Dog attacks are a significant problem in Royal Mail for CWU members with around 3000 attacks on Postmen and Women annually with a number of victims very seriously injured and disabled with life changing injuries.
Here, CWU's National Health, Safety and Environment Officer, Dave Joyce provides the details of a joint CWU/Royal Mail campaign to be laiunched later this month. His letter to Branches (LTB573/18 refers):
The National Royal Mail/CWU Dog Working Group considered in detail and agreed to launch a joint initiative, driven primarily by CWU Area Health and Safety Reps, fully supported by Royal Mail, in which CWU ASRs would visit the highest impacting units in their postcode areas and deploy the new strategy of which the key objective is raising awareness within the workforce of the risks they face from uncontrolled dogs and their irresponsible owners (our customers) when delivering mail.
This would then be followed up by the CMA ASRs/SHE Advisors utilising a newly developed, simple but effective ‘Virtual Reality Kit’. This was also outlined in a presentation by Freddie Warnock SHE Strategic Business Partner for Delivery at the last round of Royal Mail SHE/CWU Fixed Focus & Grow (FFG) meeting events in the Regions North, Midlands and South at Newcastle, Leicester and London. If ASRs haven’t seen the kit demonstrated and tried it themselves this can be arranged locally via SHE Advisors.
The Agreed strategy is a 2 phased approach:
The CWU ASRs will make arrangements and agree with the relevant Delivery Office Managers/Area Operational Managers a date or dates to visit their identified high impacting units – as identified in the HIU Instructions file. All dates will be mutually agreed to suit the ASR and fit in with their other commitments (e.g. Safety Inspections, Safety Committee Meetings, Accident Investigations, Training arrangements, leave etc).
ASRs will obviously need to agree the visit dates and work with the Unit Managers to complete the activity in the most effective way. On visiting the selected High Impact Delivery Offices, the ASR will then share the materials with the delivery staff and discuss the campaign and its purpose. All the materials required with instructions are attached and all feedback is welcomed.
In preparation for the Delivery Office visits, ASRs will need to review the materials and instructions to familiarise themselves with it in preparation of the visit.
This requires the SHE Advisors/CMA ASRs to follow up into the same units which the CWU ASRs have visited and deploy the use of the dog training video using the Virtual Reality Kit. Again for reference all the instructions for this phase are within the attachments to this LTB. Utilising and involving the CWU Workplace Safety Reps is also key in this part of the campaign initiative so ASR’s full involvement in this phase would also be appreciated and indeed is fully agreed and sanctioned by Royal Mail.
CWU ASRs should, when ready, make contact with and inform the SHE Advisor when they intend to visit each of the delivery office high impacting units to allow the deployment of the campaign initiative to be tracked and for the impact and level of success of the initiative to be measured and reported back to the National Royal Mail/CWU Dog Working Group with feedback from ASRs and SHE Advisors in order to consider the results and future actions.
It is for the ASRs and the Managers to agree a mutually convenient time and date for each unit. The campaign materials include the requirement that there will be at least a week’s notice of the commencement date at each unit.
This exercise at each Unit does not have to be done in a set timeframe and will take as long as it takes to do it thoroughly because the intention is that we jointly aim to have an effect on the dog risk levels.
Any CWU ASR requiring additional time in order to deploy the campaign initiative should apply in the normal way, quoting this Royal Mail/CWU nationally agreed campaign initiative as the reason for any applications. Any problems can be ‘escalated’ using the normal nationally agreed RM/CWU Health and safety Disputes/Escalations procedure as contained in RMG SHE Standard 5.1.
The Campaign will officially begin on Monday 22 October 2018 (Schools Half-Term holiday week for many UK schools, in order to allow any necessary preparation for ASRs. Additionally, during and around the time of the schools half term week, Dog Campaign materials will be contained in an RMTV feature and a Manager intranet article.
Royal Mail Director/Senior Manager level support has been agreed for this initiative.
Any ASR requiring a supply of copies of the CWU Dog Attacks on Postal Workers Booklets (V8a) to distribute at their High Impact Units should contact Gerard Harkin, CWU HQ Health, Safety and Environment Department and we will arrange to supply them.
The document can also be downloaded from the Unionsafety E-Library Database using search category 'Dangerous Dogs'.
Source: Dave Joyce / CWU