6 February 2023
Our Ref: E1/23
To: All Branches
Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 003 – Reporting Hazardous Corrosion Damage:
Background and Description:
Royal Mail Group’s Safety Team have issued RMG SHE Safety Flash FY23 003 following a number of accidents and near misses on Royal Mail Group sites, in recent months, caused by the failure of seriously corroded, and unsafe items and components which should have been reported for remedial action, repair or replacement. Instead the various items were left to corrode and disintegrate, becoming a danger, leading to failure or collapse.
If evidence of corrosion is identified early enough, this can be repaired, preventing accidents and injuries to the workforce and third parties. Waiting until the structure of an item has decomposed and failed has the potential to cause serious injury and operational disruption.
Complete failures may lead to prolonged disruption and temporary working arrangements whilst replacements are procured and repairs undertaken.
Two recent examples and photographs are detailed in the SHE Safety Flash FY23 003 (attached).
A Delivery Office entrance door collapsed, falling onto a person who was standing nearby. The door hinge was extremely badly corroded which caused its failure due to it becoming weakened and no longer able to support the door.
A ‘Safety Barrier’ was extremely badly corroded, breaking away from the fixing point and so undermining its structure and the physical protection it offered. When the barrier was leaned on by a person it moved away instead of holding firm. Safety barriers are fundamental when it comes to keeping sites safe and complying with health and safety regulations and are designed to prevent and control accidents and events by maintaining safe routes, providing warnings of hazards, protecting workers and directing groups of people etc., and providing a visible warning for employees and the public.
Employees injured by failed items and components plus near misses.
Key Messages, Learning Points and Actions:
Any evidence of corrosion on a site should be documented in the PiCs routine workplace daily inspections and bi-monthly inspections (as per SHEMS 11.2) and raised to the RMP&FS National Service Centre immediately (0333 005 0312.)
PiCs to record and report all corrosion for attention.
PiCs to brief all staff on this SHE Flash and deploy the above Key Messages, Learning Points and Actions.
CWU ASR/WSR Action:
Please ensure that this Safety Flash is communicated and brought to the attention of all appropriate members and that actions above are deployed.
WSRs/ASRs to report all incidents of hazardous corrosion.
ASRs to concentrate attention to this matter during Workplace Safety Inspections.
Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 003 – Reporting Hazardous Corrosion Damage.
Dave Joyce National Health, Safety & Environment Officer