Our Ref: E4/21
To: All Branches
Royal Mail – Provision of New Supply Branded/Refillable 750 ml Water Bottles For Outdoor Workers: “Staying Hydrated”
Introduction & Background
LTB No. 434/2020 issued on 28 August 2020 reported on the Union’s claim and representations for the provision of water bottles for the outdoor workforce and our campaign on protecting members working outside during heatwave conditions and on communicating the extremely important issue of staying hydrated at all times whilst undertaking manual work.
As reported in LTB 434/20 Royal Mail agreed to provide water bottles to CWU members and last year an ‘interim’ supply of 65,000 refillable water bottles were made available for offices to order.
A permanent long-term solution has now been progressed to a conclusion with the provision of ‘durable, Royal Mail branded, refillable 750 ml water bottles now becoming universally available’.
Royal Mail, having at long last agreed to our request for the provision of water bottles for the outdoor workforce, has also agreed to jointly campaign on the importance of staying hydrated at all times and these developments are welcomed. This is an important health and safety issue when carrying out a manual job, walking many miles outdoors – especially in hot, sunny weather conditions, when temperatures are high.
Ordering The New Water Bottles
The water bottles are readily available on the Uniform Ordering Portal, ordered against the individual’s wearer profile and are available for those in Delivery and Driver job roles.
Any Management only enquiries can be directed to Sam Dixon, National Uniform & Print Manager: Email: email@example.com Mobile:- 07553 365925.
Area Health and Safety Reps and Workplace Safety Reps Actions:
Area and Workplace Health and Safety Representatives are requested to ensure that firstly, Delivery Office members order their water bottles in preparation for hot weather, secondly, working with Operational and SHE Team Management, raise awareness about sun safety and dehydration amongst outdoor delivery members and thirdly, ensure that Severe Weather Risk Assessments are carried out in hot, heatwave weather conditions. Any failures and non-compliance should be reported to senior management, recorded on health and safety inspections and reported to auditors in order that it can be recorded in the Unit’s ‘Integrated Audit’ when carried out.
The Health, Safety and Environment Department will also continue to press Royal Mail HQ to ensure that in future, Severe Weather Risk Assessments are carried out in hot, heatwave weather, to avoid dehydration, sunburn, skin damage, heat exhaustion and sun stroke and so protect the outdoor delivery workforce.
The Importance and Health Benefits of Good Hydration:
Good Hydration means getting the right amount of water before, during, and after work. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates the joints and helps muscles and joints work better. It promotes better cardiovascular health and helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you’re not hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level. Water keeps organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
The Dangers of Dehydration:
Dehydration can cause heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heatstroke and can reduce the amount of blood in the body, which can put strain on the heart and cause shock – a dangerous decrease in blood pressure, which can have serious health consequences.
See attached Image of the new water bottles.
Dave Joyce National Health, Safety & Environment Officer