8 March 2022
To: All Branches
Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY22 07 – Dangerous, Illegal Tyres:
See within the attached RMG Safety Flash FY22 07 images of ‘bald, dangerous condition, illegal tyres which were recently discovered on vans at delivery offices, during safety audits of the delivery offices by Royal Mail auditors. These findings have been subsequently reported to director level. The condition of the tyres is ‘shocking’ and endanger the drivers and other road users to put it mildly!
Tyres must be checked daily by drivers, to ensure that they are both safe and legal.
Tyres are one of the most critically important safety component parts of any vehicle as they are the part that attaches the vehicle to the road. Excessively worn tyres increase stopping distances, cause a loss of traction, particularly in bad, wet weather driving conditions and increase the risk of a ‘blow-out’ – all of which can result in loss of control of the vehicle and lead to a serious collision accident. Driving with illegal tyres risks serious injury or even fatality to the driver and to other road users and pedestrians.
2,000 Illegal, Dangerous Tyres Found on RMG Vehicles:
Since April 2021, Royal Mail Group’s vehicle breakdown and recovery agents have removed over 2,000 illegal and dangerous tyres from Royal Mail Group vehicles, including the two pictured in the attached Safety Flash which were found during the last month by safety auditors visiting delivery offices in different parts of the country.
Apart from the high risk of these dangerous tyres causing a serious accident, the penalties for CWU members driving Royal Mail, Parcelforce or RMSS vehicles with illegal tyres start with a fine for the driver of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points. If a vehicle with illegal tyres is involved in a road traffic collision which leads to death or serious injury, the driver could face a prison sentence.
In a recent case at St Albans Crown Court in December 2021 a driver was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after a vehicle with two illegal, dangerous tyres on it was involved in a collision which resulted in the other driver being killed. The car which had very little grip on the road surface, lost traction, causing the vehicle to ‘fishtail’ on the slippery road surface and slide into the other car killing the driver.
Tyres form part of the daily vehicle check and it is a mandatory requirement that every tyre on every vehicle is checked every day, before it is driven.
The legal limits are 1.6mm on cars and vans and 1.0mm for HGVs. Royal Mail policy is that tyres must be changed when tread is less than 2.0mm. Where tyres require replacement, these should be reported to the RM Fleet Workshop using the PMT1 fault reporting process.
Where illegal tyres are identified, the vehicle MUST NOT be driven on the road under any circumstances, and the tyre breakdown services may be required to fit a replacement tyre.
Drivers – Must check the tread and condition of the tyres on the vehicle allocated to them, every day, as part of the daily pre-use vehicle checks. Checking the correct tyre pressure on a weekly basis, as part of the weekly vehicle checks. Any worn or damaged tyres must be reported immediately using the PMT1 fault reporting process.
Managers – Must ensure vehicle checks are being completed by drivers. Within deliveries, use the vehicle checks dashboard to see which vehicles have been checked. Physically check at least one vehicle per week to ensure that vehicle check records accurately reflect the condition of the vehicles.
All ASRs are asked to focus attention on tyre checks during their safety inspections at Delivery Offices, MPUs, Mail Centres, RDCs etc. Thanks for your assistance and support.
RMG SHE Safety Flash FY22 07 – Dangerous, Illegal Tyres.
Dave Joyce National Health, Safety & Environment Officer