CWU Celebrates Landmark Low Level Letter Box Victory as Government Prepares to Change Building Regulations To Help Postal WorkersHealth & Safety March 7 2019
The CWU is celebrating a landmark victory for its postal worker members.
After years of campaigning to ban Low Level Letter Boxes the Union intensified it’s campaign earlier this year lobbying MPs, government minister, local authorities and developers.
The issue rose to prominence in January when a Private Members Ten Minute Rule Bill sponsored by the CWU and Royal Mail was presented to a packed House of Commons received the support of all political parties.
The campaign to prevent Low Level Letter Boxes is a top priority of the Communications Workers Union who have been campaign for changes to Building Regulations so that the fitting of low boxes is prevented in new developments, refurbishments and replacements.
CWU National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce who has been spearheading the Union’s campaign explained that “Bending or stooping to deliver to clusters of Low Level Letter Boxes presents many potential problems to postmen and women with the risk of Back, Arm and joint injuries, repetitive strain injuries, trapped fingers, and dog bites as well as the risk of damage to packets and the risk of theft for customers. He added that Back injury is the primary cause of sickness in the Royal Mail which recorded nearly 17,000 back related absence spells last year.”
Having won the unanimous support of Members of Parliament, the good news that emerged this week is that the ‘Building Regulations Advisory Committee’ has formally endorsed the Union’s call for change and is now going to include Low Level Letter Boxes within the upcoming formal review of UK Building Regulations later this year which will mean that a minimum letter box height will at long last become Law.
Dave Joyce said “the Government has this target of a million new homes to be completed by the end on 2020 and large developments with Low Level Letter Boxes are a nightmare for postal workers. The Union has had to tackle the problem by challenging builders piecemeal when they instal low level letterboxes in big numbers without the force of law behind us and today’s news couldn’t have come at a better time”
The Building Regulations Advisory Committee supported the CWU case and has written to the minister supporting an amendment to the building regulations, acknowledging the Union’s campaign, stating that the BRAC recognises that there are potential occupational health and ergonomic issues with low level letter boxes and that they support an amendment to regulations include a minimum letter box height
Dave added “The housing Minister has also indicated to us his support for the change and we hope it can be pushed through quickly. This is an extremely important change for the health and safety of postal workers out on deliverers six days a week, 52 weeks of the year and a huge step forward for sensible change. This is great news for Union’ 95,000 Delivery Members.