Health and Safety (H&S) refers to policies and procedures that protect employees and ensure safe working conditions. H&S has been a core Focus Area of the SMMS since 2019. Through measuring posts’ performance, IPC is actively contributing to the aims of UN SDG 8 – ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.’ Within the broader aims of UN SDG 8.
For participants, particular areas of focus include manual handling/loading; road and vehicle safety; slips, trips and falls; mental health and stress; and forklift safety. These are addressed through mechanisms such as safety awareness training; promotion of health topics; grievance reporting systems and joint management-worker H&S committees.
Employee safety and wellbeing has always been a top priority for the postal sector, given the nature of our work. The growth of e-commerce, safety technology developments, and the use of alternative fuel/ automated vehicles are all emerging trends that have an important bearing on the health and safety of the postal workforce. As ever the postal sector faces a variety of challenges, but SMMS participants continue to show resilience and adaptability in a rapidly changing world.
- H&S was one of the best performing focus areas within the 2022 Sustainability Management Proficiency (SMP) questionnaire, highlighting the importance of this issue to the group.
- Scoring 71.8% collectively, H&S ranked second behind Climate Change, and over five percentage points ahead of the overall SMP group score of 65.9%. A score of 71.8% reflects that posts have good H&S management proficiency and that further improvement across the posts will be important in the upcoming years.
- Participants scored highest in questions related to Measurement & Evaluation and Embedding, demonstrating their commitment to tracking performance, implementing policy and engaging stakeholders in this crucial area.
- Compared to 2021, Disclosure and Reporting showed the biggest improvement by increasing 4.4 percentage points. Although it is still the lowest score, IPC encourages posts to continue sharing best practices and their expert knowledge with other operators in order to drive improvements. This year showing this to be a successful framework for the group.
Highlights of the group’s performance in 2022 include:
- 22 posts have a strategic focus on mental health and/or stress
- 20 posts have implemented management processes in order to mitigate H&S risks
- All 23 posts have defined responsibility for H&S at a board/executive level
- 22 posts collect data on H&S aspects including: dog attacks, slips, trips/falls, and mental health/stress
Quantitative metrics for H&S are not reported under the SMMS programme, as these are covered by other IPC reporting initiatives including the IPC Global Monitor.