2023-08-25 10:28

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CWU Issues Reminder Of Royal Mail’s Safety Briefing On Parcel Sorting Machine Operators Overriding Safety Systems

When working on the eject station of the PSM there is a ‘jog push button’ to start the conveyor belt as illustrated in the attached, this should be pressed when required to move ejects along the belt to the table where they can be sorted.

There have been 3 incidents reported where this button has been fastened down with elastic bands so the belt runs continuously. That has resulted in parcels becoming stuck between the belt and the table. Engineers have then been called and there have subsequently been 2 near misses and an accident.

The engineers can be seriously injured if this safety mechanism has been overridden.
There are no circumstances under which this action is acceptable and by interfering with a safety button, those concerned are risking serious injury to colleagues.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, It is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this including the provision of Safe Systems of Work. Employees are legally bound to co-operate and follow safe working methods at all times.

Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act puts a duty upon employees to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of other persons who may be affected by their acts and omissions at work. If injury is caused, a worker can face prosecution. Royal Mail has stated in relation to this matter that anyone found to be in breach of the SSoW and deliberately tampering with a safety device will be subject to RM conduct code/disciplinary action.

Safety is the responsibility of everyone who works in a Mail Centre where PSM machines are in operation and it is important that all SSoWs are followed as they have been developed to protect the workforce that work on the Parcel Sort Machine (PSM).

There have recently been three incidents of workers overriding the safety systems and on one occasion this led an engineer being injured.

Please make sure that members are made aware of this attached Safety Briefing which includes diagrams and photographs.

Source: CWU LTB585/18


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