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RMG Road Safety Week 1-7 March 2021 – “Preventing Vehicle Roll-aways & ‘H.I.T.’” Campaign

No. 073/2021

Our Ref: V4/21

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

RMG Road Safety Week 1-7 March 2021 – “Preventing Vehicle Roll-aways & ‘H.I.T.’” Campaign

Royal Mail Group have today finalised the arrangements for the March 2021 Road Safety Week, which will again be highlighting the very serious issue of Vehicle Roll-aways involving Royal Mail and Parcelforce vehicles, focusing on the vitally important and ‘mandatory’ steps that drivers need to take to prevent these incidents from occurring.

Preventing Vehicle Roll-aways:

Next week’s Road Safety Week is aimed at reinforcing the safety standards and ‘mandatory controls’ required when parking Royal Mail Group (Royal Mail, Parcelforce, RMSS, RMP&FS, RM Fleet etc.,) vehicles, to eliminate vehicle roll-away incidents.

All drivers must adopt the safety standards to prevent vehicle roll-away incidents which can and have caused very serious injuries to Royal Mail/Parcelforce drivers and even a fatality.

Drivers can additionally place themselves at risk of prosecution by the Police for serious motoring offences and Royal Mail/Parcelforce may consider the Conduct Procedure if drivers ignore and fail to comply with safety control instructions.

There have been a worrying number of Royal Mail/Parcelforce vehicle roll-aways over the last year. Already this last year, Royal Mail vehicles have rolled away on 137 occasions. These are extremely dangerous, terrifying events whereby drivers are unable to take any action to prevent a collision with either other vehicles, pedestrians or third-party property. These incidents can lead to personal injury, death and many thousands of pounds worth of damage – the outcomes are pure chance. Several drivers have received serious injuries trying to stop Royal Mail/Parcelforce vans which have rolled away, some of them seriously and one of them was killed.

The introduction of parcel runs into deliveries means that vehicles are starting and stopping far more often, and this increases the risk of a vehicle roll-away if drivers fail to apply basic, standard safe driving procedures.

Whilst roll-aways in HGVs are rare, they do happen, and the results can obviously be devastating.

The Road Safety Week Campaign will focus on reinforcing the following Driver Activities, Information and Instructions:

Remember the HIT acronym – Handbrake on, In Gear, Turn the wheels.

Applying the handbrake – Drivers should apply the handbrake with the footbrake applied and pull the lever ‘over the ratchet’ – click, click, click. DO NOT depress the handbrake lever button as this can allow it to drop 1 or 2 clicks when it’s released. Apply it fully and check that it is fully applied as most roll-aways occur when handbrakes are only partially applied – the driver thinking it’s fully applied!

Handbrake sensors – some vans are now fitted with handbrake sensors which measure the tension in the handbrake cables and will warn the driver if the handbrake has not been sufficiently applied.

Electric handbrakes – some newer vehicles have a ‘switch’ operated electric handbrake which are very effective – the campaign will aim to ensure drivers are fully aware of the operation of these handbrakes.

Handbrakes are not perfect – the message here is that handbrakes can fail for several reasons. Mechanical failures do occasionally occur, drivers can fail to apply them fully, and sometimes drivers can forget to apply them altogether. As a ‘fall-back’ safety measure – DRIVERS SHOULD ALWAYS LEAVE THE VEHICLE IN GEAR. Even on level ground, slight inclines, pot-holes or even the camber of the road can start a vehicle rolling.

Automatic vehicles – When driving an automatic gearbox vehicle, drivers should leave the vehicle in ‘Park’ or the equivalent for that vehicle. Automatic HGVs may need to be left in neutral.

Turn the Wheels – Drivers should turn the wheels to the kerb, or to a safe point.

Never leave a vehicle idling – If a vehicle has the engine running and is idling, it’s not in gear and it can roll-away!

Thieves are targeting Royal Mail/Parcelforce vans – The message is – there has been an increase in vehicle thefts and thefts of items from unlocked, unsecured vans so drivers must always leave the vehicle secure, locked and with any mail items out of sight in the rear load space – and not on view – attracting the wrong type of attention!

LGV Drivers follow the BLACK process when uncoupling/coupling, to avoid roll-aways/runaways:

Brake – apply the trailer brake.

Legs – lower the landing legs.

Airlines – disconnect all airlines/leads.

Clip – unclip the dog clip.

Kingpin – release the kingpin by pulling the handle.

Reverse the process when coupling – KCALB.

FINALLY – NEVER try to stop a moving vehicle – this is when serious injuries and fatalities can occur.

Managers’ Activities for the Road Safety Week are to:

Deliver the weekly road safety communications to all drivers.

Check parked vehicles in the yard – if they aren’t parked correctly in the yard then they may not be parked well and safely when on the road either!

Get all drivers to complete the Roll-away Knowledge Test and return it. This short test is aimed at increasing awareness and to encourage drivers to ‘stay-alert’!

Print the Road Safety Week Vehicle Roll-away Poster and Seat Drop Leaflets on their site.

Display and distribute the Poster and Seat Drop Leaflets within their unit.

Work with the management team, SHE team and CWU Reps to promote the Road Safety Week Campaign.

Work with and fully involve the Union’s ASRs and WSRs during this important campaign.

Update the SHE Calendar to confirm completion of RSW activity.

CWU ASR/WSR Activities During The Road Safety Week:

During the week, which is fully supported by the CWU/HQ Health, Safety & Environment Department, CWU ASRs will be fully involved and consulted in this Road Safety Week Campaign. CWU/ASR full support and participation is much appreciated by Royal Mail, Parcelforce Worldwide, RMSS, RMP&FS and CWU HQ.

The Aims and Benefits of the Campaign are:

To improve compliance with RMG ‘H.I.T’ Road Safety Handbrake Policy and Road Traffic Law.

Increase awareness amongst drivers and managers on the ‘Mandatory’ ‘H.I.T.’ Safety Standard.

Abate and reduce the worrying, increasing number of highly dangerous vehicle roll-aways.

ASRs Should utilise the support of WSRs and IR Rep colleagues. Agree with Operational Managers, which Units will be visited where possible and jointly support the ‘Preventing Vehicle Roll-aways – Road Safety Week Campaign’. Where possible assist front-line managers in jointly delivering the RSW WTLL messages. Also where possible, engage CWU/member drivers and:

Carry out additional safety inspections, spot check activities, remind drivers about ‘H.I.T’.

Use the Road Safety Campaign Materials (attached) to talk to drivers about the importance of Handbrake Safety and ’H.I.T.’.

Check that drivers have received the ‘H.I.T.’ WTLL briefing.

Check drivers have seen the RSW ‘H.I.T.’ poster and leaflets (attached).

Ask drivers – Do they follow the Royal Mail ‘H.I.T.’ safety procedure?

ASRs should where possible engage front line managers and ask them:

What activities have they completed for the Preventing Vehicle Roll-aways, ‘H.I.T.’ Road Safety Campaign?

Have they made all drivers aware of the actions they need to take?

Attachments: (LINKS BELOW)

  • March 2021 Road Safety Campaign – Preventing Vehicle Roll-aways SHE Brief/Huddle

  • H.I.T. Poster

  • H.I.T. Leaflet

  • BLACK Poster

  • BLACK Leaflet

  • Roll-aways Logistics Leaflet

  • Roll-aways Knowledge Test

  • RMG March 2021 Road Safety Campaign – Preventing Vehicle Roll-aways Campaign Brief

  • RMG March 2021 Road Safety Campaign – PowerPoint Slide

  • Thanks for your support and assistance at this very difficult time.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer


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