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Accident Near Miss Process Announced In Royal Mail Engineering

As part of a programme of work to improve safety standards and better manage safety in the workplace, a "near miss" process has been developed jointly between Royal Mail (Engineering) with the CWU and Unite Trade Unions for use in engineering. This has now been released, enabling engineers to report incidents via the engineering website.  
This process is to be used as part of a 3 month trial to assess benefits of such a system, the volumes, categories and near miss trends.   

The announcment was made to all CWU Royal Mail Branches via CWU letter to branches LTB1056/09 30th November.

The CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department have been fully consulted and involved in planning to introduce the "near miss" process we fully endorse and support this approach.  
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimated that if every single reportable incident not at present investigated by employers was investigated and acted upon, this could save UK society up to £2 billion per year in preventable incidents.
Near misses are warnings of failings or gaps in safety systems, and can identify potential accidents before they actually happen. In doing so personal injury, pain, loss and suffering plus damage to plant and equipment and loss of productivity can all be avoided with thorough reporting, investigation, root cause analysis and remedial action.

There is a direct correlation between the number of near misses and accident rates. 
The intention of this new trial process is to proactively encourage staff to support and utilise the process in a "blame-free" culture by reporting all incidents, so as to ensure there's a full investigation in to how the incidents happened, how the risks arise and how they might be prevented in future.

The findings and conclusions can then be taken into account in revising the workplace risk assessments and working methods so ensuring they are safe and fit for purpose.

If an incident occurs which does not result in an injury, but which clearly could have done, then it’s a 'near miss', and jointly Royal Mail and the CWU and Unite want to encourage every individual Engineer to report it. Reporting incidents will be encouraged and not frowned upon.

Effective identification and reporting of near misses means preventative measures and controls can be introduced, reducing the likelihood of an accident occurring. 

The near miss report form is accessible to all engineers on the ADST site.
The message to all Engineers is 'please take the opportunity to submit any near miss incidents you have, however minor you think they are'. Because if we don’t know where the real problems are, how are we going to prioritise our efforts? An effective near miss reporting process can be a fundamental element of a thriving safety culture. A near miss is a golden opportunity to prevent an accident. The idea is to get the information reported quickly. This allows an investigation to take place to identify root causes of potential accidents and to then assist with follow-up with corrective action so that ultimately lower accident and injury rates result. The hope is that Engineers will learn the importance of near miss reporting and begin helping deploy a sustainable reporting program that's unique to their work and operations. The information will be collected and analysed for appropriate attention from the ADST (Engineering) data base.  The National Safety Management Team will feed back monthly (as soon as practicable if a serious condition is identified) on the near misses raised for each Managers area.  The National Safety Management Team will also try and identify issues which are national or technical engineering and which need to be addressed nationally.

The support of all CWU Engineering Representatives would be appreciated in encouraging local engineers to report any near miss.
The joint intention of Royal Mail (Engineering) and CWU remains that we work in a positive safety culture. To improve safety and encouraging openness, recognising issues and implementing controls.    
In line with HSE strategy, Royal Mail will pro-actively involve, consult and inform CWU Safety Representatives in good time.

Source: CWU

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