Post Office Provides Vital Link Between the Island and the World

Protecting the health and safety of its people and customers in the communities in which it serves is Isle of Man Post Office’s (IOMPO) primary concern, in the bid to reduce the spread of Coronavirus Covid-19 on the Island.

As a key part of the Isle of Man’s infrastructure, the postal industry plays an essential role in society and the economy, linking the Island to the rest of the world through its dedicated mail plane and mail containers that arrive on the boat. Postal workers are working hard to collect, process and deliver as much mail and parcels as possible in difficult circumstances. IOMPO is committed to keeping businesses operating and ensuring Islanders stay connected.  

For some time, IOMPO has been putting in place an expansive range of measures across all its business areas, many of which will not be visible to customers, taking no chances when it comes to safeguarding those it cares about – its people and its customers, and the business believes it is well equipped in this regard.

Simon Kneen, Chief Executive of IOMPO, said: “With approximately 340 employees across multiple sites, we have had to introduce new ways of working to adapt to the current challenges Covid-19 presents. We have zoned all our areas to limit employee movements and ensure there’s no cross-contamination, with alternatives sites for each delivery office available should it be necessary to relocate. We have introduced staggered start times to ensure there are fewer postal workers working in one area at one time and we have also spaced out posties’ sorting frames. In all our sites, floor markers are in place to ensure social distancing is abided to and these have also been made available to post offices across the Island.”

“We have temporarily ceased our commercial Door2Door service though we are committed to supporting the delivery of any public safety announcements, the first of which we have been proud to deliver this week for the Isle of Man Government. We are grateful for the collaborative effort with the respective unions in supporting changes to working practices and processes in this unprecedented time.”

When it comes to deliveries, IOMPO has limited customer interaction with its postal workers by no longer handing over its hand-held devices to capture their signature, instead logging the name of the recipient. Furthermore, where a parcel is being delivered to which will not fit through a letterbox, postal staff are placing the item at doorsteps, where it is safe to do so. If there is no area safe to leave a parcel, postal staff are leaving a ‘while you were out’ card advising of other ways customers can arrange to get their item.

IOMPO is pleased to start offering a free doorstep letter collection service for items which are pre-stamped and addressed ready to be posted. This will only be available when a delivery to the property is made. It is felt this service will be particularly beneficial to those customers who are vulnerable and self-isolating.

At this time, IOMPO wishes to remind customers to refrain from approaching their postie on their rounds and ensure any dogs are kept securely on their property during a doorstep delivery.

IOMPO continues to follow advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health. With a workforce split across differing sites, many now working remotely from home, some self-isolating as well as those colleagues with underlying health conditions keeping safe at home, the business recognises the significance of remaining in touch with all its people at this extra critical time, and therefore values the importance of internal communication more than ever.

Simon continued: “We are regularly briefing our teams, especially those on the front line who are classed as key workers, on practicing good hygiene, hand washing and having available wipes, hand sanitizer and gloves. Masks are also available to our colleagues on request should they feel more comfortable using one, whilst making sure they are aware of the risks in doing so.”

“As well as the operational aspects of our business, we equally value the need to support our people with the emotional impacts the pandemic can cause. A wellbeing leaflet was produced and mailed out last week giving helpful tips and advice, particularly for those working remotely and those colleagues who may struggle with isolation. We are regularly updating and circulating a Q&A and providing regular Covid-19 related updates in our weekly internal newsletter.” 

In concluding, Simon said: “I am very proud of how our people have responded to the challenges we face as both a business and an Island. Everyone has adapted their ways of working for the common good and ensuring the highest standards of hygiene are in place to protect both themselves and our loyal customers. Please let us know if your postie is going the extra mile, it really means a lot to them and us, we remain committed to keeping the Island connected by post, at a time when our customers need this most.”

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