Dog Attacks on Royal Mail Postal Workers ‘remain unacceptably high’ – Day One Dog AwarenessWeek 2020 – Royal Mail Press Release

Dog Attacks on Royal Mail Postal Workers ‘remain unacceptably high’ – Day One Dog Awareness
Week 2020 – Royal Mail Press Release

Today is the first day of Royal Mail/CWU Dog Awareness Week 2020 and Royal Mail have issued a press release along with the 2019/20 dog attack figures and helpful top-tips for dog owners to prevent dog attacks on postal workers in the UK.

The Royal Mail press release sets out the fact that over 47 Postal workers in the UK are attacked by dogs each week and some lead to a permanent and disabling injury. In the past year alone just under 2,500 dog attacks have taken place on postmen and women and dog attacks remain unacceptably high despite the joint RM/CWU dog awareness campaigns that have been running for eight years.

Statistics

78% of dog attacks happen at the front door. There has been a 7% increase in attacks across the UK over the last 2 years. Some areas saw huge increases this year – for example – Glasgow 81% increase this year with 73 attacks over the last two years in total, Chelmsford 122% increase and 48 attacks over the last two years, Cardiff 65% increase with 61 attacks over the last two years, South East London 107% increase with 46 attacks over the last two years to pick out just a few.

Coronavirus has understandably caused a rise in postal parcel deliveries. This is why we need to take whatever steps needed to keep our postmen and women members approaching homes safe and protected. Everyone needs to understand that even friendly dogs might not be appreciated by busy, hard-working postal workers. Royal Mail and the Union state that despite the evidence of hefty fines issued for dog attacks, more needs to be done by the Police and courts to clamp down on bad ownership, using the full force of the law to hold these people to account for the devastating, life changing injuries they cause to postmen and women, which continues to be all too familiar.

The Postcode by Postcode Dog Attack Statistics produced by Royal Mail will be issued under cover of a separate LTB.

Extract From The Press Release:

Dave Joyce, CWU National Health, Safety and Environment Officer, “As our members deliver more parcels, packets, express, tracked and signed-for deliveries, as a result of booming internet sales during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown, they still face dog hazards. Parcel traffic has increased 50% and postmen and women continue to collect and deliver thousands of Covid-19 test kits to/from the public and testing labs daily as part of our fantastic contribution to the nation’s safety and wellbeing. We need the public to fully appreciate the essential ‘lifeline’ service postal workers provide and for dog owners to think about the safety of postal workers in return.”

Top tips for dog owners

Here are some top tips the Union and Royal Mail are promoting to dog owners to help postman or woman deliver the post in safety:

  • Ensure your dog is out of the way before the postman or woman arrives. Place your pet in a secure room or the back garden.
  • If you have a back garden, please close off the access, in case your dog could get round to the front when the postman or woman calls.
  • Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to collect a parcel. Please keep your dog in another room before answering the door.
  • Make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack.
  • Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered.
  • Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived before you let your pet back out. Keep everything as calm and low-key as possible.
  • If your dog likes to attack your letter box as the mail comes through – fit a wire letterbox cage/receptacle. It will protect your post, and your postman or woman’s fingers.
  • If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman or woman delivering your mail, please consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.
  • Please ensure your dog is microchipped, wearing a collar and tag and that your contact details on the tag and microchip are up to date. These are both legal requirements for dog owners and failure to comply can result in a heavy fine.

See Attached Copy of the Royal Mail Dog Awareness Week Press Release

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB359 Dog Attacks on Royal Mail Postal Workers ‘remain unacceptably high’ – Day One Dog Awareness Week 2020

National Dog Awareness Week 2020 Press Release FINAL

Dog Awareness Week 2020 – Postcode Area by Area Dog Attack Statistics 2019/20

Dog Awareness Week 2020 – Postcode Area by Area Dog Attack Statistics 2019/20

Here is the official postcode by postcode dog attack statistical breakdown for 2019/20 issued by Royal Mail today, Monday 6 July 2020.

In several areas of the country the number of attacks has increased, including Guildford in Surrey – from 26 to 47 – and Chelmsford in Essex, up from 15 to 33 in the year.

