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Safety Alert: RM Fleet Workshop Technicians and Managers – Tail Lift Dangers and Safety Controls

No. 102/2023

26 April 2023

Our Ref: V4/23

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Alert FY23 001 – Attention RM Fleet Workshop Technicians and Managers – Tail Lift Dangers and Safety Controls – “Don’t Work Under Unsupported Loads”:

Introduction, Background, Description and Overview:

A Royal Mail Group Fleet workshop technician was working on an 18t HGV tail lift. The tail lift platform was at the time of the incident parked or stowed in its fully raised, upright position, flat against the back of the vehicle. The Technician removed the two tilt ram pins without first supporting the tail lift with any appropriate equipment to hold the very heavy component in place. The tail lift platform, with nothing securing it in place, subsequently dropped from vertical position to the open, horizontal position, striking the Technician heavily and causing significant, serious injuries.

This Safety Alert has been issued to remind the RMG Fleet Workshops workforce of the dangers of any type of unsupported loads when undertaking repairs and maintenance.


Serious Back/Shoulder/Neck injuries.

Key Messages, Learning Points and Actions:

  • RMG Fleet staff must never place themselves, or undertake any maintenance and repair work, under or adjacent to an unsupported load such as a tail lift platform or for example under a vehicle supported only by a trolley jack.

  • RMG Fleet staff should only undertake tasks they have been trained to perform.

  • RMG Fleet staff must always follow safe working methods and systems of work and refer to the manufacturer’s maintenance and repair instructions and should seek advice from the Shift Supervisor or Workshop Manager if unfamiliar or in any doubt as to the task being undertaken.

  • Axle Stands must always be used where applicable to support vehicles.

  • For tail lift rams or vehicle cab tilt mechanisms – always provide additional support prior to removing any components which would allow the tail lift or cab etc. to fall freely.

  • LOLER (Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations) equipment must be subject to inspection and in date, otherwise they must be removed from use and do not use vehicle scissor type jacks in workshops (these are not LOLER compliant).

CWU RMG Fleet ASR Action:

  • CWU Fleet ASRs please ensure that this Safety Alert is communicated and brought to the attention of all appropriate Workshop Reps, IR Reps and members and that actions above are deployed by PiCs/Managers/Technicians.

  • ASRs to concentrate attention to this matter during Workplace Safety Inspections, Health and Safety Committee meetings and where necessary ensure a review Risk Assessment and Training is provided and undertaken.


  • Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Alert FY23 001

  • HSE HSG261 Booklet – Health and safety in motor vehicle repair and associated industries

  • HSE HSG345 Guide – Health and Safety Training

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

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