Minor Repairs (Changing of Wheels) – CWU Advice to Members
Further to LTB (Letter to Branches) 461/22 entitled Minor Repairs Electric Vehicle – Initial CWU Advice to Members, copy attached for ease of reference.
It has recently come to the Outdoor Department’s attention that in some locations local managers are now informing members that they are able to change wheels on their vehicles outside of the Minor Repair Agreement set out in LTB (Letter To Branches) 088/13 and 171/14 respectively. We also understand that the same information is being given to members even in the case of Electric Vehicles (EVs) which to date, remain subject to further discussion as supported by the CWU National Health, Safety and Environment Officer. For clarity, both departments have raised this matter at national level as changing tyres/wheels can be dangerous, particularly when on busy roads.
With corporate responsibility weighing ever more heavily on the shoulders of the business and senior directors, the safety of employees carrying out such maintenance at the roadside should be actively discouraged by both parties.
These reports further suggest that this information is being issued by some managers following a recent Royal Mail Roadshow event held in Birmingham.
Therefore, this LTB is being issued to confirm that no OPGs or Drivers should undertake the changing of a wheel on their vehicle (or any form of minor repair), either at the Delivery unit or whilst on their delivery route. Only these members which have been fully trained in line with the Minor Repair Agreement should undertake this activity and on site at the Delivery unit.
In the case of an EV, our view remains clear that no Minor Repair should be undertaken by OPGs or Drivers until such time as both the Outdoor Department and the Health, Safety & Environmental Departments have been provided with the opportunity to assess the dangers involved in this operation.
All Fleet Technicians are currently required to obtain the IMI Level 3 qualification before carrying out any maintenance on EVs with all Fleet Admin grades being required to obtain the lower qualification of IMI Level 1, before attempting to move an EV on site. Members are therefore strongly advised to refrain from carrying out such minor repairs on all EVs until further notice.
In setting out this advice, it is necessary to again draw to the attention of Branches, Representatives and members alike, that the Minor Repair agreement stipulates that Drivers must not undertake minor repairs until they have been fully trained and once trained, only the repairs documented within the Minor Repairs Manual should be undertaken using the tools authorised and provided by RM Fleet. Even after training, however, the agreement makes it clear that the OPG will make the final decision on whether to tackle a minor repair or not.
This principle is repeated in the Joint Statement on Deployment of Minor Repairs issued in 2013.
Where local managers seek to continue to issue this information, then Representatives are advised to use the IR Framework and in the absence of cooperation from the relevant managers, process the matter unilaterally.
Additionally, Area Safety Representatives are equally advised to have sight of any jointly agreed assessment of the potential dangers involved in carrying out any form of Minor Repairs on an Electric Vehicle.
Any enquiries regarding this LTB should be directed to the Outdoor Department, reference 300, email address: email@example.com. However, any issues received in connection with the above which are appropriate to the other CWU/HQ Departments, will be passed on to the appropriate National Officer.
CWU Assistant Secretary