See Full Postcode by Postcode list attached

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB358 Dog Awareness Week 2020 – Postcode Area by Area Dog Attack Statistics 2019-20

Copy of Dog Attack Figures

Re: Coronavirus COVID-19: Supporting Members Returning to Work

Re: Coronavirus COVID-19: Supporting Members Returning to Work

Further to LTB 298/20, dated 12th June 2020, the Government(s) have announced the date for the end of shielding will be 31st July 2020 in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and 16th August 2020 in Wales, therefore further discussions have taken place with Royal Mail.

The purpose of this LTB is to let branches and members know a similar four-step process will be in place for the extremely vulnerable category whether it is shielding for yourself or another member of your household.

  • Step 1 – Follow up call to start discussion and where appropriate, set up a further call/meeting to establish and agree return to work
  • Step 2 – Further call/meeting with the employee
  • Step 3 – Outcome of return to work review discussion including OH Advice whereappropriate
  • Step 4 – Case review and final outcome

For members who are shielding (self) the communication with your manager will need to be by telephone as members have to continue shielding until the set date and therefore cannot meet face to face.

The department received reports managers in some areas were attempting to ignore the four-step process and just use the normal return to work process, LTB 318/20 dated 17th June 2020 confirmed the four-step process.

A further statement has been agreed with Royal Mail which confirms the four-step process will be used. This is attached at Appendix A.

If agreed adjustments are not put in place, members will not be forced to return to work and will remain away from the workplace until the adjustments have been completed.

If followed correctly, the process above should ensure a safe return to work, with full involvement of CWU members and their representatives, ensuring concerns have been taken into account and any required adjustments made.

We encourage branches to ensure this LTB is given the widest possible circulation to all Members.

Attached at Appendix B and C are the forms managers will use in discussion for steps 1 and 2.

All enquiries regarding the content of this LTB should be addressed to the PTCS Department, quoting reference 420. Email address: khay@cwu.org

Yours sincerely,

Carl Maden
Assistant Secretary (Acting)

LTB 357/20
APPENDIX A
Appendix B – Step 1 Return to work shielding furlough employees
Appendix C -Step 2 Return to Work Review Form (Shielding Furlough Employees)

Department for Transport (DOT) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Letter To All UK Businesses reminding them of their obligations under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, to provide suitable toilet and washing facilities to drivers visiting their premises:

Department for Transport (DOT) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Letter To All UK Businesses reminding them of their obligations under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, to provide suitable toilet and washing facilities to drivers visiting their premises:

See attached letter jointly issued by the DOT and HSE in response to representations made by the TUC, CWU and other Trade Union regarding ongoing problems being experienced by driver members performing work or undertaking collections, deliveries, haulage etc.

This letter has been produced by the Department for Transport (DOT) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to reassure drivers, and to remind businesses of their obligations under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, to provide suitable toilet and hand washing facilities to drivers visiting their premises. The letter will be of assistance to CWU Branch Reps and Health and Safety Reps as well as local management in making representations to customer businesses to ensure facilities are made available to CWU members. It can also be used to support outdoor postal delivery members whether they are delivering and collecting by vehicle or otherwise where difficulties are being experienced. With more businesses and companies opening up as the country comes out of lockdown, this letter can hopefully be of great use and assistance.

The DOT/HSE state that businesses (employers) which make or receive deliveries, should ensure that drivers have easy and safe access to toilets and hand washing facilities to support their health and wellbeing whilst carrying out their important work, which supports the economy.

The letter emphasises that “Preventing access is against the law.” Regulations 20 and 21 state that suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences and washing facilities shall be provided at readily accessible places and that hot and cold running water and soap must be available to use. Whilst this obligation for business is not new, ensuring that hygiene facilities are made available to visiting drivers is especially important during the current COVID-19 crisis, to avoid unwanted public health implications and to help tackle the spread of the virus, at a time when there are fewer locations operating with facilities that drivers can access.

HSE guidance states that drivers must have access to welfare facilities located in the premises they visit as part of their work. The responsibility in law to provide access rests with the person in control of the premises.

