Fleet News

Royal Mail hits back at accident probe claims

ROYAL Mail's fleet has dismissed national newspaper claims that it is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Last week, one newspaper wrote that the HSE had launched a 'safety investigation' into the group.

But an HSE spokeswoman told Fleet News: 'We are not investigating the Royal Mail. We are working with it as part of a health and safety initiative. It is part of a series of activities by four groups, the HSE, Royal Mail, Royal Mail Unions and local authorities, to improve health and safety.'

The UK's mail delivery group says it is working in partnership with the HSE and other leading groups in a bid to slash its annual 20,000 vehicle accident rate.

For the financial year to the end of March 2003/04, Royal Mail logged 35,958 accidents. Despite the high number, the firm says it has reduced its accident rate from 43,530 cases recorded in 2002.

About 20,000 of these cases were for damaged vehicles – this includes minor bumps and scrapes on its 40,000-vehicle fleet.

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: 'Over the past couple of years we have put greater emphasis on reducing accidents and have reduced the total number by 20% in the past two years. But there is more to be done and we want to reduce the number even further.

'Health and safety has been built into our day-to-day business as it makes commercial sense. We are working with a number of people including unions. We are also working with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to improve driving and to offer additional driver training.'

The HSE was keen to point out that Royal Mail group was made up of three main subsidiaries and the health and safety drive is targeting just one part of this, Royal Mail Letters.

The Royal Mail spokesman said: 'The HSE has helped us to record and manage our accident reporting. It is also monitoring our progress development.'

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