13th March 2020
TO: ALL BRANCHES
Re: Coronavirus Covid-19 – PDA Use and Signed For Deliveries Issues on Royal Mail and Parcelforce Deliveries
CWU/HQ has been inundated with complaints from Branches, Reps and members across both Royal Mail and Parcelforce who are experiencing extreme difficulties in making deliveries as growing numbers of customers refuse to touch and sign the PDA. This has been complicated by the UK national shortage of disinfectant wipes which leaves members with nothing to clean the PDAs, which are both passed between staff and between staff and the customers.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that it is safe to receive letters or packages. Previous research has found that coronaviruses don’t survive long on objects such as letters and packages based on what the WHO know about similar coronaviruses such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, WHO experts think this new coronavirus likely survives poorly on surfaces. However, although Experts believe this virus perishes fairly quickly on surfaces, they don’t know for sure how long the novel coronavirus covid-19 can survive on surfaces such as metal, glass or plastic and there are mixed opinions. Therefore, the advice that the surface is cleaned with appropriate disinfectant wipes is sound advice as an added precaution.
As a result of the UK shortage of disinfectant sanitiser wipes and customers currently not wanting to touch the PDA plus other associated problems with keeping hands clean on outdoor work, a letter has been sent to the Royal Mail Service Delivery Director along with the Parcelforce Operations Director, the Royal Mail Delivery Director and the Royal Mail Collections and Processing Director requesting urgent positive action and a firm decision with clear consistent instructions to our outdoor delivery workforce in Royal Mail and Parcelforce, which immediately removes the risks and the indecision, either temporarily withdrawing the PDA signature requirements for the duration of the current pandemic or changing the method of use as some competitors have or reinstating the supply of disinfectant wipes etc.
See attached copy of the letter for your information.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
Communication Workers Union
Dave Joyce National Health & Safety Officer
150 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1RX
Tel: 020 8971 7365/7308 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
13 March 2020
National Service Delivery Director
Royal Mail HQ
185 Farringdon Road
Re: Coronaviris Covid-19 – PDA Use and Signed For Deliveries Issues on Royal Mail and Parcelforce Deliveries:
We are currently being inundated with complaints from members across both Royal Mail and Parcelforce who are experiencing extreme difficulties in making deliveries to customers as growing numbers refuse to touch and sign the PDA, complicated by the UK national shortage and non-provision of disinfectant wipes, there is little or nothing to clean the PDAs with as they pass between staff and pass between staff and the public – customers.
I have even had one case reported to me in which a customer took and signed the PDA, handing it back to a Parcelforce employee at which point the customer informed our member that he was currently in self-isolation due to being possibly infected with Coronavirus Covid-19. The Parcelforce employee had no way of cleaning the PDA as he had no disinfectant wiped and had no way of washing his hands as he was out on the road with no available facilities and of course no antibacterial hand gel either.
I have raised this matter several times over the last couple of weeks but I have unfortunately been met with indecision and unclear advice. I have learned that some of our competitors have already withdrawn the use of their PDAs and signature requirements for the duration of the current pandemic.
Can we please now have some urgent positive action and a firm decision with clear consistent instructions to our outdoor delivery workforce in Royal Mail and Parcelforce, which immediately removes the risks and indecision.
The lack of hand sanitiser wipes and any replacement of substitute in many offices has brought many offices to breaking point, complicated by indecision and inconsistent advice locally. It’s no good us telling the workforce to wash hands regularly and use sanitiser wipes and wear gloves if they can’t access soap and water outdoors, if they can’t sanitise the equipment we’re telling them to keep clean, if Offices have no paper towels or fit for purpose, effective, hand dryers or they don’t have enough gloves.
Finally, you will note that the NHS has today issued revised advice to the public I am copying this to Jamie Stephenson Parcelforce Operations Director, Nick Dunn Royal Mail Distribution Director, Kevin Thompson Royal Mail Delivery Director, Wayne Jay Royal Mail UK Process & Collection Director, Rachel Boon Royal Mail Group Head of Health and Shaun Davis Global Director Compliance & Sustainability.
National Health and Safety Environment Officer
Dave Joyce| National Health and Safety Environment Officer
Email email@example.com | Direct line 020 8971 7365
Communication Workers Union, The communications union
Headquarters150 The Broadway | Wimbledon | SW19 1RX
T 020 8971 7200 | F 02089717300 | www.cwu.org | @CWUNews