure drivers know that they must follow the driving SSOWs and HIT at all times.
- Incorporate the key messages and learning points into ‘First Class Safety Conversations’.
CWU ASR/WSR Action:
Please ensure that this Safety Flash is communicated and brought to the attention of all delivery and collection members and that managers brief all staff and deploy the above actions.
- Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY22 020 – Vehicle Rollaway Accidents – Vehicles Left Running and in Gear Whilst Drivers Exited to Make Deliveries – Causing Personal Injury and Extensive Third Party Vehicles Damage – Risk of Serious Injury or Fatality.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer