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Person in Control

As the Person in Control you have a key role to play. Our policy is that there will be a designated PiC at all our sites, supported by deputies.

In this role, you are responsible for the health and safety of those people who work in or visit the site, and for our relationship with the community and our impact on the environment.

Your ability to respond effectively to a major incident will depend upon your understanding of the Stay Calm guide and your responsibilities, as outlined below.

Your responsibilities in the event of an incident

The Person in Control (PiC) (and/or their deputy) must:

  • Take immediate responsibility for managing the incident
  • Make an initial judgement of the seriousness of the incident and its potential impact
  • Initiate evacuation procedures, if necessary
  • As far as possible, ensure that everyone, including any visitors or contractors, have been accounted for
  • Liaise with the Emergency Services when they arrive on site
  • Inform Central Postal Control (CPC) and your line manager that an incident has occurred
  • Ensure that health and safety and security procedures are maintained at all times during the incident
  • Ensure that no direct contact is made with the media, referring any approaches to the Royal Mail Press Office.

How to ensure you are prepared for an incident


  • You must ensure that your deputies are aware of Stay Calm and the online incident guidance.
  • You and your deputies must be aware of your role and responsibilities in the event of an incident.
  • You and your deputies must be aware of, and keep up to date, the information contained in the ‘unit plan’ and ‘site and buildings plans’.
  • You must ensure that you and your deputies are familiar with the range of incidents covered and know how to use the guidance provided.


  • Your PiC training should have covered ‘Stay Calm’ and the online incident guidance, but what about training for everyone else? To keep people safe everyone needs to know what to do in an emergency.
  • Throughout ‘Stay Calm’ you will see reference to the PiC and their deputies, Work Area Managers, Fire Wardens, First Aiders and Receptionists. In an emergency situation these people need to come together as a ‘virtual team’ to keep people safe and manage the incident. This will not happen unless they have an opportunity to train together as a team.
  • Every 12 months, preferably just before your evacuation fire drills, you must ensure that your ‘virtual team’ come together and that you ‘walk them through’ their roles and responsibilities as defined in ‘Stay Calm’. Note: It may be necessary for each shift to hold its own meeting to ensure no one misses out.
  • You and your deputies also need to know how to respond to specific incidents that may not require an evacuation, such as suspect items, so make sure they know how to use the guidance.


  • Your 12 monthly fire drills are also a really good opportunity to give everyone in your ‘virtual team’ a chance to put into practice the training and briefing they should have received.
    Note: Every shift should hold its own drill to ensure that no one misses out.
  • Practice using the online incident guidance. It’s there to help and guide you.
  • As soon as your drill is over hold a debrief session with your ‘virtual team’. How did it go? What can be improved? Were there enough Fire Wardens?


Any shortcomings identified during your debrief must be acted upon urgently. Don’t wait for the next drill. The next time the alarm rings it could be for real and peoples lives may be at risk.


  • You must ensure that the electronic word version of the ‘unit plan’ is fully completed and that a printed copy is available onsite.
  • An electronic copy should also be sent to your line manager and CPC.
  • You must ensure that the information contained in the ‘unit plan’ is kept up to date.
  • Any information that is missing or out of date could delay or mislead the emergency services response.
  • You must ensure that an appropriate ‘site plan‘ is obtained and a printed copy is available onsite.
  • An electronic copy should be sent to CPC.
  • The emergency services are unlikely to be familiar with the layout of your site and buildings. The absence of a site plan could delay their response. “Where is your site plan?” is likely to be the second question you are asked after “is everyone safe?”

If in doubt at any stage always call Central Postal Control (CPC)

Central Postal Control deals with issues on a regular basis and will be able to talk you through how to deal with any situation.