The letter is signed by Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary under Secretary of State Department for Transport and Sarah Albon, CEO of the HSE.

More information on infection control is available from:

Public Health England on their website at:- www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

Public Health Wales: www.wales.nhs.uk

Health Protection Scotland: www.hps.scot.nhs.uk

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB355 Department for Transport (DOT) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Letter To All UK Businesses

dft-hse-letter-access-to-hygiene-facilities-for-drivers-etc

RM Group/CWU Dog Awareness Week 2020 – Monday 6 July to Saturday 11 July

RM Group/CWU Dog Awareness Week 2020 – Monday 6 July to Saturday 11 July:

Introduction

Royal Mail and the CWU will jointly launch the eighth annual Dog Awareness Week on Monday 6 July, which runs until Saturday 11 July.

With the current Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic restrictions in place it is obviously difficult to be specific about the role and involvement of Area Health and Safety Reps and Workplace/Shift Health and Safety Reps this year. Over the previous seven years of Dog Awareness Week campaigns, CWU ASRs and WSRs have always played a key part in the annual joint campaigns. ASRs and WSRs are therefore asked to support the campaign and be as fully involved as best they can under the circumstances across the units in their branch, postcode area constituencies, ensuring full support for the campaign through local rep communication channels within Royal Mail Delivery Offices and Parcelforce Depots, checking compliance and working within current government Coronavirus Covid-19 guidance and Royal Mail Group risk control measures.

Attached are the key campaign materials to be used in the Royal Mail Group internal and external communication plan for your information, use and reference.  This includes:

  • Dog Awareness Week Communications Concurrence
  • Dog Awareness Week SHE WTLL Huddle/Staff Briefing
  • Dog Awareness Week RMTV “A.V.O.I.D” Screen Shots
  • Dog Awareness Week Internal Campaign Poster (England, Scotland, Wales)
  • Dog Awareness Week External Campaign Poster (England, Scotland, Wales)

Note: Hard copies of posters have been sent to all offices as appropriate.

The Royal Mail Group Safety Health & Environment Team have created a SharePoint site where the Dog Awareness Week Materials will go live on RMG internal viewing. The link is:

https://intranet.royalmailgroup.com/HealthSafety/Pages/DogAwareness2020.aspx

Aims of Dog Awareness Week

The week aims to raise awareness of the issue of dog attacks on postmen and women and encourage responsible dog ownership. Royal Mail Group and the CWU are once again working jointly on the campaign.

Royal Mail Campaign Activities

Internal Communications:

  • Plasma Screens – Internal plasma TV screens will be used to display key campaign messages particularly the ‘AVOID’ Message.
  • Courier – Will carry an article on Dog Awareness Week as a feature in the June and July/August editions.
  • RMTV – Will be featuring Dr Shaun Davis Global SHE Director talking about responsible dog ownership plus interviews with frontline employees.
  • RM Radio – Will feature an interview with Dr Shaun Davis Global SHE Director on responsible dog ownership and RM Solicitor Michael Munn from the Legal team will be talking about the work they do to support prosecution. Freddie Warnock UK Operations Safety Health & Environment Strategic Business Partner will be interviewed on his experience in the business dealing with dog attacks and where RMG has come from as a business.
  • Intranet Articles/Workplace/My Royal Mail – One story to feature each day on the intranet, stories will cover employees who have been bitten, the dog attack reporting process, interviews with dog behaviour specialists, police liaison officers, Dr Shaun Davis and Paddy O’Hara the Police Chiefs’ Liaison Officer.
  • Posters – Internal and External Posters to be made available on the SHE SharePoint and hard copies sent to units in time for display week beginning the 6th
  • Payslips – Friday 3rd July will carry a Message to refer RMG staff to the campaign.
  • Staff Briefings/Update – Managers will brief a message each day of the campaign.
  • Internal SharePoint Site – All the information used in the campaign located in one place.

External Communications:

  • Social Media – RMG will utilise Twitter and Facebook to send out messages advising dog owners what they can do to help reduce the risk of dog attacks on postal staff.
  • Newspapers/TV/Radio – Press and Media interest in coverage has already begun to build and it is expected that there will be local, regional and national coverage in the press and on radio and TV with Dave Joyce CWU National Health, Safety and Environment Officer involved.
  • Postage Mark on Letters – Referring customers to the RMG external website where there is guidance on what they can do as dog owners to help us carry out deliveries safely.

