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Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash (FY21 003) – Tops 2000 (T2K) Large Flats Sorting Machines

No. 087/2021

Our Ref: C38/21

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash (FY21 003) – Tops 2000 (T2K) Large Flats Sorting Machines – Safe Removal of Jammed Trays From Stopped Machine: (Serious ‘Near-Miss’ & Machine Damage Incident Occurrence When Machine Operator Attempted To Remove A Jammed Tray From a Moving Machine) Introduction and Background:

An urgent ‘Safety Flash’, number FY21 003, has been issued by the Royal Mail Group Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Team (copy attached), following a recent accident ‘near-miss’ incident in a Mail Centre when a tray jam was dealt with incorrectly and dangerously, risking injury to the operator and other staff, plus causing actual extensive damage to the machine.

Description of the Incident and Key Issues: A tray jam occurred on a Tops 2000 (T2K) Flats Sorting Machine which the machine operator attempted to remove/reset without stopping the machine carousel as is required in the Safe Working Instruction. This resulted in an accident ‘near-miss’ and the letter trays becoming dislodged with significant damage caused to the machine – risking injuring other members of the workforce.

The Issue, Impact and Effect: Occasionally the Tops 2000 machine will report a full tray output jam from the sorter carousel (full tray not ejected & orange light comes on). The carousel will continue to operate normally although the full trays will not be ejected from the machine. Attempting to remove and reset the jammed tray without stopping the machine, as happened in this case, risks serious personal injury to the operator and others and can cause significant damage to the machine, as occurred on this occasion. The operator failed to follow the correct safe system of work procedure which is to stop the carousel and remove/reset the jammed tray using the ‘helping hand’ ‘grabber tool’ only once the machine has come to a full stop.

Key Management Activities and Learning Points:

  • Brief staff that an incorrect and unsafe jam removal took place, reminding all machine operators on importance of stopping the machine carousel before clearing jams to avoid future accidents and failings.

  • Print and brief machine operators on the Safety Flash – undertake SMAT sampling.

  • Ensue that the November 2019 WTLL article ‘Removing Jammed Trays in Sorter Carousel on T2K’ has been briefed to all relevant machine operators.

  • Display the Safety Flash on the office SHE Notice board.


  • Copy of RMG SHE Safety Flash FY21 003 – T2K Operator Tray Removal

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

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