Health and Safety (H&S) refers to policies and procedures that protect employees and ensure safe working conditions.


Health and Safety was introduced as a new Focus Area of the SMMS in 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, H&S was identified as a priority for the postal sector by SMMS participants, in the internal survey conducted by IPC in 2018.

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.

Emerging trends

Employee wellbeing has always been a top priority for the postal sector, and this issue has become more important than ever during 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic. Looking forward, wider industry trends including the growth of e-commerce, safety technology developments, and the use of alternative fuel/ automated vehicles all have an important bearing on the health and safety of the postal workforce. As ever the postal sector faces different challenges, but we are confident that our participants can drive positive change and continue to show leadership even in times of adversity. 


  • H&S was one of the best performing focus areas within the 2019 Sustainability Management Proficiency (SMP) questionnaire, highlighting the importance of this issue to the group. 
  • Scoring 59.2% collectively, H&S ranked second only to Climate Change, and seven percentage points ahead of the overall SMP group score of 52.2%. A score of 59.2% reflects that posts have good H&S management proficiency and that further improvement across the posts will be important in the coming 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. Posts scored lower in Strategy & Policy and Disclosure & Reporting. IPC encourages posts to continue sharing best practice and their expert knowledge with other operators in order to drive improvements in lower scoring areas. 
  • 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.