2,500 Dog Attacks on Postmen and Women A Year

There are still around 2,500 dog attacks on postmen and women every year. Reported dog attacks have increased by 7% over the last two years. The CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department estimates that many minor incidents and attacks of approximately 1000 go unreported and another part of the ongoing campaign is to encourage outdoor delivery members and Parcelforce members to report ALL incidents with dogs because the next time it may not be a minor incident or near thing and could be serious. It is discovered too often following serious attacks, resulting in life changing injuries that several minor incidents and near misses with the same animal or at the same address were not properly reported and had they been, the serious attack may have been avoided. Dog Attacks remain a major problem for the Royal Mail and Parcelforce Outdoor Workforce CWU members!

7 Postmen and Women Attacked by Dogs Every Day – over 47 a week

Based on the officially reported figures, seven postmen and women a day are attacked by dogs across the UK. This figure rises during the school holidays and in the summer months when parents and children are at home and family pets are allowed to roam properties and gardens without constraint or control, with front, back and side doors plus windows and side garden gates left open. We are now entering that time of the year when we see a spike in the number of dog attacks, hence the timing of Dog Awareness Week. The events of the last 6 months however have changed the whole way in which UK society functions with lockdown.

Research

Research released in 2017 as part of Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness Week found that nearly a third of UK parents who own a dog confessed that their canine had been loose in the house when an exterior door or windows were left open.

83% of Dog Attacks occur between the garden gate and front door

83% of Dog Attacks in total occur between the garden gate and front door. At these times, in the summer as well, dogs are more likely to be unrestrained or unsupervised in or around the property being delivered to.

Dog and Animal Charities and Organisations Supporting Dog Awareness Week

Royal Mail Group’s Dog Awareness Week is supported by the Communications Workers Union and a wide range of organisations and animal charities including PDSA, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the National Dog Wardens Association.

Police Support

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) is fully supporting the RMG/CWU Dog Awareness week again this year. The NPPC have been working in partnership with Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union to use the new Dangerous Dogs Legislation (which the CWU achieved through the ‘Bite-Back’ Campaign). The NPCC is continuing to encourage Police forces nationally to utilise the tools available to them to tackle irresponsible dog ownership; by educating where possible and prosecuting where appropriate. Working together, Royal Mail Group, the Communication Workers Union and the National Police Chiefs’ Council wish to ensure Dog Attack incidents are dealt with consistently across all fifty Police forces.

The CWU is continuing its efforts through two national dangerous dogs inquiries by the UK Government and the Scottish Government as well as discussions with the Welsh Assembly to press for further strengthening of Dog Control Laws and enforcement of those laws.

Territorial Aggression

Dogs can be quite protective of their owners and homes. They believe they are merely defending their territory, home and family, but it’s important to recognise that this behaviour can sometimes escalate to dog bite incidents with anyone coming to a home, including postmen and women. No one should feel unsafe in the workplace and it’s important dog owners realise this and act responsibly and comply with the law, that requires them to do just that. Owners must take the necessary steps to give postmen and women respect and safety from dog attacks. Owners should encourage good behaviour when postal workers come to make deliveries. Dog owners should be spending time getting their pets familiar with visitors coming to the house and so create a safer environment for all. The overwhelming majority of dogs that CWU members come into contact with do not present any problem at all but dogs are territorial and will defend themselves, their family and their territory if they feel it is being threatened.

Postmen and women deliver to over 30 million addresses across the country, six days a week and we want them to be vigilant, assess the situation, exercise caution and certainly take no risks when delivering the mail and parcels. This dog awareness week is also a campaign during summer time when we appeal to dog owners and their families to help reduce the numbers of attacks, particularly at the door and in the garden by securing and keeping control of their dogs and acting responsibly by taking a few simple precautions.

