Heavy lifting and safe handling

Announcing the launch of a new “CWU Safe Working on Delivery Guide” National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce said “the European Agency for Safety and Health and the HSE have launched a European wide campaign on musculoskeletal injuries called “Lighten The Load” and the HSE are supporting the campaign as well as their own “Better Backs” initiative.”

“Royal Mail employs 0.7% of the UK population but is responsible for nearly 10% of the UK’s musculoskeletal injuries each year and their track record on Safety isn’t good enough. In fact, it’s four times worse than the transport industry. Additionally, the HSE have been inspecting Delivery Offices across the country and they generally aren’t too impressed either”.

“Within Royal Mail Letters, the majority of injuries to our people occur on delivery. The causes can be quite varied, but typically, manual handling, slips & trips, dog attacks, RTAs and cycling accidents are common causes. Musculoskeletal disorder injuries are the most common work-related ill-health problem in the UK and the biggest cause of sick-absence”.

Dave added, “The purpose of the new CWU ‘Safe Working On Delivery Guide’ is to help our local Safety Reps and Unit Reps ensure the risks to health and safety on Delivery work are properly controlled, and to help achieve a reduction in accidents at work, stress and ill health within Royal Mail Letters Delivery so that fewer numbers of members get hurt as they go about their daily delivery. If it works, then our members won’t get hurt or made ill as often as they do now and the business benefits by having less people off work sick. To be successful in this, it is essential that the parties involved, Royal Mail Letters and the CWU, work together in order to achieve these aims. Managers need to start listening to our Safety Reps and working with them, becoming problem solvers, deploying safety improvements, being compliant with the Law, deploying risk control measures and safe systems of work.”

Dave concluded “We’re in difficult times, but health and safety can’t be side-stepped and Delivery Office managers, working with CWU health and safety representatives and Delivery staff, is the best way of realising health and safety benefits all-round. We need everybody to play their part in keeping the walk logs complete and up-to-date, and ensuring the information is used, to protect themselves and their work colleagues.”