New RMG Workwear/Uniform and PPE Range – RM Engineers – Provision ‘Blue Shirts’ Range For Royal Mail Engineers Following Safety Consideration and New Overalls for Both RM Engineers and RM Fleet Workforce For Evaluation Trials:
RM Engineers ‘Blue Shirts’ Range Workwear & PPE Range:
This issue was taken up with RM Engineering and RM Assets and Uniform Management a year ago by the CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department on 24 February 2022 (copy of letter attached) following representations from RM engineering CWU Reps and members when RM planned to phase out the ‘blue’ shirts and workwear/PPE for engineers and instead ‘standardise’ on the ‘red’ colour clothing worn by operational grades. In late January 2023 the business finally responded positively by reversing the earlier decision. Nevertheless, this belated response and news will be most welcome by our RM engineering Reps and members on this subject which has been chased over the last year on several occasions.
We welcome the progress made on both design, colour, fabric, specification and indeed use of the PPE items and overalls specification and use plus trousers and knee pads.
The RMG Assets Team and National Uniform Manager have agreed with Neil Chaplain, the new Programmes and Engineering Director to move back to blue (tops) rather than red for the engineering workforce as from a safety point of view this will ensure they are instantly recognisable within their work environment and in restricted, authorised only areas.
Attached are two slides of images which show the new clothing. You will see that RM are also going to provide the red soft shell and gilet as part of the engineers’ workwear choice.
The blue garments will be off the shelf (OTS) and RM will be running a small wearer trial for 6 weeks at Peterborough MC and the NW Super Hub.
Initial feedback from the RM engineers at Peterborough to a clothing roadshow held on site was reported as positive. RM Uniform have also looked at an OTS trouser with the safety knee pad inserts built into the trousers to trial which will be undertaken at the same time.
The engineering ‘Team Blue’ samples will be trialled for 6 weeks across the Peterborough MC and NW Super Hub sites – comprising:
- Trousers (2 types) – with safety knee pad insert holders (key part of the site team’s requests)
- Long Sleeve Polo shirts
- Shirt Sleeve Polo shirts
The site Plant Engineering Managers have been asked to arrange for the staff involved to complete the measurements file and provide a collated return for each site back to the RM Engineering and Fleet Safety Manager from where the orders will be progressed via suppliers Dimensions who have confirmed that following receipt of the sizing information, the clothing items will be shipped (for evaluation only use at these two sites) in approximately 4 weeks on.
Dimensions will issue the usual uniform evaluation/wearer feedback form.
To ensure that the correct sizing information is received, the evaluation/trial sites have been sent additional guidance to assist:
Additionally, on the same subject:
- Engineering branded hi vis has already been deployed to NW Super hub and has been added to Engineering’s product range and once stock is in place will become a normal ‘self-order’ item.
- Industrial laundry of soiled engineers’ overalls (currently only washed at home) is being reviewed. The CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department has requested a RM provided collection/delivery laundry service, (similar to the established, existing scheme in RM Fleet where overalls are ‘Mandatory’ and get heavily soiled). RM have responded that a laundry service/process for RM engineers is prohibitively expensive to undertake for an ad-hoc, occasional overall wearing/use/lightly soiled etc., basis therefore a review of how to achieve this continues.
RM Engineers and RM Fleet Overalls Trial:
Also being trialled are new bespoke overalls/coveralls for both RM Engineers and RM Fleet which is being run as a separate trial with approximately 60 wearers both male and female, across 7 RM sites including Engineering and Fleet teams.
Attached is a slide of images (Overalls/Coveralls) which shows the finalised, newly designed overalls. The overalls designs have been under consideration and discussion for some time. Prior to reaching this stage, sample evaluations have been considered, followed by test overalls being tried out by volunteers, male and female, in a number of locations, prior to design changes, improvements and additions built in before the forthcoming planned wider trials. Note there have been a few more additional late minor changes/improvements made to the design/images such as large chest pocket(s).
The trials will collate the feedback and review with all relevant stakeholders.
RM Engineering Reducing the Need to Wear Overalls
To be clear and to remind all RM engineering Reps and members, last year the former RMG Chief Engineer James Baker proposed that RM engineers should henceforth wear overalls for virtually all tasks on all machines with powered conveyors for their complete shift. This caused widespread discontent and virtually universal objection. A letter dated 11 May 2022 (copy attached) was sent to the RM Engineering & Fleet Head of Safety, the RMG Chief Engineer, RMG Head of Assets and RMG National Uniform Manager, arguing strongly against this proposal or rather ‘intention’ (A copy is attached). Following a risk assessment review of the proposal, a positive response was received from the RMG Engineering and Fleet Head of Safety. A new, revised RM Engineering overarching Safe System of Work was launched and in conjunction with the introduction of Royal Mail Engineering trousers and long sleeve Polo shirts for abrasion protection, RME withdrew their intention and reduced the need for RM engineers to wear overalls, other than for specifically risk assessed ‘hot works’ and a small number of maintenance tasks. Key is that Royal Mail long trousers and long sleeve Polo shirts were risk assessed and confirmed as providing the level of protection required in many circumstances. See attached RM Engineering Safety Update Huddle/Briefing entitled ‘Engineering Overalls & Workwear’ issue date October 2022.
- Two slides of images of the RM Engineers’ new OTS ‘Blue Range’ clothing.
- A slide of images of the RM Engineers’ and RM Fleet overalls to be trialled.
- Evaluation/Order/Size Form example.
- RM Engineers’ Overalls Wearing Requirements – Dave Joyce Letter 11 May 2022.
- RM Engineering Safety Update Huddle/Briefing – ‘Engineering Overalls & Workwear’ – Oct 2022.
- RM Engineers’ Provision ‘Blue Shirts’ Trousers With Built In Knee Pad Pockets – Dave Joyce Letter 24 Feb 22.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
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