New Dog Control Laws

As Branches will be aware following the successful CWU Bite Back Campaign, the UK’s Dangerous Dogs laws were extended and strengthened in Northern Ireland in 2010, Scotland in 2011 and England and Wales in 2014. The new law provides us with a great opportunity to hold those responsible to account, tackle irresponsible dog ownership and ultimately improve the safety and confidence of postal workers and all members of our communities. The new dog control laws now identify and penalise chronically irresponsible dog owners. One owner from Romford, Essex paid fines and costs of £9,000 after his dog injured a postwoman’s fingers as she put letters through the door. Another owner from Oxford was handed a 16-month suspended prison sentence and banned from owning dogs for life after his dog badly injured a postman’s hand. A third owner from Sheffield was jailed for four and a half months after his two dogs seriously mauled a postman who ended up in intensive care.

The penalties for dangerous dog offences can involve unlimited fines, prison sentences as well as dog destruction orders, dog ownership bans, compensation orders, and other ancillary orders. Dog owners need to fully understand that their actions usually are the cause of a dog being dangerous and simple precautions can prevent the pain for everyone concerned. No matter what breed of dog is involved, the dog can present a substantial danger to postal workers. Another aim of the week is to raise awareness of the new laws and the penalties dog owners risk facing if they fail to control their animals and an attack occurs.

Enforcement Issues

The Health, Safety and Environment Department has been highlighting a number of enforcement issues and dog control law enforcement problems across the UK. This involves Police forces in England and Scotland, as well as Crown Prosecution bodies and the Courts. As a result of this, strong representations have been made to the UK Government, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government. Discussions have taken place, led by the CWU and supported by Royal Mail Group in an effort to achieve further changes to the law and sentencing protocol. The Union has also, via the National Health, Safety & Environment Officer, given evidence to the Dangerous Dogs Law Inquiry conducted in the House of Commons by the EFRA Parliamentary Select Committee and the Dangerous Dogs Law Inquiry conducted by the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee. Subsequently the National Health, Safety & Environment Officer has met the Scottish Minister, the Welsh Minister and a representative of the UK Minister. Our Union’s objective is to achieve a post-implementation review of the current legislation and its enforcement and sentencing guidance in order to achieve further strengthening and improved outcomes for dangerous dog prosecutions.

Dog Awareness Week Postmark

To help promote dog safety, a special Dog Awareness Week Postmark will be applied to all stamped items from Monday 6th July to Saturday 11th July 2020.

Top Tips for Dog Owners

RMG and the CWU will continue to promote advice to dog owning customers as even the most friendly dog can be a danger to postal staff. Dogs are territorial by nature and if they feel they need to protect their family, they can become unpredictable. Here are some ideas to help postman and women deliver the post safety. Please do what you can to promote these messages to the public:

  • Ensure your dog is out of the way before the postman or woman arrives. Secure your dog in a secure closed room or the back garden.
  • If you have a back garden, please close off the access, in case your dog could get round to the front when the postman calls.
  • Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to sign for or collect an item which can’t go through the letterbox. Please keep your dog in another room before answering the door and make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack.
  • Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered.
  • Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived before you let your pet back into your hallway. Check outside before letting the dog out to make sure the postman or woman has left and the gate is shut. Keep everything as calm and low-key as possible.
  • If your dog likes to attack your mail when it comes through the letterbox, consider installing a wire letter receptacle. It will protect your post, and your postman’s fingers.
  • If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman delivering your mail, please consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.

Top Tips for Royal Mail and Parcelforce Outdoor Delivery and Collection members – would ASRs/WSRs promote and communicate these important messages:

“AVOID & STAY SAFE”

“AVOID:”

– Avoid interacting with all dogs

– Value yourself; don’t put yourself at risk

– Observe; keep your walk log up to date

– Inform others of potential risk to stop them being attacked

– Defend yourself if necessary, using your delivery equipment

“STAY SAFE:”

  • 83% of attacks happen at a customer’s door or in their garden so take no risks.
  • Never put your fingers through a letterbox – use a posting peg.
  • If there’s a gate to the property, rattle it and wait a few seconds to see if a dog is present. Listen and look for signs of a dog’s presence, dog bed, toys, food and water bowls.
  • Never accept assurances – always ask owners to restrain their dogs and step away.
  • Use your pouch or trolley as a barrier between you and a dog, if approached unexpectedly.
  • Never tease or antagonise a dog.
  • Report all dogs on your duty via the WRAP system and check Walk Logs.
  • Under the revised Dangerous Dogs Act, postal workers have legal protection from dog attacks on private property.
  • If you are attacked, we urge you to report it, even minor incidents – first to your manager and then to the police. You could help stop future attacks happening.
  • Royal Mail Group and the CWU are committed to driving Dog Attack numbers down. We now have the law in place to do it but we need to get messages across to members.
  • Firstly, don’t take risks!
  • Secondly, don’t ignore minor incidents! – report it! It may be far worse next time!
  • Thirdly, support investigations and prosecutions – too many injured members refuse to support prosecutions and give evidence, leaving dog owners guilty of criminal offences to get away scot-free!

IMPORTANT ATTACHMENTS:

  • Dog Awareness Week Communications Concurrence
  • Dog Awareness Week SHE WTLL Huddle/Staff Briefing
  • Dog Awareness Week RMTV “A.V.O.I.D” Screen Shots
  • Dog Awareness Week Internal Campaign Poster (England, Scotland, Wales)
  • Dog Awareness Week External Campaign Poster (England, Scotland, Wales)

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB356 RM Group CWU Dog Awareness Week 2020 – Monday 6 July to Saturday 11 July

556228_RM_41_Dog Awareness week Screens_1360x768px_V3

Communication Concurrence Form (Dog Awareness Week)

SHE Huddle Dog Awareness Delivery FY20 003

External Dog Awareness_A4 Poster_ENGLISH

External Dog Awareness_A4 Poster_SCOTTISH

External Dog Awareness_A4 Poster_WALES

External Dog Awareness_A4 Poster_WELSH_ENGLISH

Internal Dog Awareness_A4 Poster_ENGLISH

Internal Dog Awareness_A4 Poster_SCOTTISH

Internal Dog Awareness_A4 Poster_WELSH

Fire Risk Assessments – UK Employers Legal Requirements

Fire Risk Assessments – UK Employers Legal Requirements

Introduction

This LTB is being issued to provide information to CWU Health and Safety Reps across the Union in all employers, in all parts of the UK and as a  reminder of the importance of fire safety as well as ensuring employers are in full compliance with their fire safety legal responsibilities.

The relevant legislation for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is referenced below. Key links to government, enforcing authority and safety professional websites, information, legal guidance and templates are listed below also.

All employers must carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment of their premises and keep it up to date. This will identify what is needed to prevent fires and keep the workforce and visitors safe.  Written records of fire risk assessment must be retained.

Carrying Out The Assessment

  • Identify the fire hazards.
  • Identify people at risk.
  • Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
  • Record the findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
  • Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

Items to consider:

  • emergency routes and exits
  • fire detection and warning systems
  • fire-fighting equipment
  • the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances
  • an emergency fire evacuation plan
  • the needs of vulnerable people, for example the elderly, young children or those with disabilities
  • providing information to employees and other people on the premises
  • staff fire safety training

Most Fires Are Preventable

Those responsible for workplaces and other buildings to which the public have access can avoid them by taking responsibility for and adopting the right behaviours and procedures.

General Fire Safety Hazards

  • Fires need three things to start – a source of ignition (heat), a source of fuel (something that burns) and oxygen:
  • Sources of ignition include heaters, lighting, naked flames, electrical equipment, smokers’ materials (cigarettes, matches etc.), and anything else that can get very hot or cause sparks.
  • Sources of fuel include wood, paper, plastic, rubber or foam, loose packaging materials, waste rubbish and furniture.
  • Sources of oxygen include the air around us.

Actions

Once the risks have been identified, appropriate action must be taken to control them. Consider whether the risks can be avoided altogether or, if this is not possible, how they can be reduced and managed. Also, employers must consider how to protect people if there is a fire:

  • Carry out a fire safety risk assessment.
  • Keep sources of ignition and flammable substances apart.
  • Avoid accidental fires, e.g., make sure heaters cannot be knocked over.
  • Ensure good housekeeping at all times, e.g., avoid a build-up of rubbish that could burn.
  • Consider how to detect fires and how to warn people quickly if they start, e.g., installing smoke alarms and fire alarms or bells.
  • Have the correct fire-fighting equipment for putting a fire out quickly.
  • Keep fire exits and escape routes clearly marked and unobstructed at all times.
  • Ensure workers receive appropriate training on procedures they need to follow, including fire drills.
  • Review and update risk assessments regularly.

The Law

  • In England and Wales the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 covers general fire safety.
  • In Scotland, requirements on general fire safety are covered in Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, supported by the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
  • In Northern Ireland fire safety requirements are covered in Part 3 of The Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.

What do Employers have To do?

To help prevent accidental fires or explosions, employers first need to identify:

  • What substances, materials, processes etc., have the potential to cause such an event, i.e., substances that burn or can explode and what might set them alight.
  • The people who may be at risk/harmed.
  • Once risks have been identified, management should consider what measures are needed to reduce or remove the risk of people being harmed. This will include measures to prevent these incidents happening in the first place, as well as precautions that will protect people from harm if there is a fire or explosion.

Key points to remember

  • Employers/management need to think about the risks of fire and explosions from the substances that are used or created in the business and consider how they might remove or reduce the risks.
  • Use supplier safety data sheets as a source of information about which substances might be flammable.
  • Consider reducing the amount of flammable/explosive substances stored on sites.
  • Keep sources of ignition (e.g., naked flames, sparks) and substances that burn (e.g., vapour, dusts) apart.
  • Get rid of flammable/explosive substances safely.
  • Review risk assessments regularly.
  • Maintain good housekeeping, e.g., avoid a build-up of rubbish, dust or grease that could start a fire or make one worse.
  • Employers/management also need to consider the presence of dangerous substances that can result in fires or explosions as part of the fire safety risk assessment. This is required under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (in England and Wales) and under Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act.
  • The Fire and Rescue Authorities deal with general fire safety matters in workplaces apart from on construction sites including shipbuilding where these are dealt with by HSE or its agents. Enforcement responsibility for fire safety where dangerous substances are kept and used generally lies with HSE (or local authorities if they inspect the premises).

Further detailed Information 

Footnote: Fire Safety – Future Building Safety Regulations

The government has asked the HSE to establish a new building safety regulator in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster and following recommendations in the ‘Building a Safer Future’ report by Dame Judith Hackitt.  The new regulator will oversee the safe design, construction and occupation of high-risk buildings so that residents are safe and feel safe. It will be independent and give expert advice to local regulators, landlords and building owners, the construction and building design industry, and to residents.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB354 Fire Risk Assessments – UK Employers Legal Requirements

The TUC online three day trade union festival next week (9-11 July).

The TUC has put together a three day trade union festival online next week (9-11 July).

We would encourage as many of you as possible to attend as many of the sessions as you can.

There’s are some great speakers. Our union will be involved with speakers and panelist’s across the 3 days.

Register via the link below and here’s a video message from the GS.

https://www.tuc.org.uk/Organise2020

TUC ‘ORGANISE 2020’ FESTIVAL

TUC ‘ORGANISE 2020’ FESTIVAL

Further to LTB 295/20 additional details of the online TUC ‘Organise 2020’ Festival are now available and branches and representatives are urged to register for participation on:

https://www.tuc.org.uk/organise-2020

Organise 2020 is a three-day free festival of ideas in union organising, with one simple aim: to rebuild collective strength by putting organising at the heart of everything we do. This initiative has come directly as a result of the CWU motion on a New Deal for Workers carried at last year’s TUC Congress. CWU General Secretary, Dave Ward is speaking at the opening session on Thursday 9th July at 11.00am, which will launch the Organise 2020pledge, which commits to greater union co-operation on organising to grow the movement and ensure it is genuinely representative of all working people.

If you have any enquiries regarding this LTB should be addressed to the Head of Recruitment & Organising by email to rellis@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,

RAY ELLIS

Head of Recruitment & Organising

LTB 353/20 – TUC Organise 2020 Festival

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